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help support the development of a performance, live album, and booklet
help support the development of a performance, live album, and booklet
65 backers pledged $3,873 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,873

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Dearest Internet,

I'm writing to ask for some assistance.  Last winter I didn't know what to do, so I turned to some poems for some answers.  I didn't get any answers, but I did get some songs.  Over the past few months I’ve written nine new songs using the work of poets that are dear to me.  They are songs of loss and sex, deviance and death, pleasure and nostalgia for something you never actually had.  Each song carries the name of the poet whose work I’m working with as its title, songs include: Elizabeth Bishop, Essex Hemphill, Reinaldo Arenas, Frank O’Hara, C. P. Cavafy, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jack Spicer, and Adrienne Rich.  Sometimes I've thought of calling this project something grandiose like “Homolyrics and the 20th century,” or something theoretical like “Improper Objects,” or something pedagogical like “Reading List” or “Syllabus,” but it's ended up as "Not sure what to do / oh, here's something."

Recently I've been performing these songs by myself here and there, but now I'm getting ready to put all of the songs together for an in-progress, evening-length show with a full band of performers at the NYU department of performance studies studio on the evening of Friday, March 20th, with hopes that this initial showing might lead to more opportunities to keep developing, performing, and recording these songs in New York this coming fall.  The band consists of myself and four people that I love: Joanna Roberts, Chloe Paisley, Perrin Ireland, and Nora Fox Blackall, and will include special appearances by Katherine Cooper, Millie Kapp, and Tara Willis.  We've already started rehearsing and I'm very excited.  We are also going to print a very special booklet for this performance that includes musical scores, nine original drawings by Laura Vitale, and design by Jori Ketten.

I need your help because I want to offer these artists money for their work.  I'm raising $3500 for this initial iteration -- roughly $2000 to pay performers for their rehearsal and performance time, $1000 for commissioning work from Laura and Jori and printing the booklet, and $500 for technical and documentation needs for the performance.  If you are able to pass some money my way, please see the list of "rewards" for what I will do in return.

I think it is now time to say please and by saying please, hazard a preemptive thank you.

Ethan

Risks and challenges

This money is so we can carve out time for a collective process -- I can't guarantee any deliverables or products. All I can promise is that we will dive in, see what we can find, and have something to share by March 20th.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    many thanks

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    many thanks
    +
    an email with a mp3 of an original thank you song

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    the $25 reward
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    a pdf of a curated reading packet containing poems, critical essays, and other lovely things

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    the $50 reward
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    one copy of the “not sure what to do / oh, here’s something” booklet

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    the $75 reward
    +
    an original personalized birthday song (or lullaby) for you or someone else recorded and sent to you as an mp3 file as well as a hand-written musical score

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    the $75 reward
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    an original personalized birthday song (or lullaby) for you or someone else to be performed live at the location of your choice in 2015

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    the $75 reward
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    three cello lessons in 2015

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    the $75 reward
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    a full concert for you and whomever you’d like at the location of your choice in 2015

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Funding period

- (30 days)