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A surrealist's guide to navigating the dark descent into and out of a dream. Everything is complete except the physical release!
44 backers pledged $1,782 to help bring this project to life.

About

How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box -- debut 2LP project video thumbnail
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$1,782

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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.

Cassette album and booklet prototype
Cassette album and booklet prototype

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.

 "And Ten"

"IV"

 "Biscuits & Gravy"

 

A lyric page from the booklet
A lyric page from the booklet

What's left?

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.

Live performance of In the Black Box
Live performance of In the Black Box

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,

T.S. Woodward

 

 

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    The Sampler

    Digital, pre-release download* of "The Aviary", "And Ten", "IV", "Nocturnal", and "Biscuits & Gravy"

    *Available immediately after campaign ends (applies to all downloads)

    Includes:
    • Sampler Pack - download
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The Automatic

    Digital, pre-release download of How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box

    Includes:
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    The Manual

    Hand typed, 24 page, lithograph printed album booklet with lyrics, music, and underwater photography + pre-release download

    Includes:
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    The Black Box

    Private Youtube link to live performance of In the Black Box + album booklet + pre-release download

    Includes:
    • In the Black Box - video
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    The White Box

    Double cassette box set w/ album booklet + hand typed, signed thank you postcard + video link to live performance of In the Black Box + pre-release download

    Includes:
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • In the Black Box - video
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    The Cousteau

    11 x 16 photographic print from underwater photo shoot + ALL of the above rewards

    Includes:
    • 11 x 16 Underwater Photo Print
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • In the Black Box - video
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    The Collector

    Digital download of Seasides: Unreleased Demo's and Home Recordings + 11 x 17 show poster + ALL of the above rewards

    Includes:
    • Seasides - download
    • 11 x 17 Show Poster
    • 11 x 16 Underwater Photo Print
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • In the Black Box - video
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    The Investor

    Unique 1-minute composition written & recorded especially for you + ALL of the above rewards

    Includes:
    • Unique 1-minute composition - download
    • Seasides - download
    • 11 x 17 Show Poster
    • 11 x 16 Underwater Photo Print
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • In the Black Box - video
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    The Entertainer

    I will play piano at your event/dinner party/BBQ/ kegger/holiday gathering/etc* + ALL of the above

    *Restricted to Athens/Atlanta area, unless you are interested in paying for travel arrangements!

    Includes:
    • A Piano Performance
    • Unique 1-minute composition - download
    • Seasides - download
    • 11 x 17 Show Poster
    • 11 x 16 Underwater Photo Print
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • In the Black Box - video
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    The Local Special

    I will hand deliver you a piano* + ALL of the above rewards

    *Limited to Athens/Atlanta area. I will ensure piano is in good working order and perform any spot tuning if necessary. Additional tuning may be required. Installation and interior design advice included at no charge.

    Includes:
    • A Piano
    • A Piano Performance
    • Unique 1-minute composition - download
    • Seasides - download
    • 11 x 17 Show Poster
    • 11 x 16 Underwater Photo Print
    • Double Cassette Album Box Set
    • 24 Page Lithograph Printed Album Booklet
    • In the Black Box - video
    • Hand Typed/Signed Thank You Postcard
    • How to Breathe Underwater/In the Black Box - download
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Funding period

- (25 days)