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Viking-themed a cappella music telling stories of the Norse Gods, focusing on Odin, Loki, the murder of Baldur, and Snorri Sturlson.
365 backers pledged $16,338 to help bring this project to life.

New Project: Censorship and Information Control

Posted by Ada Palmer (Creator)
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Dear friends of Ada Palmer and Sassafrass,

We thought you might be interested to see Ada Palmer's new project, now launching on Kickstarter, not music this time but a something else exciting:

Censorship and Information Control during Information Revolutions

The idea: Revolutions in information technology always trigger innovations in censorship and information control, so we’re bringing together 25 experts on information revolutions past and present to create a filmed series of discussions (which we will post online for all to enjoy!) which we hope will help people understand the new forms of censorship and information control that are developing as a result of the digital revolution. We have experts on the Inquisition, digital music, ditto machines, censorship of theater, Google, wartime censorship, destruction of Jewish books, the birth of copyright, tons of amazing people. And we’ve put together a museum exhibit on the history of censorship, a printed catalog with 200+ pages of full color images of banned and censored books, which you can get as a Kickstarter reward. More publications will follow.

You can learn more from the project website, and support it here on Kickstarter.  

Additionally, we're happy to report  that we are making progress (if slowly) on finishing the new "Trickster and King" album. And we've started recording on another new project that we're not ready to announce quite yet. In fact we hope to be able to share some rough recordings with our backers soon. We're grateful for everyone's patience as we dealt with (in turn) the fire and reconstruction disrupting our recording space, then Ada's long illness, and the tummults of tenure. We promise the long wait will be worth-it!

Thank you again for all your support and enthusiasm. Ad Astra!

"Stories & Stone" CD arrived from factory; Worldcon Concert

Posted by Ada Palmer (Creator)
Hello, friends of the "Sundown Project."  We're delighted to announce that the CDs of the Sundown companion album "Stories & Stone" are finished, and arrived from the factory last night.  We can't thank you enough for your support at every stage of this project, and are overjoyed to see it in this final form.  

For those of you who will be at Worldcon, please let us know if you want to pick up CDs from us directly.  Ada and Lauren are also doing a duo concert at Worldcon as "Sassafrass, Trickster & King" currently scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 PM.  We hope to see many of you there.

Meanwhile, we have 50 hours left and only $608 to go to fund our second new CD, "Friend in the Dark." It's a tantalizing count-down, so close to making our third album a reality, so if you aren't part of the new project yet, please consider joining in with a $15 pledge, which will get you digital downloads of BOTH new albums, or $25 which will get you digital downloads plus a physical CD of "Stories & Stone" shipping by early September.  If you aren't interested in the music, just spreading the word is also a great help.  And, once again, thank you for being such enthusiastic supporters, and helping us bring these Viking stories and other science fiction and fantasy messages to new audiences!

You can here the third album's preview tracks streaming here. Enjoy!

"Stories & Stone" fully funded. THANK YOU!

Posted by Ada Palmer (Creator)

WE DID IT! This is a big "THANK YOU!" to let you know that the new "Stories & Stone" Kickstarter is now fully funded.  Many thanks to those of you who helped make this final stage of "Sundown" a reality.  

But that isn't the end.  We still hope to raise another $2,734 to make our stretch goal of also funding the debut Trickster & King album "Friend in the Dark".  If we succeed, everyone who backed "Stories & Stone" at $14 or higher will receive a download of the second album.  So if you're interested, please continue to spread the word!

As production of the new CDs progresses, we will start to release most of our updates exclusively to backers of the new campaign, so if you want to continue receiving news about CD production, new Sassafrass recordings, concerts, album updates etc. please consider backing even just at the $1 level so you can receive our updates. This list will continue to receive big news items, such as new album releases and the outcome of the "Friend in the Dark" stretch goal push.  

It's wonderful to be setting out for our summer concert travel knowing the CD is safely in hand and will be done by Worldcon.  Thank you all once again!

"Somebody Will" Teaching Album, Summer Concerts, Add-On Ideas

Posted by Ada Palmer (Creator)

We are delighted to announce that today we finished the final editing on the "Somebody Will" Teaching Collection, which was up for pre-order, and is now finished and fully downloadable from Bandcamp.  As promised, we've added a (stunning!) new polished version with guitar, in addition to the duet and house concert recordings, versions of the duet taken apart to make it easier to learn, and the live Sundown Finale from Balticon where you can hear many of your own voices come in on the final chorus, an experience which never fails to make me tear up when I listen. 

This song and its message mean a lot to me, and I'm always deeply moved when other people feel the same way. The community of people who read, produce and love science fiction and fantasy is not about escapism, but about excitement, creativity, thinking about many different worlds, societies and possibilities, and working hard to create the best future we can.  I have had the privilege to meet many people who feel as I do about our community of future-building. For that reason, I love sharing this song, singing it with new people, and passing it on to others.  As you can hear from the live Sundown encore recording (especially in the Youtube Video where you can see our faces), it is difficult for any of us get through this song without crying, especially when the audience joins in with us, at moments like the one you can hear so clearly in the recording.

We love when people share and pass on the song's message about hope and collaborative progress, so I'm especially excited by the new "Sing with Us!" track, which has the guitar plus the harmony harmony, waiting for you to join in and sing the melody along with us.  Especially powerful for me is the fact that the guitar parts in these recordings were played by my editor from Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who feels as I do about helping to build the future future, and teams up with authors like me to make our messages stronger, and help them reach farther. So I hope the collection will let you join in and sing along with us as we all share the anthem that banishes doubt! 

In addition to offering it for direct sale, we're making the Somebody Will Teaching Collection available as an Add-on for the "Stories & Stone" campaign.  If you back it at any level (even $1) simply add $5 to your pledge and, when the campaign ends you'll receive a download code.  It's a great way to help us make the "Stories & Stone" CD a reality, so we can finally have a CD in print with "Somebody Will" on it.  "Stories & Stone" is currently 94% funded, with only $307 to go, so we could hit our target today if just 1/6th of the people who backed "Sundown" support us with a $5 pledge.  If you want the "Somebody Will" add-on, simply make  pledge and then send us a message to let us know you you want it, or any of our other Backer Rewards & Add-Ons, and you'll get a download code when the campaign ends.  

Meanwhile, Lauren and I are preparing for our summer "Trickster & King" concert travels, which begin in two days when we set out for Mythcon.  We have two concerts at Mythcon and are looking forward to seeing several of you there, and more at Worldcon.  We really hope "Stories & Stone" will hit its goal before we set out, so we can finalize everything with the company, and we need just $307 to make it, so please spread the word today so help us have "Somebody Will" on CD ready by Worldcon!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/648994832/sassafrass-stories-and-stone/

Finally, we've had a lot of enthusiasm for our Add-Ons for our new campaign, so we are starting a discussion thread in the "Stories & Stone" messages area to invite suggestions for more Add-Ons, whether digital (music, downloads) or physical (a Sundown-themed Cookie Jar anyone?...)  So please join the discussion--we'd love to hear your ideas!

Thank you once again for helping us, through Sundown and beyond!

Interview, videos, "Stories & Stone" home stretch, new digital add-ons, and a surprise...

Posted by Ada Palmer (Creator)

Hello, friends of Sassafrass!  We have some new fun links to share, a video of Ada & Lauren singing "My Brother, My Enemy" at OVFF last year, and an awesome new interview with Ada Palmer on Buzzymag, discussing her novel series forthcoming from Tor Books, as well as music, anime research and Renaissance history research. 

Meanwhile, our new "Stories & Stone" Kickstarter campaign has hit the home stretch! We have just passed $5,000, and have only $750 to go. The first $5,000 will cover CD production, but with this last $750 we'll be able to upgrade our audio tech for our new Chicago studio, to keep the great music coming! We're also hoping to be funded soon so we can order our looper in time to use it at our summer concerts. If we keep up the energy, we could be funded this weekend, and definitely in time for the CD and looper to be ready for Worldcon. So if you haven't already pitched in toward the new CD, now the best time! And if you've already supported "Stories & Stone," please keep sharing the news about the campaign!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/648994832/sassafrass-stories-and-stone

NEW DIGITAL ADD-ONS: We had a lot of enthusiasm for our new digital Add-Ons for the "Stories & Stone" campaign, especially the digital libretto, so we are adding a few more. Now you can order a PDF Sundown Complete Score, with sheet music for all the Norse pieces, for $25. You can also order a PDF collection of all Ada's non-Norse music, including sheet music, lyrics sheets and guitar parts for many songs to make it easy to perform them yourselves, for $20. So if you didn't get the physical copies in the "Sundown" Kickstarter, now is your chance to order both and you'll have every note, lyric and chord on all of our collections, for just $45. 

Finally, as we close in on our first target, we want to share this hint about a special project we have planned as an intermediate stretch-goal between the "Stories & Stone" CD and the "Friend in the Dark" CD. This is a digital-only collection, which could only be digital because it could never possibly fit on a CD; when finished it will include three hours of music including all the solo, duet and trio sub-arrangements of the most ambitious piece in our repertoire. Want to enjoy? Then spread the word to help us make our last $750 so we can start toward this new Teaching Collection!