Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 15, 2011.

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Pierre Miller is producing an album of original solo piano compositions and an album of standard classical piano repertoire.

UPDATE, 10/31/11: 

I was on the CBS evening news last friday night in an article about pianos! Look here!

Hello Everyone,

I've contacted many of you a few days ago about The Sinking of Venice, this fundraising campaign. Several of you have made donations, and will receive your rewards as soon as they are available. 

I know how hard you must have worked for the money you earn, and I appreciate every single dollar that you've contributed. If this campaign is successful, I will be eternally grateful to you, and if it's not, I can't begin to express the satisfaction and confidence you've brought in showing (with your hard-earned dollars) that this music is actually worthwhile. The value of your support is immeasurable.

Most specifically, I've gotten wonderful feedback about one of the newest pieces from the album, my Rhapsody in B flat Minor. I want to extend my hand and offer you all a download of that piece of music–absolutely free.

The piece is actually a hodgepodge of a few ideas I had rattling around in a notebook for a number of months. It's six and a half minutes long, and I guarantee you'll love it. I've played it for dozens of people, and almost everyone had an instantly positive reaction. (One person was a fuddy-duddy and the other was listening with closed ears.)

You can find a download link for the song here:

http://www.pierremiller.net/CompositionPages/Rhapsody.html

Once again, thank you for your time and attention, and please, if the spirit moves you, make a donation!

What is this project?

Just like the description says, I am raising money to:

1. Record, produce and distribute an electronic and hard copy album of me playing my own solo piano compositions. (April 2012)

2. Produce an album of me playing works from the standard repertoire to be used in music competitions and other auditions. (May 2012)

Both albums will be available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. 

What is Kickstarter? If I make a donation, will it be safe?

Kickstarter uses a brand of funding that is all-or-nothing. If the goal isn't met on time (In this case, by November 15), then everyone's money is refunded. If it is met, then everyone is billed. Because you make donations through Amazon, the integrity of the site has the strength of them behind it, so I think your donations are very safe. For more info, go here.

Who are you, what the hell is this and what are you trying to do?

Watch the video!

What will the money go towards?

Hall rental, equipment purchase, recording, editing and engineering costs, videography, licensing fees, manufacture of CDs.

What's on these albums?

The first album, which I'm tentatively titling "THE SINKING OF VENICE", after one of the pieces, is a compilation of my best piano compositions. Most of the pieces were composed in the last few years and represent my highest quality work and best show my personal style. A couple, however, are much older than this, and I'm including them because after all these years, I still enjoy them, I've been requested to play them by audiences and they always, always bring down the house.

  • Transcription of “Maneater” by Hall & Oates (4’).
  • Transcription of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars (4’).
  • La Scarlatine (3’). The first of my “concert studies”. This piece explores the idea of lightning production, from the initial buildup of electrostatic charge to the strike. Fast, mesmerizing. Builds until the conclusion.
  • Elegy (3’). The one movement worth playing from my Opus 1 sonata, "Immature Piano Sonata in Several Unrelated Keys". It takes a lot of inspiration from Chopin's E minor prelude, but goes in a completely different direction. Slow, sad.
  • The Sinking of Venice (18’). A modified passacaglia exploring a bottomless, cyclical theme. I used every compositional device I could think of to sustain the mood without distorting the theme or diluting its character. Ominous, passionate, hostile, obsessive. Has a lush, romantic central interlude and closes with a savage and violent march.
  • Rhapsody in B Flat Minor (6’). A running, meditative piece which has a fleeting, minimalist, new age feel. My tightest, most readily appealing composition to date. (Featured on the video.)
  • The Persistence of Memory (12’). Originally for piano and string orchestra, this piece was inspired by the Salvador Dali painting of the same name. Vacillating between great warmth and icy emotionality, this piece captures the surrealist spirit of watches melting in vast, faceless surroundings.
  • Intermezzo in A Minor (7’). A slow, ruminative take on a haunting, lullaby-like theme with an explosive central section, a breathless climax and a yearning, wistful coda. Poignant at outset, bittersweet ending.
  • Andante, Variations and Fugue in C Sharp Minor*. (Unfinished)

The second album, "Audition Album" is going to be used in applying to music competitions. It will include:

  • A Beethoven Sonata
  • Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach
  • Studies by Rachmaninoff or Liszt
  • A work by Brahms
  • A work by Chopin

(Forgive me for being vague about the repertoire; this music is going to be used in competitions and it just wouldn't do to have one of my competitors find out what I was doing and then steal my repertoire–at least, not without making him pay for the album.)

Can I hear some other examples of your music?

Of course! At the bottom of this page is a link to my YouTube Channel. There you can find some of my other piano compositions, a choral piece I wrote for Christmas, and works by other composers. 

What makes this project special?

There's an old African proverb Al Gore invented which goes like this: When you want to go quickly, go alone. When you want to go far, go together.

We need the music on this album to go far. That's where you come in.

All my adult life I've worked alone at my art. I’ve learned from some really brilliant people, but by and large, I've studied alone, I've practiced alone, I've composed alone, and it's taken me this far. Now, I think it's time that I bring YOU in to really take things to the next level.

I'm going to release privately distributed, mp3 quality singles of each composition on The Sinking of Venice to backers every three weeks, hot off the presses.

In thanks for your generous support of this project, this will be my immediate and first task. Depending upon your donation level, you'll get as few or as many tracks as you like.

Now, this is where Al Gore’s proverb comes in.

If you buy the entire Venice album, you'll receive the mp3s of all the files as they're made available, (plus extra tracks!) but before the release date I'm going to solicit your feedback about the compositions you've heard. I want to hear what YOU think, how these pieces made YOU feel. Then, I'm going to take that feedback and use it to refine the compositions on the album. Then, I will RE-RECORD the entire album in CD quality, and send you ADVANCE, signed copies of the entire, polished album complete with liner notes that ONLY YOU WILL HAVE.

This is not going to happen without you, therefore MY album is going to have YOUR name in the liner notes because YOU made it possible.

But I don't know anything about music!

That doesn't matter. You know what you like. You know what affects you the most. That's all I need; aggregate data like this is a powerful tool. Give me your feedback, and I am going to use it to make these works (and future ones) the best they can be. They say that two heads are better than one. Well, thanks to your help, we're going to do a heck of a lot better than just two.

So, I'd like to contribute and get one of those mp3 downloads, but it says the delivery date is in 2012?!

That is when the album will be finished and ready for consumption in its entirety. I plan to make a recording of each work every three weeks beginning Two weeks after the Kickstarter campaign is over. The campaign will end on November 15. This means that the first recording will be available the week of Christmas of 2011. The second will be sent out during the second week of 2012. I will be in contact with all the appropriate donors to let them know the chronological ordering of recording, and the time when their particular recording will be finished. The last recording for these awards is going to be done in March of 2012 at the latest. You will most likely have your recording long before then.

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    You will have my heartfelt thanks and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of La Scarlatine from The Sinking of Venice, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of Intermezzo from The Sinking of Venice, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of Andante, Variations and Fugue from The Sinking of Venice, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of The Sinking of Venice from the titular album, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of The Persistence of Memory from The Sinking of Venice, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get an mp3 download of a work of your choice from the Audition Album, and your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the contents of the entire Venice album (with Rhapsody in B Flat Minor, as heard on the video in addition to my covers of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”) in mp3 format one work at a time as soon as it is available, and the next one three weeks later. You will also have your name listed on my website and in liner notes as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the Audition Album in mp3 format in full once it is available. You will also have your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the Audition Album in mp3 and in CD format once it is available. You will also have your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the contents of the entire Venice album in mp3 format as it becomes available, and the revised album in CD format once it is complete. You will also have your name listed on my website and in liner notes as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the Venice package with downloads, a CD, and an autographed copy of the score of one work of your choosing.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, both the Venice album, one work at a time as soon it becomes available as well as the Audition Album in CD quality format in full once it is available in 2012. You will also have your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    You’ll get a signed thank you note, the Venice album, one work at a time, as soon it becomes available in mp3 format and in CD format once it is complete. You’ll also get the Audition Album in both CD format and mp3 format. You will also have your name listed on my website as a benefactor.

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    Full Venice package: a signed thank you note, a DVD recording of the live performances from The Sinking of Venice. Plus downloads, CD and score.

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    Full Audition Album package: a signed thank you note, a DVD recording of the live performances from the Audition Album. Plus downloads and CD.

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    Bonus Venice Companion DVD with narrated footage of the late-night compositional process, and commentary. Plus full Venice package.

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    Both the full packages of The Sinking of Venice and the Audition Album plus Bonus DVDs.

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    I’ll dedicate Andante, Variations and Fugue in C Sharp Minor to you, immortalizing you for posterity. In addition, both full packages plus Bonus DVDs.

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    I’ll talk with you on the phone about your tastes and preferences, then I’ll write you a composition, dedicate it to you, record it, and send you a high quality CD at a specified time in 2011 or 2012. In addition, both full packages plus Bonus DVDs.

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    I will give a live, private performance of your choosing of works from The Sinking of Venice and the Audition Album at a venue you specify. Does not include travel and lodging. To be done in 2012. Exact terms to be agreed upon. In addition, both full packages plus Bonus DVDs.

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    I will give a live, private performance in a program of your choosing with my approval at a venue you specify. Does not include travel and lodging. To be done in 2012. Exact terms to be agreed upon. In addition, both full packages plus Bonus DVDs.

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