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TED Talk style presentation on tons of topics + outstanding classical performance = awesome events you won't forget!
TED Talk style presentation on tons of topics + outstanding classical performance = awesome events you won't forget!
107 backers pledged $8,661 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,661

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Project LENS is a new performance collaborative that seeks to explore the connections between music and various topics in the world beyond. Our diverse studies and shared passion for classical music have inspired us to start a conversation about the ways in which music relates to topics as eclectic as evolution, 3D printing, humor, law, and birdsong. At each of our events, we illuminate a central topic by weaving together two threads: a TalkThread, a TED Talk style presentation; and a MusicThread spun of selections from the classical repertoire.

Our Story

At Project LENS, classical music has been our shared passion ever since we were young. We’re also curious people who love to learn new things. As a result, none of us has ever managed to commit fully either to pursuing music or giving it up to study something else. When the time came at the end of high school for us to think about whether we wanted to go to college or conservatory, we all decided to pursue joint degrees in music and other fields. Even after we finished college, we still couldn’t decide what to do, and in a way, Project LENS was born out of this indecision. We like to think of it as productive indecision, though, because really, we’ve realized that being attuned to other disciplines and ways of thinking even as we pursue music has helped us discover some pretty cool connections between music and topics ranging from philosophy to art history to neurobiology. We want to share these unexpected and exciting relationships with you, and that’s why we founded LENS.

An Evening with Project LENS

Project LENS events are dynamic, featuring TED-style presentation and classical music intertwined so that these components bring out new ideas about each other. You can expect engaging topics, on-stage unscripted discussion, musical performances of the highest quality, fabulous slide shows, and connections between the music and the presentation that you never saw coming! All of our speakers are experts in their fields, and our musicians are outstanding. This stuff comes with every single LENS event.

But every Project LENS event features a totally different program, so there’s no such thing as a “typical” LENS experience. We’re interested in everything from symbolism to physics, the human brain to literature, and birds to computers. Our goal is to reflect the diversity of our interests in the diversity of our programs--and we hope you’ll join us!

Upcoming Events 

The Art of Symbolism: Samuel Bak and Dmitri Shostakovich November 13 @ 6pm, The Pucker Gallery

Breaking Down the Beat: The Rhythm of Language November 19 @ 7pm, Le Laboratoire Cambridge

Evolve: From Cells to String Quartets December 3 @ 6pm, St. Botolph Club

In the Works

...a collaboration with Makerbot, a 3D printing company

...multiple events at venues in the greater Boston area

...performances at Harvard University

...integration into the curriculum of a Harvard course

Reactions

"Really impressive, great concept. Love the idea of combining academic/intellectual talks with classical music. It's an idea that would appeal to a lot of different people I think."

"You are doing an amazing thing here!"

"Excellent and thought provoking."

"Accessible, beautifully thought through... nice flow."

More Information

Check us out …

...on the web at www.experiencelens.com

...on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProjectLENS

...on Twitter at @project_lens

...or email us at team@experiencelens.com

 

Where Your Money is Going

Our goal is to use the money we raise on Kickstarter to fund our 2014-2015 season. In addition to the 3 events on the books, we have many more in the works. We're aiming to average an event per month through May 2015. Since we want to generate as much interest as possible, our first few events will be free. By the end of the season, we'll start charging admission so that Project LENS can become a sustainable organization.

Specific Costs

  • Musicians: Ariel, Rainer, and Alan all perform, but there’s not much repertoire for two cellos and violin! We need to bring in musicians to work with us for each event, and to ensure the quality of our performances, we want to bring in really amazing players.

  • Video & audio recording: We want to document all of our events so we can create videos that show people like you what we’re all about. We also hope to someday stream our events live on our website, and create podcasts.

  • Audiovisual equipment: PA systems, microphones, projectors...it’s all part of the multimedia experience!

  • Hall rentals: Performance spaces aren’t always free. To bring Project LENS to a variety of audiences, we will need to rent halls for some events.

  • Receptions: Don’t you love going to events with food? We do too, so help us make that happen! We also want you to have a fun environment in which to keep the conversation going after the event is over.

  • Advertising: We want to spread the word about LENS to get more people in on the conversation! But this isn’t always free either. We need your support to expand the LENS movement and pack our halls with interested, curious people!

Funny Bonus

You've borne with us all the way to the bottom of our Kickstarter...so here's a treat for you! Our speaker from our debut event, Andrew Berry, on his early experiences trying to learn the violin:

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Risks and challenges

We've been extremely thorough as we've calculated our budget and planned our upcoming events, so we don't anticipate any problems. Of course, when you're trying to create a totally new type of event, there's always the risk that people won't like it--but the reception has been so positive so far that we're not concerned!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    UPDATES: Thanks so much for your support! You'll receive Project LENS Exclusive "Notes!" -- updates on our fundraising efforts and upcoming events.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    DIGITAL VIDEO: Get a digital copy of the video of our premiere event! Plus Project LENS Notes ;)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PROJECT LENS EVENT EXPERIENCE: Admission to any ticketed Project LENS event through December, 2015! Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    FUTURE PROJECT LENS EXPERIENCE: Admission to any single ticketed Project LENS event...ever! Your ticket never expires. Join us when it's convenient for you! Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    DVD: Enjoy a Project LENS event from anywhere in the world by ordering a DVD! We'll be recording many of our events this season, so you can pick your favorite topic. Plus, you get Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DATE NIGHT: Two tickets to any ticketed Project LENS event through December, 2015! Seriously, what a cool and classy date. Plus, Project LENS Notes!

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    FUTURE DATE NIGHT: Two tickets to a Project LENS event, redeemable at any time--there's no expiration date! Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    CELLO LESSON: You know you've always wanted to play the cello...have an hour-long cello lesson with one of our accomplished cellists, Alan or Rainer. In person lessons available in the greater Boston area or in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area (Alan only). Or, have a Skype lesson from anywhere in the world! Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    VIOLIN LESSON: Cello's not your thing? Try a violin lesson with Ariel! Limited to the greater Boston area or the New York metro area for in person lessons. Skype lessons are also possible! Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    MEET A FOUNDER: Dinner for you and a friend with your favorite Project LENS Founder! Date to be set according to everyone's availability. Must be in the greater Boston area. Plus Project LENS Notes!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    MEET TEAM LENS: Dinner for you and a friend with all of the Project LENS Founders! We're really fun, we promise! Date to be set according to everyone's availability. Must be in the greater Boston area. Plus Project LENS Notes!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    VIP LENS EXPERIENCE: You get 10 tickets to future ticketed Project LENS events that never expire, plus backstage access at every event you attend! Pretty awesome. Plus Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    DINNER WITH ANDREW BERRY: Have you seen our video? You definitely want to grab dinner with this hilarious guy. Donate $1000, and you and up to 2 friends get to have a meal with him in the greater Boston area! Plus, you'll get a digital copy of the video of our premiere event, as well as 2 tickets to any Project LENS event of your choosing. And of course Project LENS Notes.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ORIGINAL PROJECT LENS EVENT IN YOUR HOME! You're invited to be a part of the creative programming process--or you can leave it up to us. You'll also get dinner with the LENS team, free tickets to 5 future LENS events for you and a friend, and our most heartfelt thanks. We are only able to offer this option in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ORIGINAL PROJECT LENS EVENT IN YOUR HOME...ANYWHERE IN THE CONTINENTAL US! You're invited to be a part of the creative programming process--or you can leave it up to us. You'll also get dinner with the LENS team, free tickets to 5 future LENS events for you and a friend, and our eternal and undying gratitude.

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Funding period

- (30 days)