"Reception of Bach's works in Australia has significantly improved in recent years. Yet, in remote and regional areas of this vast country this is still unknown territory waiting to be developed. We applaud Richard's task to bring J.S. Bach's famous Cello Suites to these places - a perfect entrée into the sound world of Bach - even to the Outback with its Aboriginal communities, rarely endeavored before" (Hans Schroeder, President Australian Bach Society).
For those of you who don't know me, I am a cellist from Sydney, Australia just finishing up my Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School! Before that I was at Northwestern for four years getting my Bachelor of Music degree. I have been working on this project over the last two years and am so excited about how much progress has been made. But in order to make this project a true reality, I need your help!!!
This upcoming May-June, I will be embarking on a tour around Australia performing and presenting the six Bach Cello Suites and six contemporary Australian compositions in an effort to spread the music through concerts, educational workshops and community engagement events. I will be working with young students, elderly people in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as Dance for Parkinsons Australia, an organisation that helps those who suffer from Parkinsons Disease through movement and music. This is strictly a non-profit venture, and so all donations will be used to cover the costs of putting the tour together and not for personal gain.
Here is a breakdown of the costs:
• $5,000 - Graphics design and website, poster, publicity and marketing materials
• $6,000 - Equipment rental (audio and video equipment, lights, hard drives etc.)
• $1,000 - Venue hire (most venues secured without fee except St. John's Southgate for rehearsal, recording and concert).
• $6,000 - Audio and video recording, editing and mixing.
• $8,000 - Travel to and from AUS and within AUS (myself and 4 crew including car hire, excluding extra baggage fees).
• $1,000 - Liability Insurance.
• $3,000 - Accommodation (conservative prices through Air bnb).
TOTAL (excluding extra fees associated with instrument accessories, emergencies and post-production publicity/marketing): $30,000
*Please note: the discrepancy between the pledge goal and the budget total is not a mistake. But for those of you who aren't aware, I will only receive the funds from this campaign if we reach our goal of $20,000, which I anticipate to be a more realistic campaign target. If we do reach our goal with some extra time remaining, I encourage you to continue sharing my campaign and making further donations so that we can knock off even more costs from the true budget total!
Aside from the significance and beauty of performing all six suites around my homeland, my ultimate goal is to impact as many lives as I can, which is why I've entitled the project, "Bringing Music to Life." That might sound like a broad goal, but I have always felt a special affinity to Bach's music and style of writing and I deeply believe that his music can speak to anyone regardless of their age, culture or background. This is a unique opportunity to use my music to inspire the lives of countless people around me. There are three separate components to my ultimate goal: the national component (Australia), the artistic component (a recording of the suites) and the community engagement component.
Why Australia? Australia is my homeland, where my musical roots really began to flourish. It is also such a diverse country, full of beautiful landscapes, wildlife and natural surroundings. What better way to highlight the natural beauty and diversity of my homeland than to spend a few days in each city using my music to bring life to the community and the places around me? This is also a perfect opportunity to put the spotlight on some new, upcoming voices in Australia, which is why I have commissioned some of Australia's most promising composers to write short interludes that fit between each respective Bach suite, echoing fragments of material from each.
Here are a few testimonials from some of the involved composers:
"I am delighted by Richard’s initiative in touring Bach’s cello suites with original Australian compositions. Richard is a fantastic and engaging young artist, perfectly placed to showcase both repertoire and brand new works around the country, especially to audiences who might not usually access live classical performance. When approached I felt at once daunted and excited to be composing music to accompany one of the Greats, but there was no question that it had to happen. I am thrilled to be a part of it" (Huw Belling - St Catherine's College in Oxford, UK).
"I'm really excited about being a part of this project! Richard's aim to connect with the community, to bring people joy and to change lives for the better is truly inspiring. Hearing such an exceptional cellist perform Bach's suites, along with contemporary Australian work, will be seriously beautiful" (Jordan Roe - Sydney Conservatorium of Music).
"I'm super excited about writing a piece for Richard. He's such a wonderful performer and it is exciting to be working with someone so passionate, not only about performing, but also about sharing it with other people. It's exciting to be a part of such a cool initiative and to have something I've written traveling all around Australia!" (Kezia Yap - Sydney Conservatorium of Music).
"A short reflection-work on a monument like a Bach Cello Suite is a very attractive yet daunting challenge. However, the context of Richard Narroway's Bach project is an ideal way to show a range of audiences the possibilities of a dialogue of centuries and aesthetics. A young musician with this combination of vision, talent and entrepreneurship is rare indeed and his national tour is an ambitious and important project." (Jack Symonds - Artistic director of Sydney Chamber Opera).
Traveling with me will be a professional team of videographers, photographers and sound engineers who will help me document the journey and eventually produce a recording of all the music. The fact remains that there are only a handful of Bach cello suite recordings that are accessible to us, all of which have been recorded in a standard church or religious space. My goal, however, is to record each suite in a unique venue around Australia and then to make the eventual audio and video recordings accessible to people around the world!
Perhaps most important is the community engagement component. Throughout my tour, I will be interacting not only with young students in schools and youth orchestras, but also elderly people who don't always have immediate access to music and even refugees who are looking for peace and comfort. In addition, I am truly excited to be collaborating with Dance for PD Australia, using Bach's cello suites to aid in their mission in helping those afflicted with Parkinsons disease. You might be interested to know that music not only promotes fluidity and agility in the movements of Parkinsons sufferers, but can even slow down this terrible disease!!
The tour will begin in Darwin, moving through Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne and finally, Sydney. Just to give you an idea of the scale of this tour, here are some of the places I will be visiting:
Darwin: Charles Darwin Centre for Youth and Community Music, Darwin Military Museum
Alice Springs: Todd Mall, Steiner School, Ayers Rock, Church of the Ascension
Adelaide: Flinders Church, various schools, hospitals and nursing homes
Melbourne: German Lutheran Church, St. Paul's Cathedral, St. John's Southgate
Sydney: St. Andrew's Cathedral School, Asylum Seekers Centre and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music
PLUS Dance for PD workshops in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney
As you can probably imagine, some of my performances will be taking place in totally unconventional venues, which is part of the fun and excitement!
A project of this magnitude undoubtedly requires a huge amount of planning and support and I must thank my friends and family for helping me with the journey so far, as well as the Australian Bach Society for their generous assistance. But this is where you come in. In order for this project to happen I need to raise $30,000. Without your help, I will not be able to capture and share with you all the beautiful footage from the tour! And I am certain you will love it!
I must give special thanks to Professor Hans Jensen for generously lending me his 1930 Carl Becker Cello for this tour!
I can't wait to share the project with all of you soon!
Risks and challenges
Aside from the obstacle of funding, traveling around Australia for thirty days will be exhausting, not only physically but also mentally and artistically. This journey, however, is something I am determined and eager to accomplish, and something that will inevitably bring me closer to the music. I should also add that this journey will be a new experience not only for me but for all the members of the team. That being said, I believe we are fully equipped to take on this challenge and all the unexpected experiences it may entail (ie. flat tires in the bush, unforeseen reptiles on the road, kangaroos trying to steal my cello etc.).
It is going to be so much fun!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (58 days)