About this project
Up From The Bitterroot
Last year I spent the month of January out in the woods of Montana's Bitterroot Valley, writing songs, practicing, and keeping a daily dream journal. For three weeks I wrote a song every day, Monday-Friday. The best of those songs have become the center-piece for this album, my first full-length release as a song-writer.
I spent February through August workshopping, re-writing, revising, and completing the material. At the end of August I went into the studio with a quartet of some of my favorite musicians and people, and we tracked all the songs live together. Then I brought everything to my basement studio and spent another few months recording vocals, percussion, guitars, and adding other touches to the arrangements. I'm currently doing the final mixes, with mastering to come later this month!
For those of you who have known and supported my work as a violinist, improviser, and composer for the past decade, this record will reveal a new facet, but you will hear in these folk songs the imprint of the idiosyncratic voice I've spent these years cultivating. This project also represents a homecoming for me to my first artistic passion, which was the English language. Discovering how to allow the texts of these songs to take center stage has been a great source of joy throughout this process. Even as my fiddle takes on a supporting roll here, I'm happy to be able to say that I'm doing some of the best violin playing of my life on this record. You'll also hear this ensemble playing together with more of the spontaneity and sense of adventure that I've always fostered in my bands.
So, the compositions, texts, and arrangements have been labored over, the recordings are almost ready to go-- All the pieces are coming together.
The music has blossomed well beyond my expectations, and I am determined to give it a proper release. But that demands resources that I do not have. So... here we are!
The base goal is $5,000.
But the more I raise, the further I'll be able to take this project. Although the music is done, there are many costs still ahead to bring the music into the world. They include:
Mastering -- $500
Artwork & Physical Re-production -- $1,500
Publicity -- $3000
As an independent artist with no distribution network beyond the internet, the only way for me to establish myself and reach new people in a significant way is by touring. A lot of it. I've got the tunes, I've got the record, now I've got to get out and and take them to the people. Having an ambitious tour to promote is also an essential component of allowing the publicist to do his job by giving journalists something to talk about. In the medium-to-long term this will be a source of income, but at the beginning I need to be able to risk touring at a loss to lay the groundwork for the future. So essentially, the more I raise in this kickstarter campaign, the more ambitious I can be as I lay out my travel schedule for summer and fall. The more shows I play, the more people find out about the music, the further it can go.... And then before too long, make another even better record. It is a virtuous cycle that just needs a little push to get going!
Thank you for reading this far, and thank you-- with all my heart-- for listening. Your faith, encouragement, and support mean the world to me! Any amount you can contribute will help move this project across the finish line, out of the basement, and into the glorious sunshine where it longs to be.
Dana Lyn, viola, violin, piano.
Liam Robinson, accordion, piano.
Ilusha Tsinadze, guitar, banjo.
Skye Steele, voices, violin, guitar, drums, percussion.
Chris Lightcap, contrabass.
Mathias Kunzli, drums.
Mike Lavalle, drums.
Mixing by: Mike Lavalle
Produced by: Skye Steele with Mike Lavalle.
Live sessions produced by Ben Cassorla.
Recorded by Peter Karl and Skye Steele and Andrew Brody.
photo by Jesse Deflorio
video shot by Ilusha Tsinadze
Risks and challenges
Did I mention that the record is reallllly nearly done? At this point it would take a quite catastrophic event to prevent its completion. It is not impossible some that unforseen professional development may arise to push the official release date into the fall, but this would not affect the completion of the project or the distribution of rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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