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Violist Jonah Sirota asked 7 composers to write pieces for cellphone-in-the-toilet-grade everyday losses.  STRONG SAD is the result.
Violist Jonah Sirota asked 7 composers to write pieces for cellphone-in-the-toilet-grade everyday losses. STRONG SAD is the result.
136 backers pledged $13,573 to help bring this project to life.

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$13,573

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We lose things every day--cell phones, keys, old parts of ourselves we've outgrown. Sometimes we lose big things, but more often they are small. There needs to be a soundtrack for the little losses. That's STRONG SAD.

I asked seven incredible composers to write little elegies to those daily moments of loss, and I also wrote one myself. To help us move on, to help us grow, to help us be happy.

As a culture, we have become slaves to unexamined optimism. The greatest philosophers tell us how crucial it is to find ways to be thankful, experiencing the small joys within life every day. Yet it is not forced optimism and the mindless pursuit of pleasure that bring this satisfying contentment. We have lost track of ways to make sadness a part of our healthy emotional landscape. We hurry along, wishing to get from one positive experience to the next, and filling in our blank time with screens. We don’t want to be alone with ourselves. I am basically a happy individual, but have discovered that nurturing this emotional state requires me to spend quite a bit of my time being sad. Sad is such a negative word in our culture, it connotes a “loser,” itself a stigmatized word. We are losing things constantly, our loved ones, our lost opportunities, our present moments passed by. Yet it is often in our losses that our greatest selves emerge. Loser indeed! Why and what are we so afraid of losing? Truthfully, what may seem like weakness is what gives us extraordinary strength.

STRONG SAD is an album of newly-composed elegies for the viola. The elegy as a musical form has often found a home in the plaintive middle-register voice of the viola. The viola tugs at our core, and makes us aware of our inner landscape. On the STRONG SAD recording, instead of the big catastrophes, the viola will mourn the small, everyday losses. While some of these works may refer to lost friends and loved ones, this project will reaffirm that mourning is too important to save only for funerals, and that sadness, when given a chance to breathe, can be our best path to deep and lasting joy.

With your help, the STRONG SAD album will be released in June on National Sawdust Tracks. The digital version will have 8 tracks, each by a different composer:

Kurt Knecht and Jonah Sirota (Mondegreen): CURRENTly

Valgeir Sigur∂sson: Nebraska

Rodney Lister: Quodlibet

Jonah Sirota: When You Lose You Win

A.J. McCaffrey: Here Come The Waterworks

Paola Prestini: Vento e Sole

Robert Sirota: Elegy for a Lost World

Nico Muhly: Lean

The album also features guest performances by violist Nadia Sirota (Jonah's sister) as well as pianist Molly Morkoski.

Each one of these pieces was newly created for this project. Recording started in Lincoln, Nebraska in June of 2016, and was completed in Reykjavik, Iceland in November of 2017.

Your support will go towards paying these eight composers for their spectacular creations; for the performers on the album; for the recording, mixing, and mastering of the album; and for the final artwork and disc manufacturing. We can't wait to share this music with you.

Thank you for your love and for bringing this music to a world that needs it.

 <3<3<3 

Jonah

Risks and challenges

This project is very close to completion. The music is recorded and is in the production pipeline. More than two-thirds of the funding has been secured. The album is contracted for release on National Sawdust Tracks in June of 2018. Final funding for the composers and mixing and mastering is the final step, and you can help make this project come alive!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Jonah Sirota Performer-Composer Tracks

    Digital download of original compositions by Jonah Sirota and Mondegreen (Jonah Sirota and Kurt Knecht) from the STRONG SAD album.

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    STRONG SAD Digital Download

    Pre-order the digital download of the entire STRONG SAD album.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    STRONG SAD Limited-Edition Vinyl L.P.

    Pre-order the limited-edition Vinyl L.P. of the STRONG SAD album, including a free digital download. Limited to the first 75 backers.

    Includes:
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    Signed STRONG SAD Vinyl L.P.

    Pre-order a signed copy of the limited-edition vinyl STRONG SAD L.P., including a free digital download.

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    Signed L.P. plus press short-run CD

    Pre-order a signed copy of the limited-edition vinyl STRONG SAD L.P., plus a short-run press C.D. and a free digital download.

    Includes:
    • STRONG SAD album digital download
    • Signed STRONG SAD limited-edition vinyl L.P.
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    Your name in the STRONG SAD L.P. notes

    Thank you acknowledgement in L.P. liner notes.

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    • Signed STRONG SAD limited-edition vinyl L.P.
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Two signed STRONG SAD L.P.s

    Thank you acknowledgement in L.P. liner notes, and:

    Includes:
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    • STRONG SAD album digital download
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    Contributing Producer

    Listing in the L.P. liner notes as a contributing producer.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Tickets to a Premiere Performance

    Two tickets to one of the premiere performances for the STRONG SAD project (more details soon), and listing as a contributing producer.

    Includes:
    • Two tickets to a premiere performance of STRONG SAD.
    • STRONG SAD album digital download
    • Signed STRONG SAD limited-edition vinyl L.P.
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    VIP Post-concert Event with Jonah Sirota

    Attend a post-concert VIP event at a premiere performance for STRONG SAD (more details soon), and listing as a lead producer, plus four signed copies of the LP.

    Includes:
    • Two tickets to a premiere performance of STRONG SAD.
    • STRONG SAD album digital download
    • Signed STRONG SAD limited-edition vinyl L.P.
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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Private Concert for up to 30 Guests

    All of the above (VIP event, two tickets to the premiere, and listing as a Lead Producer), plus a concert for up to 30 guests at a location of your choosing.

    Includes:
    • STRONG SAD album digital download
    • Signed STRONG SAD limited-edition vinyl L.P.
    • Two tickets to a premiere performance of STRONG SAD.
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Funding period

- (40 days)