We are Worldwide Musicians United. And we have a pretty big goal: to change the way that music is made on our little planet. Turn down the noise, hate, and fear. Turn up the beauty with WWMU's first two Global Mini-Albums!
This is a campaign designed by musicians, for musicians. When you support it, you'll be helping to create original music from around the world, in a novel way. Please keep in mind that we are a 501(c)3 organization, so a portion or even ALL of your pledge will be tax-deductible (please see 'Reward Details' below for more information).
¡Versión en español aquí!
Our founders, Julian (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Danny (San Diego, USA), met on LinkedIn a few years ago. Julian put out a call for musicians from different countries to collaborate on some music, and the response was overwhelming. What began as a handful of musicians coming together to write and produce music--from the US, Denmark, the UK, Canada, and Argentina--quickly grew into a worldwide community of music makers and supporters!
We musicians loved working together, but realized that a lot of folks couldn't participate due to a lack of resources and access to music recording technology. Also, we saw how the process of collaborating using the world's only universal language--music--could break down cultural barriers and create a sense of understanding and enhanced creativity among participants.
TA-DA! A fledgling nonprofit was formed!
To raise the money to fund our first two (or more!) Mini-Albums: high-quality digital EPs* from talented, hard-working musicians who don't have sufficient access to resources and whose voices, as a result, aren't being heard. As part of our campaign, we are calling out to all corners of the world to find these two or more artists. For our first two projects, we are focusing our search on South America and Africa. We have some very promising leads, but need your help to spread the word far and wide!
The coolest part is that the more money we raise, the more projects we can fund. That means more artists supported, and more great new music for your ears! For every $5,000 we raise, we will fund another project. When we pass our $10k goal, we will let YOU, our backers, help decide where the next Mini-Album should come from. Keep in mind, this will be a BACKERS-ONLY vote! All it takes is $1 to become part of the conversation.
The more you spread the word about our campaign, the more musicians we will find and the more music we will be able to make!
*EP [eee-pee] noun: shorter-length album comprised of two to four songs.
Turn Up The Beauty on Our Lil' Planet!
We are at a turning point in the musical history of this planet. There are so many technological tools at our fingertips to create and share music; so many ways to stay connected with each other. We believe that the internet can be a powerful tool not only to aid in the production of high-quality music, but also to overcome social and cultural barriers, bringing positivity and peace to the world through collaboration. Please keep in mind that while 80% of the world's population lives below the poverty line, 40% has access to the internet.
From a music industry perspective, the business of music has been turned on its head over the last decade, and still there is no viable model for a music culture that supports hard-working musicians, engineers, and producers outside of the commercial mainstream. We believe that more voices deserve to be included in the vast cultural heritage that is our planet's music. And, we believe that musicians and all the folks who work to make music come to life should be adequately compensated.
We believe that the act of creating things--paintings, music, sculptures, ghost pirate ships...ANYTHING--is a powerful step toward making our planet a more beautiful, peaceful place to live. That's why we declared September 21st, World Peace Day, a day to #TurnUpTheBeauty across the globe. Musicians and kind-hearted humans from all around the world performed random acts of creativity/kindness/beauty to turn down the noise/hate/fear that is so rampant these days and TURN UP THE BEAUTY! (See Update #1 for highlights from that glorious day!).
We strive to "turn up the beauty" in every aspect of this campaign: supporting disadvantaged musicians to create high-quality recordings of their music; providing business for local recording studios and engineers who work with these musicians; and supporting the generous musicians providing your rewards to continue their very important work in the world. And no one is turning up the beauty more than YOU when you support this campaign and bring otherwise unheard music to life!
A Different Approach to Making Music
How we make music is just as important as the music itself. Of course high-quality music is at the root of what we do; but the process is of the utmost importance as well! We produce music in collaborative groups driven by values such as hard work, fearless creativity, and inclusion. Click here to the get the whole story of one such team that created "Welcome Home", the track playing in our Kickstarter video above!
We also believe that artists deserve to be compensated fairly for their work. By purchasing the lesson rewards in this campaign, for example, you are not only supporting talented musicians (and outstanding human beings) to continue doing good things in the world; you are ALSO supporting less fortunate musicians to get their music made and have their voices amplified all across the planet!
Where Will My Money Go?
In an age when technology has cut the cost of making music in many ways, you might be asking yourself, "is it really this expensive to produce EPs?" And the answer is yes, when done right! We want to make sure that all the engineers, producers and musicians involved are compensated fairly for their time and skills, giving a boost to the local music infrastructure whenever possible.
Each EP's production includes:
- The cost of producing, mixing and mastering a digital EP from a never-before-heard musician;
- Paying studio engineers and additional musicians as necessary (the principal artists chosen for these Mini-Albums will be compensated with high-quality recordings of their music with which to further their careers!);
- Travel costs (for musicians to get to and from studio/recording facilities);
- Custom album art;
- Behind-the-scenes footage/photos documenting the recording process (and tidbits from the artists' lives);
- Cost of fulfilling rewards, and compensating your reward providers (real-life working musicians as well!) as fairly as possible;
- Kickstarter fees + payment processing
Since this is a pilot project, for our first two Mini-Albums we are trying out two distinct approaches. For one EP, we aim to use all local recording facilities and musicians in the country where the chosen artist resides. And for the other, we will use local recording facilities to capture the artist's performance and a 'Virtual Team' of folks from around the world to serve as their backing band!
*Costs are well-researched though approximate numbers due to varying rates in each country.
What We Need From YOU!
More than anything, we need you to share our campaign far and wide! Kickstarter is an ALL OR NOTHING platform which means that if we don't raise our goal, we don't get any money. In order for us to be successful, we need YOU to share our campaign and donate if you can. It only takes $1 to become part of our Kickstarter campaign and join the musical conversation we're starting with the world. Purchasing any reward will also grant you 'insider status' to receive exclusive Kickstarter updates, musical releases, etc.
As we mentioned at the top of the page, we are a 501(c)3 organization so a portion or all of your pledge is tax-deductible! When you purchase a reward from our campaign, the actual cost of the reward is subtracted from your tax deduction. If you'd like to deduct the full amount of your pledge, press the "Back This Project" button at the top of the page and select "Make a pledge without a reward".
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUPPORTING OUR VISION FOR A FAIRER AND BETTER-SOUNDING WORLD!!!
Meet The Team
Julian Garcia Reig (Creator, Co-Founder and KS Video Guru): Head sound engineer at Fox, songwriter, painter, adoring husband and father of two beautiful little girls in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
(See Update #1 for a quick word from Julian)
Daniel DeMento (Co-Founder and KS Team Leader): Musician, producer and mixing engineer, loving life in Southern California with his wonderful wife and crazy kitten.
(See Update #1 for a quick word from Danny)
Carly Patterson (Board of Directors and KS Team Leader): Queen KS Bureaucrat, Producer and Indie Musician from Bay Area indie rock outfit Feather-Bright, currently residing in San Diego, California with her lover man.
Drew Evans (Board of Directors and KS Team Member): Fund Manager (Spring Creek Investment Management), former Global Digital Business Development MBA Intern (Sony Music), and independent musician/producer living in Philadelphia.
Elsa Tanoukhi (KS Team Member): Photographer, true world citizen, and active member of the thriving San Francisco live music scene (especially since she married a musician!).
Michael Hund (Board of Directors): Director of Development (Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation), former Assistant Director (Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Fund, Inc.), and "The Sheriff" at Paxico Records and the Paxico Blues Festival!
Charlene Caronan (Board of Directors): Senior Producer of Public Engagement and Events (The Ford Foundation), Marketing Specialist (formerly with Mediabistro), and globetrotting ambassador for nearly all things philanthropic!
We have some very exciting and worthy rewards to offer when you back our project! One big thing to consider when you are pledging toward our campaign is that we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which means that some or all of your donation is tax-deductible. When you purchase a reward from our campaign, the actual cost of the reward is subtracted from your tax deduction. If you'd like to deduct the full amount of your pledge, press the "Back This Project" button at the top of the page and select "Make a pledge without a reward".
There are so many fun things on our reward list though! We think there's something for everyone, so without further ado, we'd love to tell you a little bit more about the incredible people behind them...
Pledge $75 or more for: Custom WWMU T-Shirt Plus Box Set (Artist: James Shaff, 2016)
James, or "Jimmy", or "Shimmy" (don't even try it!) Shaff is one of the truest and purest artists we know. Whether it's music or anything else you can make with your hands (including pies!), YOU are in great hands with Mr. Shaff. Just look at that design...it's out of this world!
Pledge $100 or more for: Virtual Guitar Lesson w/ Richie Major
This bona fide shredder has been performing since he was eight years old! His guitar playing may be mean, but Richie has proven himself one of the kindest and most collaborative Members we have at WWMU! He studied classical guitar at the University of Pittsburgh earning a B.A. in Music, and has also apprenticed with some excellent players including Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake, Dokken, Alice Cooper, etc.). Richie also composes orchestration for other instruments, utilizing his comprehensive background in music theory. With over a decade of full-time teaching experience ranging from classical to rock to metal--and a warm, down-to-earth approach--Mr. Major is currently finishing a series of four instructional books...and waiting to work with you!
Pledge $100 or more for: Virtual Vocal Lesson w/ Tracey Holland
Tracey is the badass front woman of two thriving indie bands in San Francisco, as well as the founder of Caveness Voice, a multi-genre studio for vocal and performance lessons. Holland has been singing for over 20 years and is both a professionally trained contemporary singer (alumnus of Berklee College of Music with a second degree in Voice/Vocal Technique/Vocal Performance from Musician’s Institute) AND a self-sustaining musician and songwriter--a unique combination that she taps into for a hybrid of solid vocal technique with a decidedly indie approach. Her band Vandella released this single just a few weeks ago and her other project, The Old Grey Whistle Test, created a haunting video for her cover of "Some Velvet Morning" a while back. We can personally attest, Tracey is not just an immensely talented songstress and singer, but also a lovely human being that we are honored to be supporting in any way that we can!
Pledge $100 or more for: Master Class w/ Grammy-Winning Engineer, Isha Erskine
Last year Isha won his first Grammy award for his engineering work on Ziggy Marley's Fly Rasta album, and also crushed his first year composing tracks to be licensed for Shockwave Sound and Epitome Music Libraries. His past work includes some enormous names (Maroon 5 ring a bell?), but this audio wizard always remains modest and focused on the project at hand. Isha is also an avid organic farmer who makes a mean jalapeño jelly and cares for the earth through a deep commitment to a green lifestyle. When you purchase a Master Class from Isha, you are also supporting this amazing human to keep making music with those golden ears, and keep growing delicious vegetables to nourish his wonderful family!
Pledge $150 or more for: Master Class w/ Beyoncé's Keyboardist, Victoria Theodore
She's on tour with Beyoncé's Formation World Tour as keyboardist, has been a backup vocalist and keyboardist for Stevie Wonder, is a dazzling independent artist in her own right AND an absolutely lovely human being. We're excited to support Victoria Theodore to keep on doing exactly what she does!
Pledge $850 or more for: Studio Time at Hyde Street Studios, with Scott McDowell
Let's hear it straight from the recording maestro himself: "Hello! I’m a music producer who‘s passionate about making great records with great musicians. My goal is to create albums that sound timeless while still feeling fresh and modern." This humble and incredibly talented soundsmith has been doing just that for eight years and counting at Hyde Street Studios, working with some of the most talented artists that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer! We are so thankful to Scott for his contribution to this campaign and can't wait to hear what he creates next...possibly with you?!
Pledge $3000 or more for: "Two to Tango in Buenos Aires" Sculpture (Artist: Lina Reig, 2014)
From the amazing lady who birthed our Co-Founder Julian into the world, comes this beautiful sculpture in wood. 40 cm. (15 in.) high. Shipping included to anywhere in the world.
Risks and challenges
The business of making music has quite a few risks and challenges, especially when you factor in the element of taking on projects in remote, international locations. However, among us, we have many decades of experience making music and are aware of where trouble spots might arise. Also, for the past two years we have been successfully running Virtual Teams of musicians from around the world who write and produce songs together. From that experience, we have become comfortable working across different cultures, languages and personality types. The risks and challenges we anticipate most for this particular project are timing, and leveling out variable costs depending on location.
Timing can be challenging with music as the tendency for all of us is to start out with a simple idea and get grander and more complex, with each additional idea or instrument taking more time to capture. With this in mind, we decided on Mini-Albums so that we can place the emphasis on high-quality production as opposed to quantity of songs created. Through running many Virtual Teams, we have a good handle on the speed at which a committed and inspired group of people can work. We anticipate six months being a bit more time than we need, but there exists the slim possibility that projects could take longer than that to complete.
The idea with this Kickstarter has been to test out some different ideas we've had about how to make the highest quality music in a cost-effective, yet rewarding way. A lot of research went into the costs of recording in other countries that you see reflected in our budget. While we believe that our $5k per project figure gives us ample breathing room, we are excited to experiment with different ways to allocate funds in the future and keep costs down as we continue to grow, learn, and take on even more projects!
Making sure your money is spent on talented, hard-working and honest musicians is just as important to us as it is to you! Not only have we been vetting musicians over the past few years for work ethic and honesty, but we also have ways of distributing money that should safeguard against abuse. We like to come from a place of trust and belief that people are generally good, but we also don't want anyone (including you or us) being taken advantage of, and we will do our best to make sure that does not happen! Thank you very much for your trust in Worldwide Musicians United.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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