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$741 pledged of $40,000 goal
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By Ned Augustenborg
$741 pledged of $40,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

The Ballad of Don Lewis” is the story of a pioneering musician and electronic engineer whose genius and technological vision personified both the creative freedom and the institutional fears that defined the music industry during the 1970s & 80s.

 DON'S STORY

“The Ballad of Don Lewis” is an independently produced documentary about a pioneering multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and electronic engineer who utilized his genius to design and create sounds that have shaped the world’s musical landscape.  

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Don Lewis gained iconic status throughout the San Francisco live music scene while performing with a revolutionary instrument of his own design – LEO (Live Electronic Orchestra)… an innovative cohesion of synthesizers and sound modules which proved to be a decade ahead of its time.  

In addition to performing, Don worked as a sound designer/musician for the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and the Beach Boys. But while his popularity continued to grow, the Musicians Union publicly protested his performances - claiming that Don Lewis was a threat to the future of the Musicians Union because of the technology he so passionately embraced and developed; bringing an end to his career and the instrument he was so inextricably tied to.  

In order to support his family, Don concentrated on an alternative career path, utilizing his skills as a concert artist and voicing programmer for Yamaha and Roland: eventually contributing to the success of such groundbreaking music products as the Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and the Roland TR-808 drum machine.  

Twenty years after Lewis left the limelight, and placed LEO in storage, the two would be reunited and recognized for their historical contributions by “The Museum of Making Music” in Carlsbad, CA – now home to LEO.

“The Ballad of Don Lewis” is the story of an American pioneer as he battled technological and social challenges, while attaining creative fulfillment during music’s most exciting and inspiring era.

Don Lewis and LEO (Live Electronic Orchestra)
Don Lewis and LEO (Live Electronic Orchestra)

NED AUGUSTENBORG, THE FILMMAKER

NED AUGUSTENBORG has produced a wide range of content in the television industry, having produced or directed for ESPN, MSNBC, CNN, The Mountain Sports Network, Canadian Sports Network, Prime Ticket, CNBC and Sports Net. Following his formal education at the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona, Augustenborg began his career in computer animation while collaborating on experimental video projects at the Long Beach Museum of Art Video Annex, followed by producing documentaries on such diverse subjects as the California Department of Corrections, a struggling Los Angeles Latino rock band and the early life of Nobel Prize winner Glenn T. Seaborg. In addition to his freelance production career, Augustenborg also managed several studios for a variety of Cable TV operators throughout Southern California. A recipient of multiple Emmy and CableACE Awards in the categories of Entertainment, Documentary, News and Sports; Augustenborg most recently produced and directed for Time Warner Cable’s newly developed sports channels in Southern California for which he received two Emmy nominations for "Best Live Sports Coverage" in 2014. Currently, Augustenborg is concentrating on the completion of his latest documentary…“The Ballad of Don Lewis”.

Ned Augustenborg on set with Don Lewis
Ned Augustenborg on set with Don Lewis

 WHO'S IN THE FILM?

  • Don Lewis - Musician/Composer/Electronic Engineer  
  • Julie Lewis - Wife/Don Lewis Music Producer  
  • Ikutaro Kakehashi - Roland Founder  
  • Brockett Parsons - Keyboardist for Lady Gaga  
  • Quincy Jones - Composer/Producer  
  • Jerry Jacob - Studio Owner/Labor Negotiator  
  • Bryan Bell - Engineer for Herbie Hancock  
  • Herbie Hancock - Musician/Composer  
  • Carolyn Grant - Director of NAMM Museum of Making Music  
  • Dan Del Fiorentino - NAMM Music Historian  
  • Alan Kay - Computer Scientist/Inventor  
  • John Chowning - Musician/Composer/Inventor of Digital FM Synthesis
  • Gary Leuenberger - Musician/Sound Designer  
  • Dave Smith - Sequential Circuits Founder/Designer of Prophet-6  
  • Richard Bates - Electronic Engineer  
  • Fred Catero - CBS Sound Engineer  
  • Robert G. Hulteng - Trial Attorney  
  • Susan Mazer - Jazz/Symphonic Harpist  
  • Mark Vail - Author “The Synthesizer”

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:

As we are getting closer to getting the film released, we urgently need to raise US$40,000 to finish the film, for legal requirements and to launch our marketing campaign. The money we will raise will enable us to get the following done: Color correction,  Sound Mix,  Legal,  Publicist,  Licensing and royalties,  E&O Insurance, Marketing and advertising,  International Film Festivals, VOD/DVD Distribution

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS AND BACKERS AND FANS! 

If you'd like to know more and be part of our community, please follow THE BALLAD OF DON LEWIS on Facebook and Instagram!

#THEBALLADOFDONLEWIS

Risks and challenges

We’re happy to share that there will be minimal risks here–
The film is close to being done and the majority of the budget is meant for marketing and promotion.

Of course, there could be delays with delivering the rewards but if such thing happen we will be completely transparent about our progress and keep everyone in the loop through our updates.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    PLEASE READ - AWARDS DESCRIPTION

    Each Reward Level is a component of DON LEWIS' LEO (Live Electronic Orchestra).
    The highest reward being named after LEO itself.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PRE-ORDER THE FILM ("VCO reward")

    VCO = VOLTAGE CONTROL OSCILLATOR.

    Found in ARP 2600’s, Oberheim SEMs, ARP Pro-soloist, Promars, Jupiter 4. There are 18 VCO’s in LEO’s Synthesizers!

    Because you are making waves and generating sound, you’ll receive:

    OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE
    +
    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FILM

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE EG REWARD

    EG = ENVELOPE GENERATOR.

    Found in ARP 2600’s, Oberheim SEMs, ARP Pro-soloist, Promars, Jupiter 4.
    Altogether LEO has 24!
    For your part in providing the attack, decay, sustain, release (ADSR), you’ll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE VCO PACKAGE
    +
    YOUR NAME ON THE WEBSITE

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    THE VCF REWARD

    VCF = VOLTAGE CONTROL FILTER.

    Found in ARP 2600’s, Oberheim SEMs, ARP Pro-soloist, Promars, Jupiter 4.
    LEO has 12!
    Because you are refining the VCO waves and refining them, you’ll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE EG PACKAGE
    +
    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE OFFICIAL POSTER

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE VCA REWARD

    VCA = VOLTAGE CONTROL AMPLIFIERS.

    ARP 2600’s, Oberheim SEMs, ARP Pro-soloist, Promars, Jupiter 4.
    If it weren’t for you, there would be no sound! Each voice has one so that’s a total of 14!

    You will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE VCF PACKAGE
    +
    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF DON LEWIS' VINTAGE LEO ALBUM "TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY"

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE PATCH CORDS REWARD

    Used for programing the ARP 2600’s & Oberheim SEM’s these patch cords bring the VCO’s, VCF’s, and EG’s all together! For helping us bring the film together you will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE VCA PACKAGE
    +
    YOUR NAME IN THE FILM CREDITS

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE DIGITAL CHORUS REWARD

    How do you fatten up the sound? To the rescue: Roland Digital Chorus!

    You will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    THE OFFICIAL POSTER AUTOGRAPHED BY NED AUGUSTENBORG & DON LEWIS

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE SPACE ECHO REWARD

    Can you HEAR HEAR HEAR HEAR HEAR... the echo in the music? It sounds so SPACEY SPACEY SPACEY SPACEY SPACEY... ! Don used this for vocal effects and sound effects in his shows. Definitely one of our favorite features on LEO!
    You will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    AN AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO OF DON LEWIS AND LEO

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE OBERHEIM SEM REWARD

    LEO has 4 OBERHEIM SEM's. Each SEM could be played simultaneously and provided a different section in the Live Electronic Orchestra (LEO).

    You will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF MARK VAIL'S BOOK "THE SYNTHESIZER"

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    THE ROLAND JUPITER 4 REWARD

    Don Lewis consulted on and created original sound design for Roland on the Jupiter 4.
    Roland’s first 4 note polyphonic keyboard. On LEO the JP-4 provided arpeggios, synchronized rhythm from the TR-808 and synced “chord comping.”

    You will receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    A SIGNED COPY OF MARK VAIL'S BOOK "THE SYNTHESIZER"

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE ARP 2600 REWARD

    LEO has 2 ARP 2600s.
    Did you know that Don Lewis played ARP 2600’s at the 1972 NAMM Show in Chicago? Of all the sounds he programmed, thunder and lightening were his favorites!

    You'll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    A LIMITED RELEASE DVD OF THE FILM WITH EXCLUSIVE BONUS FOOTAGE

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE ARP PRO-SOLOIST REWARD

    Sometimes you just need some soul that comes from bending the pitch with “after touch.” The electronics of the Pro-soloist were interfaced with the bottom Hammond keyboard from middle C on up and could switch or be layered with the organ and synthesizer. Kudos to Richard Bates, LEO Project Engineer, for designing the interface!

    You'll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    AN EXCLUSIVE AND LIMITED RELEASE GICLEE ILLUSTRATION OF THE FILM BY NED AUGUSTENBORG

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE PEDAL KEYBOARD REWARD

    25 pedals covered in chrome these custom pedals are powered by the HAMMOND CONCORDE and the ROLAND PROMARS for that funky sound!

    You'll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE ARP 2600 PACKAGE
    +
    GUIDED TOUR FOR TWO OF THE MUSUEM OF MAKING MUSIC IN CARLSBAD WHERE LEO IS EXHIBITED

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    THE VOCODER REWARD

    VOCODER VP-330 (Voice Activated Keyboard).
    Don Lewis’s funky, soulful, gospel backup choir “The Missionary Baptist Church Choir all the way from Osaka, Japan!” Choir robes not included! This is another instrument that Don Lewis consulted on with Roland.
    For providing that soulful gospel choir, you’ll receive:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    A 30MIN EXCLUSIVE SKYPE Q&A SESSION WITH THE DIRECTOR NED AUGUSTENBORG

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE HAMMOND CONCORDE REWARD

    Don Lewis was a concert artist and engineering consultant for Hammond Organ Company. In LEO, the Concorde organ provides the rich drawbar and piano sounds in the mix and also provides bright wave forms to the ARP 2600’s. For those rich jazzy and gospel instrumentals, you deserve:

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE PATCH CORDS PACKAGE
    +
    A 30MIN EXCLUSIVE SKYPE Q&A SESSION WITH DON LEWIS TO DISCUSS LEO, ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS, OR OTHER QUESTIONS.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    THE TR-808 REWARD

    Don always had an interest in rhythm units from the time when he modified the Acetone FR-2L  rhythm and became good friends with Ikutaro Kakehashi (founder of Roland.)  From that moment, eventually the TR-808 was born with the Roland design team led by Tadao Kikumoto and with input from Don.  If you don’t know about the TR-808, you should google it!  It’s iconic!!!

    You'll receive:
    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE ARP 2600 PACKAGE
    +
    2 INVITATIONS TO THE MOVIE PREMIERE AND OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION IN NORTHERN OR IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    THE LEO REWARD

    Congratulations! You have completed LEO!
    You have won :

    EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THE ARP 2600 PACKAGE
    +
    ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP TO CALIFORNIA
    +
    LUNCH WITH NED AUGUSTENBORG AND DON LEWIS
    +
    PRIVATE TOUR OF LEO

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