I am very pleased to tell you that Alec Sweazy has started recording for his first solo piano and accordion album! It is my great hope that with a little help we can move this project along and have a finished CD by early Spring 2013.
Born with Williams syndrome, growing up with a disability has not been easy for Alec. Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition present at birth and can affect anyone. It results in medical problems, developmental delays, and learning disabilities; but it is also characterized by good verbal skills, a highly social personality, and an affinity for music.
Alec made it known very early in his life (10 ½ weeks!) that he has a very special connection with music. Early intervention teachers worked with him on motor skills and social skills and accomplished quite a few goals through music therapy. Later he began group lessons in singing and keyboard and then private instruction on piano and accordion. Many of the characteristics of Williams syndrome worked in his favor when learning to sing and play an instrument: a heightened awareness to sound, an incredible memory, good rhythm, and perfect pitch. Music became Alec's number one fascination and joy. His tremendous talent earned him respect among his peers and put him on an even playing field with them. Of course, research has shown that learning to play an instrument has many benefits including patience, determination, enhanced memory, enhanced ability in math, enhanced fine motor ability, self-discipline, and pride in oneself. All of these have helped Alec immensely throughout his school years. He even went on to graduate from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul and now reads music, can notate music, and has a very good working knowledge of music theory.
With good support from family, teachers, and friends in the community, along with Alec’s own determination, patience, practice, and humor, he has come a long way! Now is the time for him to show the world that there cannot be a limit on expectations for someone with a disability. Alec’s musical accomplishments are astounding and making this CD will certainly be a springboard for what is to follow. The album will be a piano and accordion sampler of his own compositions along with other powerful and beautiful pieces that he loves to perform; all with the goose bump inducing interpretation that is Alec’s alone – ALECTRICITY!
The goal we are seeking will go towards remaining recording, mastering, licensing, photography and artwork, duplicating and packaging, distribution, and rewards for you. It will also go towards fees to Kickstarter and Amazon, who work together through this platform to help creative artists get their projects off the ground.
I invite you to come along on this leg of the journey with Alec! I will keep you updated on his progress with notes and pictures and will also send you some cool rewards when we meet the goal. What a great way to pre-order Alec’s debut CD or digital download, get a limited edition tote bag or T-shirt, have an opportunity for a live performance by Alec, hear a presentation at your next arts or disability conference, or even become a co-producer for this project!
With Kickstarter, no transactions or awards take place until the funding goal is met. If the funding goal is not met we cannot finish the CD at this time and that would be very disappointing. So, please spread the word; and let’s all get behind Alec to make this happen! If the goal is surpassed, Alec will be able to spend more time in the recording studio to go even further with his original compositions.
Alec is very excited to share his recording news with all his fans in the Twin Cities and beyond, and also to all of you friends that he hasn’t met yet. He wants to get his name out there. He wants to share his story of perseverance, and he especially wants to share the ALECTRICITY!
Thank you for your time in reading this and for helping to make this happen!
Lori Sweazy (Alec’s mom)
P.S. I've recently added two updates with audio clips, pictures, and video from Alec's recent studio sessions. Please click on "Updates" at the top of this page.
Risks and challenges
In taking on this ambitious project, I see the biggest risk to be disappointing Alec if the funding goal is not met. Alec and I are a team. I am his wheels, his music manager, his roadie, his webmaster, and his biggest fan! He also gets tremendous support from his dad, two sisters, his piano teacher, and many friends in the community. Since we have been fortunate to be able to start the recording process, I am happy to see that Alec is prepared, patient, and professional in the studio. I have been doing my homework regarding all the steps that go into making a CD. I believe that I have accounted for all the costs involved and have a realistic timeline in place. I have no doubt that with a little help from friends, Alec will soon have his recordings available to everyone.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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