The evening hangs beneath the moon,
A silver thread on darkened dune…
This campaign is intended to raise the funds necessary to print a deluxe hard-cover picture book based on the choral masterpiece “Sleep.” The text was written by lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri (for the composer Eric Whitacre), and the illustrations were painted by Dutch artist Anne Horjus. You can explore more about the creators here: www.charlesanthonysilvestri.com and www.annehorjus.com. Watch Whitacre's amazing Virtual Choir 2.0 performing “Sleep”: http://vimeo.com/ericwhitacre/vc2-sleep.
"Sleep" is a poem about the peaceful transition from waking to sleeping, especially from the perspective of an imaginative child. The deeper meaning we spoke about in the video came only later, and this deeper story adds richness to the experience of the book and to the choral work that partners it. The story of the genesis of that choral work is now legendary, but here it is for those who may not know...
About a dozen years ago, composer Eric Whitacre was commissioned to write a choral setting of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping By Woods." The piece was premiered and would have been a tremendous success for Eric; but the Frost estate denied him permission to publish the work. The piece was effectively dead until the poem's copyright lapsed into the Public Domain in 30 years. So he asked me to create an entirely new text to replace the Frost poem, one which mimicked the structure and feeling of the original, used many of its sounds in key places, and which would seem in every way to have been the original text for the music already composed. The result of my efforts was the poem "Sleep," and the marriage of these words to Eric's beautiful music has since become a beloved classic of the choral repertoire all over the world.
Our plan is to produce the finest quality book, printed and bound by the 120-year-old Worzalla Press in Stevens Point, WI. This is the same award-winning press that created Where the Wild Things Are, The Polar Express, Curious George, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Their trademark quality includes more precise scanning, exquisite art reproduction, finer papers, better binding, and a deluxe dust jacket. We want this book to be special in every way.
WHY THIS PROJECT MATTERS
Hundreds of thousands of singers and audience members around the globe have experienced Eric Whitacre’s magical “Sleep." This picture book would create a bridge to an even broader audience, especially with young people. The opportunity to introduce choral music to a new generation of listeners and singers is irresistible. We can imagine a parent and child reading this book together at bedtime, then listening to the choral piece along with the words, and then exploring other great settings of poems by Eric and other great composers. Parents and children reading and listening to great music together while looking at superb original artwork... Win.
Our book would make a great gift for any choir geek, especially along with a copy of Eric Whitacre’s Grammy-winning CD “Light and Gold” (which features four of my texts, including “Sleep”). Besides just being a beautiful bedtime book, there are so many deeper connections that could be made—
- parents can buy it as a bedtime book for their kids, and they discover the music together;
- parents who have sung “Sleep” can sing to their kids while reading along, and introduce them to great choral music at the same time;
- singers who participated in the Virtual Choir 2.0 can have a wonderful memento of their experience;
- choral music lovers can use the book to introduce this music to someone special;
- libraries can use our book, along with the music that inspired it (and other similar pairings), to create or enrich a poetry program for children;
- choirs can give the book as a special gift to their director;
- choir directors can project the images from the book for audiences as their choir sings the choral piece.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
The incredible success of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0 (which featured over 1700 singers representing 58 countries singing “Sleep”), and the unique community that developed as a result, inspired us to create this book. Although the traditional publishing world is changing, more and more authors are creating works of art independently from the traditional models. We decided that we wanted to publish our book ourselves, to be able to ensure the finest possible quality of the finished product—the book you will hold in your hands. Encouraged by the huge success of Eric’s Kickstarter campaign for his Virtual Choir 4, we decided to bring this project directly to you. Check out all the cool things you could get along with a copy of the book, and consider supporting this project. Thanks!
We would like to thank Doug Lawrence for his invaluable help on the video, and especially composer Eric Whitacre for his generous support of this project--for his advice, promotional support, permissions, and for writing the Foreward for our book. (We have yet to ask him about that last one...)
Risks and challenges
We do not anticipate any challenges for the completion of this project, barring any sort of zombie apocalypse or something like that. The text and illustrations are complete, we have a firm bid from the printer, we have a distribution agreement with Hal Leonard, and we are ready to go. What we need next is funding for the high-quality digital-scans of the original artwork, for fine art printing and binding, and for shipping the finished book to YOU. We plan on printing 2000 copies only, to be made available first to Kickstarter supporters, and then to the general public through Hal Leonard and Amazon. One glitch we can anticipate is the possibility of the books selling out quickly. If they get snapped up, we’ll print more! It is our dream that this book will be a popular companion to the choral work, and be a springboard to more creative collaborations for poets, lyricists, composers, and artists. The possibilities are endless!
+$1000 Over Goal--**UNLOCKED!** --Every Kickstarter supporter will receive an eBook version of SLEEP.
+$3500 Over Goal--**UNLOCKED**--Commissions artwork for a new book, LEONARDO DREAMS OF HIS FLYING MACHINE.
+$Even more???--The ability for us to create a publishing company for artists and poets to collaborate and bypass the increasingly difficult traditional publishing modality (more on this later!).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)