About this project
The Xylopholks are the Brooklyn-based-furry-clad band featuring the xylophone. We play mostly novelty ragtime music of the 1920’s, as well as some original material. We do so in furry costumes.
I got a Fulbright to study South Indian percussion in India during the 2009-10 academic year. I am doing the best to raise enough funds to bring the Xylopholks to India for a documentary tour of the Subcontinent!
The situation is this:
I’m not 100% sure what bringing the Xylopholks to India will do. I know it will be one of the most profound experiences of my life. I am honored to have the Fulbright to study the classical of music of India, which has roots 3,000 years back. However, bringing the Xylopholks to India is a completely unique and new effort. There’s no history of ragtime in India. I am not sure how many people have even seen a xylophone in the subcontinent! In this respect it has been difficult to gain support for this tour. I have decided to make it happen. I know that once we have a documentary from our experiences in January-Feburary 2010 people will understand what we’re doing. It is my dream to take this project around the globe. Our mission is to bring smiles to faces.
We have the opportunity to perform for students are of elementary-middle school age, orphans, children born with HIV. I know the smiles brought to the faces of these children will mean more to me than a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall. We’ll do lecture-demonstrations. Ragtime music is the perfect vehicle for understanding the tools of Western music. We introduce form (i.e. “you guys shout ‘HEY’ at the end of the second B”), modal qualities, different rhythm structures, and we sing funny songs. The group appeals to all ages. We’ve played for art music audiences, toddler’s birthday parties, memorial services, and everything in between.
We are asking for financial support to make this tour possible. I have been working at keeping our expenses as low as possible. We have placed a goal at $1,500. This is to help cover:
International and domestic travel within India for Bridget Kearney (bass), Carmen Staaf (piano/keyboard/harmonium), and Martha Shane (filmmaker) . I will already be in India and have decided to use my travel allowance from Fulbright/USIEF (United States-India Educational Foundation) to get around the country for the tour.
Vaccinations, visa fees, Martha’s film materials, overage fees for our instruments on trains and planes in India, printed publicity, etc.
Though we’ll do our best to stay with friends and hosts around the country at no cost, I anticipate a few nights where we’ll need to be in hotels.
We all believe so strongly in this project that we are waiving any artist fees for our performances. A lot of the communities we will be going to are considered underprivileged and so we will offer them our programs without cost.
I am more than happy to acknowledge contributors in our written programs and publicity.
We do believe this is a worthy cause otherwise I would not go to the trouble of asking everyone I can think of for help. I think we may be the most viewed band featuring a xylophone (over 400,000) on youtube.com. Last month we were on the front page of the New York Times. I like to believe there's a bright future for our ensemble. I hope this is the first of many international tours.
Regards from India,
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