Thank you everyone. We did it. We did it good.
But we're not done.
• We REACHED our kickstarter goal with a week to spare! It's a very gratifying affirmation. And equally affirming that the support came from many places-- the performance community, Bruce Haack fans and people who are just interested in cool wild shit.
A GIANT THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ALREADY CONTRIBUTED!
• We also faced some adversity along the way, taking a $10,000 surprise hit from a previously stalwart (15+ year) but suddenly fickle funder in the middle of our campaign. And while that is frustrating, it's just another bump in the road. But a bump with perfect timing because we have an answer right here. And that's why our "stretch" goal is really a stretch.*** We can replace that lost funding. And we can still ensure that the hard work and vision of every one of the amazing artists on this project is fully supported.
Out total budget is $85.000. That includes artists and staff fees for two months, scenery, costumes, lighting, props, effects etc. We've raised $65,000 so far from funders, co-comissioners, artist fees and other partners in the project. The $20,000 we are asking for in this campaign is the difference between being able to do this and being able to do it at the level the project deserves.
*** What’s a stretch goal? It means that our project has been fully funded by kickstarter guidelines and we will get ALL the pledges we’ve already received PLUS any pledges beyond our goal . It’s like this. We did our normal workout and NOW we get to really stretch beyond what we thought our limits were and try to make it hurt in a good way ;)
About Electric Lucifer
ELECTRIC LUCIFER is an electronic rock opera based on electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack’s albums of the same name from 1970 and 1978. This live performance reimagines the songs as a wild religious fantasia about suffering and redemption.
Created by artist and director Jim Findlay, the project has musical arrangements and additional original music by composer Philip White and a stellar group of collaborators including choreographer Raja Feather Kelly, performers Robert M. Johanson (Nature Theater of Oklahoma) and Okwui Okpokwasili (three time Bessie-winner) and video designer Jeff Sugg (Broadway includes Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Sweat, etc).
Electric Lucifer will premiere at The Kitchen in NYC on Jan 9, 2018.
What will your contribution support?
• Exciting and fresh new arrangements of Bruce Haack's music by Philip White, ALL played by LIVE musicians and singers. Musicians: Brendan Connolly, Shayna Dunkelman, Nathan Koci and Lester St Louis
-excerpt of Philip White demo of "Turn to Me Electric" by Bruce Haack
• A stellar cast of performers led by Okwui Okpokwasili -- recently featured in Jay Z’s “4:44” video and the movie “Bronx Gothic” about her own performance of the same name. Okwui is joined by Robert M. Johanson (Nature Theater of Oklahoma), Seth Braley, Nikki Calonge and Jake Denney, Amy Gernux and Cyrus Moshrefi.
• Five pairs of devil wings and one set for an angel (Gabriel) designed by Enver Chakartash www.houseofenver.com
• A four piece electronic rock band floating on a cloud above the stage
• Secret breath taking special effect opening number
• Stunning and dynamic visual designs by creator/director Jim Findlay, Broadway video designer Jeff Sugg (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc.), lighting designer Masha Tsimring and costume designer Enver Chakartash.
In the album liner notes, Bruce Haack writes that The Electric Lucifer is a redemption story about a power so strong it can redeem even Lucifer. I took that as gospel and this piece is about redemption right now-2017. How can we redeem even the worst of 'us'? When I look around the question is harder than it seems. Who is us? Whose suffering needs redeeming? And how do we find the power to rise above our "hate and pain and fear"* and move toward a real redemption. Not just for others but for ourselves.
Why is this important?
This project promises a fresh new vision of Bruce’s world and music by taking his Electric Lucifer concept albums and re-imagining them as a fully realized electronic rock opera with live musicians and performers. Seeing Haack’s previously un-staged vision as a gloriously wild live performance will be a treat for Haack fans and a revelation for those who were unfamiliar with his work and influence.
Why we need your help
We have secured about 75% of our budget. Your support in this campaign will cover salaries and fees for the seven performers, four band members and a stellar team of designers and artistic staff as well as the design elements, including a super secret “holy shit” special effect we’ve got planned.
Our grandest long-term ambition is to be able to tour this production throughout the US, Canada (Bruce’s native country) and the world following the premiere in NYC.
Our goal of $10,000 is ambitious, but one we believe is realistic.
Our stretch goal of $20,000 will allow us to fully support the design elements of the show AND if we reach it, accomplish the "holy shit" special effect we have planned (no spoilers).
About Bruce Haack
Bruce Haack (1931-1988) is widely known as a cult figure to many electronic music fans. His early experiments and works in electronic music are still well known and his albums for both kids and a general audience are still available in numerous re-releases. This production is taking place through an arrangement with the generous estate of Bruce Haack.
About Jim Findlay
My name is Jim Findlay, and I am a creator, director, performer and designer of theater, opera and live music events. I’ve been working in New York City's theater scene for over twenty years. I have collaborated with many of my heroes, including The Wooster Group, Ralph Lemon, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, and David Byrne as well as a really long list of my contemporaries, including Radiohole, Cynthia Hopkins, Aaron Landsman, Mallory Catlett, Daniel Fish, RIdge Theater, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Elevator Repair Service. Throughout my life as an artist, I’ve been making original works, first as a founding member of the experimental collective Collapsable Giraffe and since 2009 as an independent artist. My previous works include “Botanica”, a performance about our weird relationship with plants; “Dream of the Red Chamber”, a performance for a sleeping audience” which was presented by Times Square Arts as a public art project in the middle of Times Square for an audience who was invited to sleep through our 13 hour overnight performance; the world premiere of David Lang’s “the whisper opera” which has toured the world for the last five years; and “Vine of the Dead: 11 ritual gestures” a personal seance performance for skeptics. My work has received attention in most major New York media outlets and has been recognized and funded by MAP fund and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts among many others. “Electric Lucifer” is a Creative Capital project.
This project is already well on it's way to being realized. It will premiere at The Kitchen in NYC in January 2017. The reason we need your help is not to make this project a reality but rather to make this project amazing. As an artist who has been producing and presenting my work for 20 plus years, I am an expert at making limitations into advantages. But this project deserves more than that. Bruce's legacy deserves the full expressive powers of this team we've brought together. And this campaign is a reflection of our desire to really create a special experience, and if we're fortunate, it will be an experience that is successful enough that we will be able to bring the project to audiences well beyond The Kitchen.
I am fortunate that my work as a creator and director of theater and opera projects has enjoyed tremendous support from audiences, venues, and presenters. I have run several successful crowdfunding projects in the past. The thing that makes this project unique is Bruce Haack and the worldwide interest in his work as a recording artist and electronic music pioneer. I feel Kickstarter is a unique opportunity to reach fans of Bruce Haack and not only introduce them to this exciting once in a lifetime reexamination of his work but also to introduce that wider audience to my own work as a creator of exciting live performance experiences.
The 2017 Electric Lucifer workshop at The Collapsable Hole was performed by Ian Belton, Jake Denney, Brendan Connelly, Elizabeth Dement, Tendayi Kuumba, Nikki Calonge, Prentice Onayemi, Seth Braley, and Tom Pearl.
Electric Lucifer is a Creative Capital project. It is funded in part by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, PS122 and the Nancy Quinn Fund. Electric Lucifer was developed in residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Mount Tremper Arts and the Collapsable Hole. Produced by Collapsable Giraffe and Joel Bassin.
Risks and challenges
Transforming what is essentially a pair of ‘concept records into a full-blown story is a fantastic challenge. Haack’s lyrics are full of wild ideas including a race of future human android devils (“Silverheads”), but he wasn’t writing a coherent story with these songs. Our job is to discover and create both theatrical and musical gestures that string the individual gems of Haack’s imagery together into a story that invites the audience root for both Lucifer and Jesus. Presenting live arts with a large group of collaborators is always a difficult undertaking, but one we think is incredibly worthwhile.
The biggest risk?
Creating a show that can appeal to both Haack fans and audience who are just being introduced his music while adding something new for everyone.
- (30 days)