Who am I?
My name is T.S. Woodward and I'm a self-taught songwriter, pianist and performer from Athens, GA.
In 2015 I completed production of a 56 minute double album of original, experimental pop music entitled How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box. Collectively, these sixteen tracks flow into one another seamlessly from start to finish, forming a revolving tableau of phantasmagoric imagery, characters, and landscapes. Separately, they are explorations on seeking; hazy recollections of places which can only exist in the twilight between sleep and sleeplessness; a swirling, shifting no man's land populated by the specters of memory and ambition; a surrealist's guide to navigating the dark descent into and out of a dream.
I'm here now to raise money to release this, my artistic debut, in a limited edition double cassette box set which includes a 24 page, lithograph printed booklet of hand typed lyrics, underwater photography, and a digital download of both albums.
How did I get here?
I wrote, performed, recorded, and produced the majority of these two albums over the course of my studies in Popular Music Composition at the University of Georgia from 2013 - 2015. I created this unique major, which combines Music Composition, Creative Writing and Music Business, in 2012 after I was denied admittance into UGA's Hugh Hodgson School of Music due to my self taught nature and lack of classical training. Ironically, by taking this alternate route, I was able to gain 24-hour access to the school and the electronic music studios, performance halls, and reverberous stairwells which are housed within it, thus enabling me to produce and mix the record of my dreams.
What is this?
When I say "double album" I mean it literally. How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box contains two distinctly different works in terms of production, execution and content. Namely, one was recorded in the studio, piece by piece, over the course of a year, while the other was recorded live, in one take, before an audience. Where they are similar, is that both were largely conceived of, performed and recorded at UGA under the auspices of my studies in Popular Music Composition.
How To Breathe Underwater is comprised of a collage of four "pop" songs followed by five electronic compositions, the arrangements of which are conceptually based on recurring dreams of drowning and subsequently learning to breathe underwater. Similarly, In the Black Box is also a collage of four pop songs, this time broken up by three instrumental interludes that echo the passages of night and day in sound, theme, and texture. Together, these two seemingly separate works offer the listener a holistic view into my world by showcasing my artistic vision both in the studio, as a producer and composer, and on the stage, as a performer and band leader.
"Biscuits & Gravy"
Throughout this project, I've been lucky to have had the support of many of the most creative, talented, and generous people I know: all of the musicians and engineers who worked on the albums, my UGA professors and employers, friends and family, everyone who attended my exit show, the photographers and scuba divers who nearly drowned for the album art, designer Rob Dellenback, and especially Dominar Films. Thanks to them, every element of the album, from mastering to design is complete. All I have left to do is pay for the duplication of cassettes, their packaging, and the printing of the booklets with download codes. Here's a breakdown of the costs your donation will go towards:
Physical Packaging - Cassettes, album boxes, labels
Album Booklet - Printing of the complimenting literature and photographs
Compensation - For those who have been kind enough to work with me on speculation. Dominar Films has been a huge part of helping me make this project possible. From the underwater photo shoot, to filming and editing my exit show performance, to making my first music video and much, much more. I have been able to partially compensate them, but if this Kickstarter is successful I will be able to properly thank them for all their hard work.
As you can tell, much time and effort has gone into putting these albums together, and I'm almost there. I have the final product ready for the printing press but I need your help to get it there and back. To this point, I've saved and invested my own capital into this project in order to move it forward each step of the way. Now, with your help, we can finish this thing together.
Thank you for your time and support,
Risks and challenges
Since I'm releasing this independently, the only foreseeable risk here is that I fall terribly ill or am maimed and/or killed in an accident. In this unfortunate event I have arranged for my dear friend and colleague, Taylor Chicoine of Perfect Attendance Records to help finish the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)