I believe that music can make an impact in people's lives, that it can empower us to connect with our hearts and our deeper selves and own our experiences, both the good and the bad. Music can connect us to each other and make us feel like we're not alone in what we're going through. I make music partly because I feel chosen by it, as if I couldn't walk away no matter how much I wanted to - though I don't want to - and partly because I want to make the world a more beautiful place, and this music is what I have to give to it.
So finally, finally, finally, after performing some of these songs for several years and making my debut EP in 2011, I am collecting my best work and making a full-length album! This is a collection of songs about transitions and difficult moments and what lies between love and loss, about claiming our selves and our stories and being enough as we are. I'm so excited to share these songs with you, and I really believe they can go out there and do good things in the world!
That's why I'm launching this kickstarter project. I think kickstarter is such an amazing way for a whole community of people to come together to make a project happen. It's like its own little creative economy that values personal connections and grassroots word-of-mouth instead of big financial profits. It gives audiences like you the power to vote for the kind of art you'd like to see in the world by literally becoming part of it! I hope you'll become a part of this album because I want to share it with you, and it only needs a little extra nudge to make its way out into the world.
One of the great things about this project is I'm starting out more than halfway to my goal already! Steve Vidaic and Mike Yach at Immersive Studios in Boulder believe in this music and want to make this album as much as I do, so they're partnering with me to do it and offering their time upfront. I love these guys. We work really well together, and having them onboard to record and produce this record makes me one incredibly lucky girl. With studio time, engineering and producer fees - typically the largest single expenses in the making of an album - out of the way, I'm free to focus my fundraising efforts on the other things that will help this music really make an impact - the musicians, the manufacturing, and the promotion.
Musicians: When I made my EP in 2011, I was mostly asking for big favors from all the musicians who played on it. This time around, I am budgeting to be able to pay them, because I know they'd like to be able to make a living as much as I would, and they deserve to - they are awesome and highly skilled. I am budgeting at minimum to be able to pay 3 musicians $100-150 per song for 10 songs.
Manufacturing: Because a rather key part of making an album is having something physical at the end of it to be able to share, and it costs money to manufacture a physical product. A physical product I can't wait to lovingly sign and send to you! I am looking at about $1000-1200 to manufacture 1000 CDs, and if this project makes it at least $500 over the minimum goal, I'll be able to hire an artist or graphic designer to work on the album cover.
Promotion: Why pay to have my album promoted? Because my experience making my EP taught me that it is a lot of work to make a CD. I know I will probably spend the better part of a year pouring my heart and soul into this record, and I will likely be in desperate need of more day job hours and a year of solid sleep by the time it comes out, and I don't want to trust the promotion of my album solely to that poor broke, exhausted person. I really believe in these songs. I believe in their potential to make an impact and do some good in the world. So it's important to me to give them their best chance of doing that. If I'm lucky, I can get my album promoted for $1500 a month. My minimum goal allows me to do that for two months, but my stretch goal is four - two months before its release and two months after.
So here's how the budget looks when it's broken down:
Musicians: $3000 minimum, $5000 stretch
Manufacturing: $1000 minimum, $1700 stretch
Promotion: $3000 minimum, $6000 stretch
Touring: $0 minimum, $2000 stretch
Music Video: $0 minimum, $1300 stretch
Costs associated with this kickstarter project, such as T-shirts, postage, travel & kickstarter fees: $1000 minimum, $2000 stretch
Thus, the project's minimum goal of $8000, with a stretch goal of $18,000. If we make it to $8000, the project happens - the album gets made and promoted and sent to all of you. If we make it past that, here's what will happen at each new benchmark:
$8,700: I can pay for graphic design to make the album cover AWESOME!
$10,400: one more month of album promotion (this is important stuff, y'all!)
$12,100: two more months of album promotion.
$14,300: we'll go all out with the arrangements of these songs and hire more musicians to make it the best album it can be!
$16,500: I'll go on tour to support the album release - backers will have input about which cities I visit!
$18,000: I'll make a super-awesome professionally-shot music video!
However, if we don't reach the minimum goal of $8000, you won't be charged and this project won't receive any of the money that's been pledged. This is kickstarter's way of making sure that no-one loses money on a project that doesn't have enough resources to succeed or a product that would never be delivered.
I'm not asking for donations. I'm asking you to be part of this project, from start to finish, by pre-ordering the as-yet-unfinished product - the CD or digital download, yes, but also the experiences I will create for you at the higher pledge levels. I'd like to share the journey and the process with you in addition to the album that will come out of it. I'm asking for your belief in me and my ability to get this thing done, but I'm also asking for your camaraderie and your sense of adventure to join me along the way! So let's make it happen together!
Risks and challenges
If there's one thing I learned from making my EP, it's that every part of a project like this usually takes much longer than you think it will, so it's a good idea to take things slowly and give yourself what seems like a ridiculously generous amount of time to complete a project. With that in mind, I've set the goal release date for this album what feels like a long way off, at the beginning of next year. I feel confident that if this project is successfully funded, I can accomplish all the steps leading up to the album release within that time frame. You'll notice that a couple of rewards have estimated delivery dates even further in the future than that - this is based on my previous experience making the EP and getting all the rewards delivered to backers of the unofficial fundraiser. Of course, there's always the possibility that it will take 5 proof printings of the CD jacket to get the design right, or that some unforeseen delay of a similar nature will come up. Whatever happens with this project, you can be confident that it will get finished, and I will keep you updated every step of the way so you always know where in the process we are and what to expect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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