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An album of story songs, conversation songs, exploring the interconnectedness of life, of thoughts, of the stones, birds, and beasts.
221 backers pledged $9,334 to help bring this project to life.

About

All the Luminous Things: A New Album from Jen Zimberg project video thumbnail
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$9,334

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The Story

There’s something to be said about the way things stay with you while life continues on. The magic of a children’s camp in the woods of Wisconsin, the dance of birds in sunlight… In stillness and in movement these images lead us into the hidden aspects of the world. They teach us the meaning in the small things, and that everything that surrounds us has something to offer. 

I’ve been writing songs since I was a senior in high school. We had to do senior projects and I chose songwriting as mine. It wasn’t comfortable and my voice was pretty shaky, but it lit a spark in me. And over the years since, I’ve found again and again the necessity of sharing the music I’m working on. I’d ask friends to sit on the couch for a second and listen while I played a song I’d just written. I always look to get another person’s ears on it, letting their light and perspective wash through me and help give shape to the song. Sometimes though, I’ve felt torn in the process, because I didn’t always know why I needed another person’s ears on the song and I wasn’t a person who loved performing or standing on a stage.

Still, I stood in the work, recording an EP and performing for larger audiences. I started to see I needed not just people’s ears on it, but what they brought of themselves to the song and space through their listening. Through this process, I’m learning that songs aren’t truly alive until they get more depth and clarity through other people’s perspectives. A concert is a collaboration; an album is too. My hope for this album, All the Luminous Things, is that the songs will continue to do their work, helping us to experience life’s hidden moments of beauty and weight, of loneliness as well as joy-filled connection. 

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The Project

I have a body of songs that form a whole, painting pictures of conversations and stories around places of light, when something shines through from under the surface of our everyday experiences. 

Some examples of the conversations represented in this body of work:

  • The Fox and the Little Prince conversing about their newfound friendship
  • The small quiet voice that speaks with you when you've lost your way
  • Leonard Cohen’s conversations with inspiration
  • Joan of Arc singing from her imprisonment
  • God asking Michelangelo about his artistic process
  • The voices of stones and birds and beasts that call us back from loneliness

I am grateful to be able to ask for your help to record and release these songs. Any amount you can give is significant, and gets the project one step closer to the goal of 200 backers. Thank you for supporting and for spreading the word.

Goal: 200 backers / $9200

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The Plan

Erin McKeown has generously agreed to produce the album and I'm thrilled to work together again. Erin produced Arrow Up, my first recording. Until the end of January we will work on pre-production: looking at the songs, fine-tuning them, seeing what kind of sound room we will create for them in the recording process. We will record in January with Colleen Clark engineering. We will set up the gear in a large, resonant space and work for a few days to capture the sounds and space of these songs as intimate conversations in a large room.

  • Pre-production: November and December
  • Recording: January 2019
  • Release: May 2019

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The Budget

I've applied for a grant from Club Passim's Iguana Fund in order to work with other musicians to fill out the sound for these songs with strings and brass. If the grant is not awarded, I will either seek out a loan to make it possible or forego the additional instrumentation.

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The Rewards

I am grateful to call many gifted visual artists my friends and colleagues. In thanks for your donation supporting this project, you will receive a card featuring a drawing or a painting of an animal, fit for framing or for sending to a friend. 

You will also receive a digital download of All the Luminous Things and, above $15, a CD as well.* Should you only wish to receive a digital download, you can choose the $1 reward no matter how much you donate. 

Thank you for your generosity and support.

*In the rewards survey I will check in about how many CDs you wish to receive: $15 for one CD, $30 for two, $40 for three.

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Risks and challenges

The album is an important part of a larger work that includes touring regionally and working in schools. So were something to disrupt my current timeline, I would still get the album done so that I can continue with this work. Of course it's possible an unforeseen event could in some way delay the recording, but in that case I would communicate with all of you and let you know the situation and when you could expect to receive the album. Currently, I have no reason to expect any delays.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Beetle Card by Kristelle Esterhuizen

    You will receive a Beetle Card by Kristelle Esterhuizen + a digital download of All the Luminous Things

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    27 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Fox Card by Sara Parrilli + CD

    You will receive a Fox Card by Sara Parrilli + a digital download + a CD of All the Luminous Things

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    55 backers
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    Colt Card by Seth Jordan + CD

    You will receive a Colt Card by Seth Jordan + a digital download + a CD of All the Luminous Things

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    Elephant Card by Laura Summer + CD

    You will receive an Elephant Card by Laura Summer + a digital download + a CD of All the Luminous Things

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    23 backers
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    Deer Card by Ella Lapointe + CD

    You will receive a Deer Card by Ella Lapointe + a digital download + a CD of All the Luminous Things

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    Couger Card by Nathaniel Williams + CD

    You will receive a Couger Card by Nathaniel Williams + a digital download + a CD of All the Luminous Things

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Funding period

- (30 days)