While Quakers today might not seem like such a radical group, the Early Friends were a controversial bunch whose shenanigans often landed them in prison or worse.
When researching the Early Quakers for my 2006 album about the 17th century British origins of the movement, I uncovered (so to speak) some stories of Quakers taking off their clothes and running through the streets naked. (!)
Last year my memory was jogged when my friend Maggie wrote a research paper for the Earlham School of Religion, specifically on "going naked as a sign". Upon reading Maggie's research, I found that the theology behind going naked as as sign is not only worth exploring, but also brings into question some of the ways we are living our lives today. Her paper became the launching point for my newest collection of songs, Clothe Yourself in Righteousness .
Clothe Yourself in Righteousness
As it turns out, the Early Friends' reasoning for "going naked as a sign" challenges some of the fundamentals of our culture:
o What are some of the ways that we hide behind titles, professions, material possessions, etc?
o Why do we create barriers between ourselves and the world?
o What are the risks and rewards of making yourself plain and exposed?
These questions easily inspired an entire album of really strong songwriting, and I'm READY to record the songs! This is so exciting!
But first I need some help from you!!
Why am I Asking for Money?
"Clothe Yourself in Righteousness" has come to me as an ambitious multimedia project. I am psyched to record the songs in the clearest, most powerful way that I can without compromising the power and focus of the subject matter. After tallying the total budget, exhausting my grant opportunities and my (none-too-impressive) bank account, I realized that I'm going to need some help if it's going to be done right.
I would like you to consider whether you're in a position to help fund the project. In the sidebar you'll see that, if you support it, I'll get you back with goodies... from advanced downloads to a free show, mixes and songs written just for you, any donation over $10 wins you a sweet prize!
Kickstarter.com is helping to facilitate the funding of my album, but it's a double edged sword... if I don't manage to raise $4,000 by November 30th, no credit cards get charged and we're back to square one! (And nobody gets any goodies!!)
Why am I only asking for $4,000 if the total cost is $10,000?
Kickstarter doesn't charge your credit card unless we raise the goal by November 30th, so I'm trying to be realistic. I have exhausted the list of Quaker granting organizations, and still 9/10's of the project is left unfunded (though I'm still waiting on one application). However... kickstarter has no restrictions on how far we go beyond the goal! So let's focus on making 4,000 by November 30th and, for the sake of optimism, tell everyone you know and maybe we can fully fund the project right here!!
When Will the Album be Released?
If we pull this off, Kickstarter pays out on November 30th. I am prepared to begin production the following day. And there is a lot to be done! Release date should be mid-Spring, 2011.
Can't Contribute? You Can Still Help!
If you can't chip in, there's still plenty you can do to help! The biggest thing is to spread the word! Tell your friends and family about this project. Encourage them to contribute. I only need 800 people to contribute $5 to meet the goal, or 400 folks to contribute $10, or 100 to chip in $40, etc. The more people know about it, the better!
It's Up to You
When I was finishing my senior year at Guilford College, I had the vision that I might create a vocation out of the music that I was writing. At the time, it seemed like a silly and unattainable dream.
I wake up every day astonished and grateful to have traveled this far into a music career founded upon such a non-traditional subject matter. While I wouldn't quite say that I am comfortable, I love what I do. It is because of the generosity, interest and excitement of folks like you that I have been able to do it. Thank you, deeply and sincerely.
- (30 days)