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$1,895 pledged of $7,500 goal
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By Wytold
$1,895 pledged of $7,500 goal
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About this project

In high school, I studied traditional cello repertoire vigorously with a strong passion for classical music.  I also loved to listen to popular radio - including rap, songs with a verse/chorus structure, guitar solos, beats, and grooves - often in the car on the way to orchestra rehearsals and private cello lessons.  As a result of these very different influences, my original music combines classical technique and inspiration on the cello with the contemporary song structures and rhythms that I listened to in popular rap music.

Recently I began co-leading an educational program for children of all ages called Classical Hip-Hop with GRAMMY-nominated progressive hip-hop artist, Christylez Bacon.  One of our earliest collaborations involves adding Christylez's beatbox to my remix of the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major.  We put a hip-hop spin on a piece of classical cello repertoire, and I always wondered what it would mean to do the reverse - what would it sound like to do a classical cover of a popular rap song?

This album is the result of that exploration.  I take well-known rap songs by Biggie, Busta Rhymes, DMX, Eminem, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Missy Elliot, and Juvenile, and interpret them in an instrumental and classically inspired way.  The covers feature ensemble accompaniment, new original melodies and solos, and unexpected mash-ups (such as Snoop Dogg/Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode" with the Jurassic Park Theme Song).  In doing so, I get to reflect on and reinterpret my classical and popular music roots while at the same time creating something entirely new.  

The "Biggie, Beethoven, Busta, and Bach" album will capture, expand, and develop these covers and remixes.  I had so much fun performing the sold-out premiere of these remixes at the 2015 Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in February 2015 with violinist Chelle Fulk, bassist Ethan Foote, and guitarist Jerry Tolk.  Your support will help me dig deeper into these songs and their ensemble arrangements, and make a high quality CD to share with other enthusiastic listeners and lovers of these genres.  I'll record the album and ensemble at Airshow Mastering in Takoma Park, MD, with GRAMMY-award winning audio engineer Charlie Pilzer and share the music live in local, regional, and national performances of "The 4 B's" - Biggie, Busta, Beethoven, and Bach.

COST BREAKDOWN - note that the total budget for the project will be at least $13,400, but I'm only requesting $7,500 - I'll be saving personal funds to cover the remainder! :)  

  • 5 days recording at $100 per hour = $4,000
  • 3 days mixing at $100 per hour = $2,400
  • Mastering = $500
  • Graphic Design/Album Art = $500
  • Photo Shoot = $500
  • CD Replication = $1,000
  • Video Shoot = $2,000
  • Marketing/PR = $500
  • Musician Fees for Rehearsal and Recording = $2,000
  • Total = $13,400

Risks and challenges

The primary challenge in recording this album will be figuring out how to harness and capture the live performance energy of the ensemble in a recording studio environment. I want to bring out each musician's flare and personality on the CD as if we were performing on stage in front of an engaged audience. To overcome this difficulty, I've already had preliminary meetings and trial recordings of ensemble arrangements with audio engineer Charlie Pilzer, in order to best plan and refine the recording process for this particular ensemble and project.

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    Biggie, Beethoven, Busta, and Bach poster

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    Copy of the final album

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    Signed Copy of the Album

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    Signed copy of the album + Poster + 2 other Wytold original CDs

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    Copy of the album + 2 tickets to the CD release party + 2 complimentary glasses of Moet.

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    Copy of the album + smoked ribs courtesy of Jerry Tolk

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    Appearance in Wytold's music video for instrumental rap cover song.

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    Be involved in a skit that will be recorded for the album.

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    Request an instrumental rap cover song on electric cello

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    Wytold will perform instrumental rap cover songs at your own 1 hour private event.

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Funding period

- (30 days)