Ukes and Kids Song Writing Project: SOUTH AFRICA will bring together local musicians, educators and kids from the Mobile Arts and Entrepreneurship Institute based in Johannesburg to work on a CD of original songs written by kids age 10 to 18 including stories about their lives, their families, their communities including an oral history project full of sound bites from local villages and townships. The students from the Mobile Arts and Entrepreneurship Institute will gather environmental sounds and conduct interviews from their communities as well creating a kind of "sonic snapshot" with the use of portable recorders supplied by the institute. The sounds and interviews will be interspersed in between the kids' songs to tell a musical story of life in these communities.
Why do this? In my years as a music educator and music therapist, I've been blessed with the experience of witnessing first hand the positive impact that music-making has on children and young people. Over the past 10 years, I've created improvisation and song-writing workshops in Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, South Africa, and all throughout New York City with kids ages 5 to 18 and have seen how the collaborative process in music making helps boost a young person's self-esteem, giving them the opportunity to express themselves, be heard, and validate their own unique experiences in life through music!
Now, I hope that the Ukes and Kids Songwriting Project will inspire listeners of all ages from all over the world to not only be a part of this initiative but to create their own songs and make bands, and play together, and create, and inspire. The world can only benefit from music making!
Of note...Dave Soldier of Mulatta Records, based in New York, is going to release the CD in the Fall, so we are super excited about having a label backing this project!! Here is the website for Mulatta so you can check out the great projects they've done http://www.mulatta.org which includes a CD of some of my younger students doing free improvisation all based on a story of an alien invasion. They called themselves the Tangerine Awkestra and the title of the CD is "Aliens Took My Mom!" It's been a classic in New York's downtown improvisation scene for years and the kids who were a part of that project are now young adults and have great memories of the process.
The funds raised here on the Kickstarter will be used for travel, recording equipment, recording and post-production costs of the CD.
We will keep you apprised of the progress of this cool new project and are so grateful for you support in making this dream a reality. The kids and teachers are getting excited and we hope you'll be as well!!
Thank you so much for everything and anything you can do to support - even if it's spreading the word to your community!! Anything helps!
With much gratitude,
Risks and challenges
Working with communities that are in rural areas always poses a challenge in terms of logistics, planning, weather, and communication sometimes. We have a team of educators and administrators from the institute who are acting as liaisons now between teachers and musicians and the community leaders to create a cohesive plan as we go forward in our recording project.
We have the support of a Mulatta Records, however finding the optimal recording situation in these villages may be a challenge. We have several portable digital recording devices and are in discussion with a recording studio based in Johnnesburg. We hope to have the CD mixed by the end of August and ready for production by the end of September but due to available studio time for post production, and the right engineer, it may not be ready until November or December. If that is the case, we will let all our backers know when to expect the CD. The other prizes offered will be delivered as promised as they are not contingent upon physical production of the CD.
- (30 days)