About this project
Peri Smilow - Contemporary Jewish Musician. Composer. Touring Artist. Educator. Community organizer. Change agent.
I am thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of THE PERI SMILOW ANTHOLOGY. For the first time, every original song from my first four recordings – Songs of Peace, Ashrey, Peri Smilow & The Freedom Music Project and Blessings will be available in sheet music and chordster formats.
The Peri Smilow Anthology will feature piano, vocal and guitar arrangements. In addition, guitar purists will find the special guitar tunings which I use when performing live. (You can’t believe how many times I’m asked about these special tunings!) Now you’ll be able to play the music exactly the way it sounds on my albums!
The thing I’m most excited about is that the anthology will include an appendix with lots of creative ideas and suggestions about how and where to use my music. Religious school educators will be able to hand this section to their teachers for use in their classrooms. Youth leaders will find ways to use my music to attract and keep new youth group members. Synagogue communities will be encouraged to use my music as a tool for congregational growth. Cantors and rabbis will find new ways to utilize my music in worship.
I have always loved learning the stories behind my favorite songs. Why an artist wrote what she wrote. Where the seed for a song originated. So I’m including some reflections about each song in the anthology. Here’s an example:
Ashrey was written one afternoon while I was babysitting for my then toddler nephews. I was watching them for my sister – who needed a little break – and I had put them down for a nap. While they were napping I went to my sister’s book shelf - and there on the shelf was the old Gates of Prayer prayer book. I took it down off the shelf and it opened (by itself) and there, looking back at me, was the text of ASHREI – “Happy are those who dwell in Your house – they shall sing your praises forever”. Wow. I picked up my guitar and simply began to play the song that so many of you know as the “Peri Smilow Ashrey”. In short – the song wrote itself! I like to say that it arrived to me fully formed. In fact – I’ve always believed that my nephews sent me the song through their dreams that day. And I am eternally grateful!
I am delighted to be developing The Peri Smilow Anthology with publishing and music industry veteran Joe Eglash of Eglash Creative Group. Joe created OySongs.com, the leading online source for Jewish music. As the Managing Director of Transcontinental Music Publications and URJ Press he masterminded the Ruach CD series (brilliant) and was the publisher of our beloved SHIREINU (which none of us Jewish musician/songwriters/songleaders can live without).
Joe is creating extraordinarily beautiful typeset arrangements for the anthology along with a full color, glossy cover, and saddle-stitched binding (so it will last on that bookshelf of yours for a long time to come). In short – I’m going to be very proud to put this book out into the marketplace – and I believe that you will be very happy to own it.
But, you may ask, why do I need your help?
It is expensive to self-publish a book. Especially one that is this high quality. Statistics show that I am unlikely to earn much money from the sale of the Anthology. It is, rather, a labor of love and an opportunity to more widely share the music that so many of you have been requesting over these 20 years! I’m committed to putting out the most complete and user-friendly book possible – which means more pages – which means higher costs. That’s why I need your support!
It is my highest hope that together we’ll be able to get this book published and into the hands of clergy, songleaders, young people and – well, frankly, everyone who sings!!
For the next 36 days (double chai!) I’ll check back in regularly with all of you to let you know how we’re doing with our campaign. For those of you unfamiliar with how Kickstarter works – we only get the money if ALL of the money is raised before the deadline.
So first I want to thank you for your support. Second, I want to ask you to please let your friends, your synagogue, your family, your community know that you are supporting this project! Put it out on facebook, tweet about it, send out emails and, most importantly – choose the reward (look over there to the right side bar) that looks most appealing – and donate!
You can learn more about me and listen to clips of all of my songs at my website: www.perismilow.com.
I can’t wait to fully fund this project – and to get a copy of The Peri Smilow Anthology into your hands.
With your help we can accomplish anything!
And I'm deeply grateful!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that if this campaign doesn't raise all of the money requested I won't receive any money! Zip. And then I won't be able to publish the Anthology this fall (2014) as planned!
The only other risks (once the campaign is successful) will lie in our printing partner(s) and their ability to get the book printed and delivered in a timely fashion. Joe and I are already well on our way to completing all of the arrangements and plan to have the proofed and copy edited book complete by early fall. We have every reason to believe that the printer will fulfill their obligations on time too!
We hope you'll have your early copy in hand just after the Jewish holidays (those who donate $108+) and that it will be available for purchase for Chanukah.
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