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This CD recording project features exciting and engaging piano works written for me by 10 composers on the theme "American Vernacular."
This CD recording project features exciting and engaging piano works written for me by 10 composers on the theme "American Vernacular."
96 backers pledged $4,276 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What:

American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano is a CD project featuring works written for me, and I am so excited to share it with you!  Each composer was given simply the theme "American Vernacular" and left to write a piece. The result is a wonderful and distinctly American melting pot of styles and approaches.  You can read about all of the composers and pieces here www.nicholasphillips.net/american-vernacular, but this is what will be on the CD:

  • Mohammed Fairouz - Piano Miniatures No.10 ("Liberace"), 12, and 13 ("America Never Was America to Me: after Langston Hughes")
  • John Griffin - Playin' and Prayin'
  • Luke Gullickson - Back Porch Requiem for John Fahey
  • Ben Hjertmann - On the Drawing of Constellations
  • David Maslanka - Beloved
  • Mark Olivieri - Spectacular Vernaculars (I. Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires, II. Stella by Sunlight, III. Stakes is Higher)
  • William Price - Southern Prelude
  • Joel Puckett - Billytude
  • David Rakowski - Hotfingers (I. Superfractalistic, II. Growing Season Blues, III. ÉCOUTEZ ET RÉPÉTEZ)
  • Ethan Wickman - Occidental Psalmody

Why:

This project grew from my continued interest in engaging audiences with music of our time, and has given me the opportunity to work with some amazing composers.  I started this Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the funds needed to produce and distribute the CD, which will be released by New Focus Recordings in January, 2014. The money raised will go towards costs incurred from the label, as well as design, duplication, production, and distribution costs.  I've tried to think of rewards at the various levels that you'll enjoy, too, but you're also welcome to just donate towards the project!

The Music:

The pieces written for me include influences from popular musical idioms like jazz, blues, funk, and bebop, as well as work by musical figures like Billy Joel, Ahmad Jamal, and guitarist John Fahey.  One piece draws on Langston Hughes' powerful poem "Let America Be America Again" and another portrays a reverence for the landscape of the American West.  There's more, of course.  Even the well-known tune "Duelin' Banjos," made famous in the movie Deliverance, is re-imagined inside the piano in a piece that includes a hoedown!  This album has something for just about everyone, I think!

Thank you!

Thank you for checking out my project page, and please come back.  I'll be posting updates here, along with audio/video links, as I finish recording during the month of September.  Here is one to start things off: "Stella by Sunlight: hommage à Billie Holiday"

Thank you so much for your support!!

-Nick

Risks and challenges

I have released two CDs prior to this one, and understand all that is involved with the process. I am confident that, if funded, there will be no risks or challenges to seeing this CD released. All of the pieces I have commissioned have been delivered by the composers and learned by me! The recording will be finished (mixed and edited) before this Kickstarter campaign ends. At that point, the only challenge would be if some delay is incurred by the duplication company. This is highly unlikely, given the timeline I have indicated.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Handwritten “thank you," pre-release digital download of one track

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Pre-release digital download of "American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano" album, set of 2 American Vernacular coasters
    **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    American Vernacular coffee mug **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Autographed copy of one of my previous CDs, either "Portals and Passages" OR "Boris Papandopulo: Piano Music" **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Autographed pre-release copy of "American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano" album **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DVD of entire program performed live in recital, acknowledgement of support included in liner notes **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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

    Home recital of selections from the program (venue must be within 250 miles of Eau Claire and include a high-quality baby grand piano [or larger], tuned) **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE**

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

    Home recital of selections from the program anywhere in the continental U.S. (venue must include a high-quality baby grand piano [or larger], tuned) **PLUS ALL OF THE ABOVE, though this recital offer replaces the one with distance limitations**

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Funding period

- (30 days)