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Laura Gragtmans is making an album.
177 backers pledged $7,132 to help bring this project to life.

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HUG THE LONELY CACTUS - Laura Gragtmans' Debut Album project video thumbnail
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$7,132

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A letter from Laura

Dear All,

Hug the Lonely Cactus has been in my dreams, at the tips of my fingers, glowing around my loved ones, circling for a while now. Circling. Five years ago, I sat at one of the many clunky but constant pianos in a classroom at the Yale School of Drama. I was in my 2nd year, the most exhausting of the three for MFA acting students. I was in a class of 15 and a school of hundreds who were in continuous collaboration with and among each other. Finding a tucked away piano was often the only time I had to be alone, it was my vehicle for reflection - acting notes came in, music notes came out. It was an artistically rich and deeply nurturing time, where I learned to be fed by my surroundings, by my environment. I would soon find, however, that in fact what I needed to unlock my wilder and braver imagination, was a drought; a desert in which to plant strong, slow, painstaking roots. 

After school, I moved to New York City to join the ranks of my peers in the big bad apple. I fumbled into the reality of commercial art and slowly began the trudge of survival lived by so many artists there. It was in that first year, and more specifically within the bleak habitat of that first long New York winter, that my drought came. But, what seemed at the time like a barren wasteland, a void of creativity, was in fact a slow downward growth toward an unforeseen reservoir.

And now, at last, it's time to share. I begin work to record and produce this album. It is a gathering and an offering of the music I have written over the past five years, and I cannot tell you how excited, scared and ready I am. I record in December for three days at a beautiful studio that's been gifted to me by a dear friend, and will be raising funds in order to pay for equipment and production needs, as well as to fairly compensate the artists that have already given so much of their time and talents. It is with these artists that I now push through the glass ceiling of my own trepidation and musical limitations. It is with them that I am able to hold out my hand and open it.

Hug the Lonely Cactus will include some old music and some new. I'll be playing the piano, the ukulele, and singing so very much - with myself on my loop station, and with others, many others. I'll also be joined by two or three instrumental musicians. Oh, happy day! And so, the circling continues, perhaps it always will. Mr. Rilke once said, "I have been circling for thousands of years, and I still don't know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?" Onwards.

I humbly ask that you'll join me as I embark on this journey and as we all, once again, head back into winter. Much is in store.

Love, 

 The music

 The funds

The money raised via Kickstarter will go to:

  • Paying all of the artists, engineers, and staff a fair wage. The team for this album will be about 15 people and we're committed to paying them.
  • Recording equipment.
  • Design of the physical album.
  • Rehearsal space.
  • Production of the album.
  • Marketing and promotional costs.

Risks and challenges

Besides the general terror I have in the face of putting work out there for all to see, the greatest risk in creating Hug the Lonely Cactus ultimately comes down to one fact: I have never made an album before. Ah! The learning curve has and continues to be quite sharp, and rising to the occasion is all that can be done. This will be a process of growth both artistically and logistically. It is in the logistics that the challenges have begun to reveal themselves. Making an album is 1) VERY COMPLICATED - there are more moving parts than I ever imagined, and 2) VERY EXPENSIVE - equipment and man-hours are absolutely necessary for full production, and neither is cheap (which is good, because that means quality equipment, and a knowledgable production team). I've gathered a tremendous group of people together to tackle this endeavor - it eases my terror a little in regards to the risks. With the challenges, however, I need a little more help - I would appreciate your contributions a great deal. And I truly cannot wait to share this record with you.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A BIG THANK YOU AND ALL OUR LOVE

    So much love.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    YOU GET THE MUSIC

    Upon release, you receive a digital master of Hug the Lonely Cactus!

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    92 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    TICKET TO PRE-RECORDING CONCERT IN NOVEMBER 2015

    Everything above and a ticket to an awesome party and concert with Laura and some other stellar musicians.

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    24 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A VIDEO OF LAURA SINGING IN A CACTUS COSTUME

    Everything above and Laura will send you a personalized video of her singing a thank you song to you in a homemade cardboard cactus costume.

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    25 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    LAURA SINGS THANK YOU LIVE IN A CACTUS COSTUME

    Everything above and Laura will sing a short verse of thanks to YOU live at the Pre-Recording Party in November 2015 in her homemade cardboard cactus costume. If you're not there, we'll send you video evidence!

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    14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A LOOP COVER OF YOUR FAVORITE SONG

    Everything above and Laura will create a loop cover of the song of your choosing and send you a digital recording.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SIGNED CD WITH ALBUM ART AND HAND WRITTEN LYRICS

    Everything above and you get a physical copy of the CD once its released that includes album art and handwritten lyrics by Laura.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    LAURA WRITES YOU AN ORIGINAL SONG

    Everything above and instead of a loop cover, Laura will create an original song inspired by you.

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

    LAURA SINGS FOR YOU

    Everything above (your choice of an original song or loop cover) and a private acoustic set performed by Laura.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Wow. Thank you. Laura and her team are truly overwhelmed by your generosity. You receive everything listed above as well as an executive producer credit on the album.

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Funding period

- (32 days)