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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)