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We'll capture and produce recordings of ambient nature sounds from amazing spots in the John Muir Wilderness in the Sierra Nevadas.
We'll capture and produce recordings of ambient nature sounds from amazing spots in the John Muir Wilderness in the Sierra Nevadas.
37 backers pledged $2,030 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$2,030

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Now that the project is funded...

THANK YOU to all for your support! We'll be posting more about the Sierra Nevada Ambient Sound Project at my website, SherylPaige.com.

Who we are and what this is about:

I’m Sheryl Paige, a singer, songwriter and guitarist. My husband Leon Olguin is a composer, producer, arranger, keyboardist and songwriter. Between the two of us we have more than a half century of experience producing music and audio for ourselves and other independent artists. We've won awards for our work, and we’ve had the good fortune to work with some really talented people. 

Sheryl and Leon On Stage
Sheryl and Leon On Stage

The Sierra Nevada Ambient Sound Project will enable us to use our skills to bring the voice of the wilderness to our friends, family, and fellow lovers of this beautiful place. 

The Sierra Nevada Ambient Sound Project:

The Sierra Nevadas are in my DNA. I’m irresistibly drawn to the wilderness I love, the place where I spent almost every summer of my childhood. 

First fish
First fish

Before I ever heard of John Muir or Ansel Adams, I was hiking and fishing in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and the Eastern Sierras, exploring the unique geology of places like the earthquake fault, obsidian dome, Inyo Craters, Devil's Postpile, waiting to glimpse a rainbow at Rainbow Falls, walking in the footsteps of Native Americans who lived along Sherwin Creek, and gazing at the Milky Way on a dark cloudless night from Minaret Vista. From the time I was old enough to explore on my own, I took in as much as I could of the area. 

Devils Postpile 1969
Devils Postpile 1969

The descriptive writings John Muir, the photography of Ansel Adams and the work of the Sierra Club only deepened my love for this amazing place. I go back to the Sierras whenever I have the chance, and I always bring my family. It’s good for the soul.

Why Ambient Sound and Ambient Music?

I have 2 reasons for wanting to capture the sounds (and sights) of the Sierras:

  • Posterity - Geological changes, climate changes and water management practices have had a major impact on the area. It’s important to capture the sounds now while we still can. As of launch of this project, the region's snowfall/rainfall for the past year is the lowest it's been in decades, and the water content of the snow pack is at an astoundingly low 5% of average. This is a historic low.
  • Physical Benefit - I’ve learned through research and personal experience that ambient nature sounds promote relaxation, faster recovery from stress, and better sleep. It has been well documented that sound can have a deep impact on our emotional and physical well-being. Soothing music and the sounds of nature have been used to lessen anxiety during medical procedures such as dental work or cataract surgery. Peaceful sounds can even help relieve pain, and listening to relaxing music at dinnertime can cause you to eat less. Of course, many folks are aware of the sleep enhancing benefits of ambient nature sounds and restful music. The world in the 21st century has become faster, more complex, more distracting, and filled with uneasy energy and anxiety. More and more people are using the sounds of nature and music to bring some peace into their lives.

If you have never been to the Sierra Nevadas, I want to take you there. If you've had the good fortune to have spent some time there, I want to take you back.  

Once we’ve captured the sounds of the Sierras, my husband and I will go back to our studio in Florida and produce a recording of the ambient sounds of the Sierras. Then we'll "put on our composer hats" and incorporate the sounds from the places we visit into music we compose to create a second recording of ambient music and nature sounds. 

What will this sound like? To give you an idea, we scored the video with an ambient music track that I wrote and Leon produced/arranged. We also included a clip of a thunderstorm that I recorded from my back porch.

I’ve scouted out more than a dozen locations of cultural and geological significance. In each place we'll capture the sounds, take photos and shoot video. 

Once the content is recorded, the composition process will start. We plan to release:

  • A pure ambient sound recording, with an e-booklet of location shots and descriptions of why these locations are special, and digital wallpapers of the locations. 
  • An ambient music and sound recording with an accompanying e-booklet of album art that includes location shots and stories behind what inspired the music.

The locations

Here are the places I want to bring you to through this project. They all hold a special place in my heart. We will get to as many as time and weather permit. 

Horseshoe Lake
Horseshoe Lake

Here's what we plan to share with you from each location: 

  • Minaret Vista: Hear the sounds of the night, and see the real Milky Way.
  • Devils Postpile: Hear the sounds of the forest and wonder at images of the naturally formed hexagonal basalt columns
  • Rainbow Falls: Hear the waterfall and stream sounds, and see the rainbow (providing the sun cooperates!) 
  • Soda Springs: Hear the unique sounds of the bubbling hot springs 
  • Sotcher Lake: Hear and see the feeder stream, the waterfall and the lake, along with pictures of our favorite "boulder with the hole in the middle" dubbed by our family the "hole-y boulder".
  • Agnew Meadows: Listen to the sounds of the meadow at midday, and peruse pictures of the flora. 
  • Hear the sounds and experience the beauty of Crystal Lake and Emerald Lake.
  • Mono Lake: hear the sounds of the lake lapping at the shore, and if the coyotes are calling to each other we'll capture that too. We'll capture images of the otherworldly looking tufa columns rising out of this saline soda lake.
  • Other places we plan to document include Horseshoe Lake, Lake McCloud, the Native American Cave Site, the Native American Petroglyphs in the high desert, and Yosemite Valley.
  • Bonus tracks: We'll be flying into Los Angeles and beginning the trip from Newport Beach, CA. The mornings before we leave, I'll capture ocean sounds at the Wedge, and, provided they're in good voice, the Sea Lions in Newport harbor.


Why Kickstarter?

The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds for post production on this project.

What we’ve already done:

  • The trip is booked and the locations are scouted
  • We’ve got the recording, photography and video gear including a portable 24bit Stereo recorder, DSLR camera, GoPro and HD Video camera
  • We’ve got the hiking gear: daypacks, GPS unit, maps, safety gear and most importantly, good boots!

What remains to be done:

  • Take the flight and do this thing (record the sound, shoot photos, capture video)!
  • Edit and master a collection of the ambient nature sounds into 10 min segments (approx.) from each location
  • Produce the album art digital binder for the ambient nature sounds including Images and geological/historical background of each location
  • Produce wallpaper art of the location images
  • Catalog the video
  • Compose ambient soundscapes that incorporate the recorded nature sounds, and produce these recordings and album art

What about stretch goals?

If our collective backers are behind us to the extent that we can consider stretch goals, our priorities include producing physical media (CD’s) and video to share with you.

Timeline:

  • June – travel to CA to record, shoot photos/video
  • July-August - Audio editing, composition, ambient music recording, mastering, digital binders and wallpapers

Project Budget:

  • Travel, lodging and gear has already been covered
  • Studio (Audio editing/recording/mastering) $1040 
  • Photo Editing & Graphic Design $800
  • $160 Kickstarter and Amazon fees (8%)

Risks and challenges

The biggest variable in this undertaking is the weather. Rain would keep us from using our recording gear in some cases, but given that there has been so little rain in CA lately we believe the possibility of inclement weather to be somewhat insignificant.

We own the gear, we are the composers/producers/arrangers, and we've got a track record of getting our work done, so there's little risk on this project.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Pledge a dollar or more to support this project and receive personal thanks via email from Sheryl and Leon.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Backers at this level will receive a digital copy of the ambient sound recordings.

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    11 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Backers at this level will receive a digital copy of the ambient sound recordings, and the album art e-booklet which includes photography of the locations where the sounds were recorded and descriptions of the geology and cultural significance of the location, plus digital wallpapers of the locations for use on your computer.

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    6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Backers at this level will receive the digital recordings of the ambient sound, the album art e-booklet, the wallpapers, a digital copy of the ambient music composed by Sheryl and Leon that incorporate the ambient sounds, and the ambient music album artwork e-booklet.

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    12 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Backers at this level receive all rewards at previous levels plus a one hour live consult in person or over Skype with Sheryl and Leon on music composition, arranging, recording techniques, or indie artistry.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Backers at this level receive all digital rewards plus an invitation to sit in and observe a 4 hr recording or mixing session on this project, executive producer credits, plus lunch or dinner with Sheryl and Leon. Travel to FL not included.

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    Pledge $1,799 or more About $1,799

    One very fortunate backers will receive all digital rewards plus a Stonebridge OM21SW (Spruce and Walnut, Orchestra Model) guitar, which would be played on this project - either by you the backer, or by me (Sheryl).

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Funding period

- (36 days)