Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter page! New Morse Code is a cello/percussion duo dedicated to catalyzing creative projects through long-term collaborations with artists who we care about. We are launching an initiative called New Morse Connections focused on taking musical projects that address issues or challenges that we find particularly timely, relevant and meaningful and maximizing the impact of those projects by facilitating collaborative work, digging deeper connections to the communities they are part of, and elongating their lifespans by planning future performances beyond the premiere and creating lasting audio/video documentation.
Our inaugural group of New Morse Connections projects are:
*dwb*(driving while black), a gripping, personal, chamber opera about an African-American woman teaching her son to drive in a country where this has become a potentially lethal activity. The libretto is drawn from soprano Roberta Gumbel’s personal story and set to music by her lifelong friend, composer Susan Kander. New Morse Code serves as the multi-faceted, interactive onstage band. Each performance is followed by a community forum about the issues addressed. The premiere will take place at the Lawrence Arts Center on November 17th with additional performances scheduled in Kansas City this January. Check out PRESS COVERAGE and an INTERVIEW with Roberta Gumbel about the piece.
The Emigrants, a documentary chamber work by George Lam featuring the voices and stories of immigrant musicians living and working in Queens. The world premiere will be at a free concert on December 8th at the Queens Museum. This concert will also feature performances by several of the musicians interviewed for the piece. Check out the WEBSITE and watch the TRAILER
Catharsis, a collaboration with composer David Crowell and a consortium of 18 musicians who we have pulled together from across the country. This two-movement work features rich layers of interlocking harmonies and can either be performed by two people with backing tracks or by larger ensembles of cellists and percussionists. Our goal is to perform the piece live with as many members of the consortium as possible beginning with a NYC premiere in 2019. Check out David’s WEBSITE and Mike’s reflections on the PROCESS
BREAKDOWN: The money we are raising will go directly the real costs associated with making these projects a reality. None of the donations will go towards administrative or artist fees for Hannah and Mike. We are putting everything towards the following expenses:
- Studio recording costs (rental/tracking/mixing/mastering) for Catharsis backing tracks to be used by all consortium members and for final studio recording of The Emigrant ($4000)
- Percussion equipment rental and transportation for The Emigrants and the first 3 *dwb* performances ($2500)
- Live performance video documentation and post-production for The Emigrants and *dwb* ($1500)
- Travel funding for the 2019 premiere of Catharsis in NYC for NMC + cello ($1500)
- Artist fees for the featured guest musicians performing at The Emigrants premiere on December 8th at Queens Museum ($1200)
- In-ear monitor system to facilitate performance of Catharsis which includes very strict coordination with backing/click tracks ($800)
- Advertising/promotional costs for The Emigrants premiere (print and online) ($500)
Risks and challenges
New Morse Connections is a complex undertaking of multiple projects at once. Our biggest challenges will be keeping all of the parts of the puzzle moving efficiently towards our goal of achieving great performances and worthy documentation of this amazing music. We will also have to work hard to keep communication flow going to ensure that as many people as possible get to connect with these projects, both digitally and in person.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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