WE MADE IT!! Your generosity has helped us reach our initial target of £2,500 and we are absolutely over the moon! We can now officially say that Xmas Factor - The Album will be happening!
However, you are still able to back us until the deadline on Monday night; and we'd love to make the project even better. So your money can still be put to really good use.
FIRST STRECH GOAL ( +£500) - REACHED
Our new total is £3000 - this means we can enrich the musical arrangement with more strings, more wind, more live instruments. By adding more musical depth, timbre and tone we can make Xmas Factor - The Album even more spectacular than it already promises to be!
SECOND STRETCH GOAL ( +£300)
Our second goal is £3300 - With an extra £300 we could book another day of studio time. By having the freedom to expand our recording schedule we can give each song a bit more time in the studio.
And don't forget, a pledge of just £20 not only goes towards making it happen, it also gets you a copy of the CD and your name in the credits!
So why not pre-order it now and help us to make it the best it can be?
XMAS FACTOR - THE ALBUM
For the last five years, we have searched high and low, near and far, for the best original Christmas songs, and showcased them at Xmas Factor - our annual new Christmas songs competition.
Now we’re raising money so we can record the best of these songs to create a whole new, festive musical theatre album!
Iris Theatre is an award-winning charitable theatre company, set up to launch the careers of emerging theatre artists.
Our Workin Process initiative provides opportunities for new musical theatre writers. This includes providing showcase platforms for new musicals, as well as series of songwriting competitions which encourage the creation of new work and new creative collaborations. Xmas Factor is the biggest and most successful of those events to date!
XMAS FACTOR: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Every December we set writers a challenge: to give us a unique, musical theatre take on the traditional Christmas song. The best entries are chosen for a glittering concert at St Paul’s in Covent Garden.
Each year the songs are judged by our Xmas Factor audience and the Iris Theatre panel, who vote for their favourites to eventually crown the winners of the highly coveted Xmas Factor Star trophies.
ALL STARS: CREATING A LEGACY
Now in our fifth year, it seemed like the perfect time to look back and celebrate all our winning songs and bring them together on one stage in Xmas Factor: All Stars; a show which will take place on Friday 1st December 2017.
Alongside the concert, we also want to find a way to share these brilliant songs with a wider audience than the 250 or so people lucky enough to get a ticket to the show - and make them available for you festive types who listen to Christmas songs all year round!
So, we came up with the idea of Xmas Factor - The Album; our 8 winning songs plus a handful of the best of the rest, professionally recorded and released to the public (hopefully) in time for our 5th anniversary concert.
We aim to cast an exciting company of singers, with a healthy mix of established performers, who will bring profile and expertise to the album, and also unknown singers for whom this will be a wonderful experience and opportunity.
Recording music is a very expensive process, often way beyond the reaches of young up-and-coming writers, but as a charity committed to enabling and supporting tomorrow’s theatre practitioners today, we are determined to find a way to make it happen for them.
Xmas Factor - The Album is the obvious next step in this process of artist development and we need your help to make it a reality!
All the Angels Sang - Music & Lyrics by Joanna Karselis
Christmas Swapping - Music by Luke Bateman, Lyrics by Mary Evans
"Chuck and Nancy decide to tell each other what they REALLY want for Christmas, with interesting consequences..."
Having been brought together by Iris Theatre's "Musical Theatre Blind Date" Mary & Luke won the Xmas Factor Audience Award two years in a row, they have since gone on to write a full length musical together called "H.R.Haitch".
Snow Goose Song - Music & Lyrics by Ben Heneghan
Joseph's Lullaby - Music & Lyrics by Sandy Hooks
Christmas in Pyongyang - Music by Joanna Taylor, Lyrics by Al Muriel
"It's Christmas in the socialist worker's paradise of North Korea. So how are they celebrating?"
Joanna Taylor and Al Muriel are both members of Book, Music & Lyrics (BML), a London based musical theatre writing programme. They have had two songs in Xmas Factor finals over the years, one was an Audience Award winner and the other was a runner-up.
The Christmas Table - Music by Luke Bateman, Lyrics by Mary Evans
The Angel at the Top of the Tree - Music & Lyrics by Darren Clark
January Roars - Music by Stuart Barter, Lyrics by Louise Ainsley
"A man wakes on Christmas morning, and hearing the sounds of Christmas below, is tempted downstairs. He is swept away by the sensory overload of Christmas; but January, and the memory of a lost loved-one, are close at hand."
Stuart & Louise also met through Iris Theatre's "Musical Theatre Blind Date," their song Piccadilly Circus was highly commended by the judging panel. January Roars is their latest creation and hopefully the start of a beautiful working relationship.
The Little Match Girl - Music & Lyrics By Darren Clark
Sing Along (The Endless Song) - Music by Marc Folan, Lyrics by Adey Grummet
The Beautiful Game - Music By Darren Clark, Lyrics by Richy Hughes
"These are the boots your Great Grandfather wore..." A father shares with his son a personal take on the story of the Christmas truce.
Both Darren and Richy are Xmas Factor regulars, bringing many memorable songs to our stage over the past four years, but it was working together that last year they struck gold with this song winning the Audience Award by a landslide!
Christmas Films Again - Music & Lyrics by Richard and Carol Campbell
At Christmas - Music and Lyrics by Julie Das
Holiday Hookup - Music & Lyrics by Eden Tredwell
"Christmas is a very romantic time of year, but when you're young and single in 2017, sometimes you just have to take what you can get."
Eden Tredwell is a 23-year-old songwriter recently graduated from the BA Songwriting programme at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.
- To give our emerging writers the opportunity to get their songs professionally recorded in a proper studio by a host of talented singers and musicians.
- To give emerging performers the chance to experience working in a professional studio.
- To provide a resource to help new writers and performers market themselves and their work with a high-quality product they can share with potential employers and collaborators.
- To preserve the work of the Workin Process initiative and to spread new musical theatre work to a wider audience; through a CD and potentially digital release of the recordings.
- To create a collection of songs telling the Christmas stories you won't have heard before; and will want to return to year after year.
WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING
Studio Time - The hire of a professional recording studio. This is the largest single expense of the project.
Sound Engineer - To pay a professional sound engineer for production, engineering and mixing.
Performers - To hire professional singers and musicians to bring the songs to life.
CD Production - The manufacture and printing of the physical CD and packaging; including the design of sleeve artwork by a professional graphic designer.
Licensing - In order to release the album we will have to pay for the correct legal rights and licencing.
"Being part of the Xmas factor for the last three years has been a festive joy and has had a huge impact on my career as a composer & lyricist. Not only has it promoted my work to a brand new audience, but it also facilitated the writing of three brand new Christmas songs; one of which went on to win Runner-Up in the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Award in 2015; and helped put me on the radar of the UK's theatre industry.
The concert is always a wonderful event and really kicks off my Christmas every year. Having a recording of the songs would mean that they will have a life beyond the competition so that people all over the world can enjoy the crazy Christmas event that is Xmas Factor; as well as supporting the work of new writers." Darren Clark, Composer/Lyricist
"Working with Iris has been a huge stepping stone towards becoming a full-time professional writer. The experience, collaborations and crucially, confidence that I have gained with them has been incalculable. Xmas Factor is a joyful initiative and one that deserves a life beyond a single night a year. There is clear commercial potential in the album, but bringing new writers, musicians and performers together in this way is vital to the lifeblood of the industry and I am very grateful to be a part of it." Mary Evans, Lyricist
"During my three years as a performer in the Xmas Factor concerts, I have really loved collaborating with new writers in such a supportive atmosphere. It would be fantastic to make a recording of the most memorable Xmas Factor songs and to have the chance to celebrate everything this competition has achieved over the years. Personally, it would also be an excellent opportunity for me to have a song recorded to help me showcase my work as a performer." - Annabel King
Risks and challenges
Iris Theatre are award-winning producers who have a ten year track record of working with emerging artists and new writers. Though we are experienced and resourceful theatre producers, there are still a number of inherent risks in this project; the main two are:
1 - This is our first ever album ! - There has to be a first time for everything and there are challenges to producing our first CD; but we have taken advice from people in the music business on all the technical details, and have already arranged for the use and support of a professional recording studio.
2 - We might run out of time ! - There are not many days left to Christmas and a lot to get done between then and now; but with the help of the hugely professional team of writers, singers and technicians we have got lined up for this endeavour we are confident we can get it all done in time.
We have all the resources in place to be able to facilitate this amazing opportunity for emerging writers with our team of marketers, artists and producers - we just need your financial support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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