Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 24, 2013.

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Dylan Saunders is gearing up to make a record combining elements of soul, funk, rock and pop. It can't happen without you.

03/31/13 update! 

My friends! The last week has been one of the most moving and energizing times of my life, and I have each one of YOU to thank for that. The fact that we were able to fully fund CONFLUENCE in less than a week is just unbelievable. And incredibly motivating too. The excitement you’ve built is an inspiration. The funds we’ve raised so far will ensure that a wonderful record is ahead of us.

Putting fulfillment, Kickstarter fees, and credit card fees aside, our production budget is extremely tight. Each additional dollar over our original goal means we will be able to improve and enhance each aspect of this record, the most important of which is the actual RECORDING. The longer we have in the studio will directly affect how much discovery and sound development we’re able to accomplish. Recording studios range from $600 - $3000 per day, and the more advanced studio we’re able to obtain, the better final product we'll have. Added funds also mean getting the best quality post-production team to mix and master the album, guaranteeing pay for our musicians and songwriters on the front end (and added time with them in the studio, which is insanely important), creating the best possible album art, and arguably the most exciting…the opportunity to promote the album with A TOUR in the near future!

That’s why I’m putting into place our very first official STRETCH GOALS & REWARDS:

$40,000 guarantees: EXCLUSIVE LIVE VIDEO RECORDINGS of album content for BACKERS ONLY! The creation of new music is developmental at its core, so how about tracking the process with entirely new live video footage made available only to those to have contributed—these videos are going to be an amazing time, something I know we will get to treasure as we continue working.

$48,000 guarantees: A BEHIND-THE-SCENES DOCUMENTARY for BACKERS ONLY! This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime journey. From writing sessions across the country, rehearsals, concept meetings, production work, eating sandwiches, and time spent recording, I want to commit to a featurette that tracks each step of the experience from start to finish—exclusively for those who have contributed to the project!

$57,000 guarantees: A full-scale MUSIC VIDEO! Crossing this threshold means our production opportunities will be out of this world! We’ll be able to support an unprecedented group of the best musicians (meaning a much fuller sound), and the finest recording studios. The possibilities are endless. Because we are producing this record without the help of a label, the budget traditionally set aside for music videos is non-existent. This is definitely a lofty goal, yes, but together we will be able to make something truly special. Never in a million years did I think I would have the means or the opportunity to produce a quality music video, but with this backing, we will make it happen!

To put these goals into perspective, as of today, March 31st, 2013, if each backer can pledge an additional $6, we will meet our first goal! If each backer can pledge an additional $23.50, we will MEET ALL OF THESE GOALS! It is an ambitious aim, but one that will be so worth it in the end.

Your commitment so far has blown me away. Let’s see how far we can take it to make this dream a reality!

Thank you so much.

Love,

Dylan

con·flu·ence. noun. (1) a body of water formed by the flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like. (2) a coming together of people or things; a concourse. (3) a crowd or throng; an assemblage.

My name is Dylan Saunders and I’m an actor and a singer based in Los Angeles, CA. Some of you may know me through my work as an actor, through projects I’ve done over the years as an original member of StarKid Productions, or through more recent collaborations with my friend George Watsky. But we’re about to get to know each other a whole lot better through a brand new project, something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time, my debut original solo album.

Over the past several years, I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing friends on projects that have shaped who I am as an artist and human being. Up until now, the idea of an original album has really just been a pipe dream—I knew that if I wanted to do this right, I would need a lot of help, and a lot of resources. 

Two years ago, I had the privilege of getting to know the unbelievable Tomek Miernowski while on tour. Aside from his work as a gifted musician, Tomek is an incredible producer--he was the main engineer and producer on Charlene Kaye’s latest album “Animal Love,” and has collaborated with The Pierces, Diane Birch, Mos Def, Darren Criss, Eli Paperboy Reed, and Outasight). After a lot of brainstorming, we couldn’t be more excited to team up to create this new work. I am very proud to be working with him. CONFLUENCE will be a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. Tomek and I will be working with songwriters and musicians from across the country, people we love, to create a new sound, something that combines the genres and styles that I grew up loving, and that have inspired me throughout my life. Collaborators will include some insanely talented singer-songwriters, including Jonah Smith, Theo Katzman, and Joey Dosik, among others. It will be a full studio album, with elements of soul, pop, funk, rock, and at least twelve original tracks.

I'm asking for your help.

Because we are working without the help of a label, creating an album from scratch will require money for:

-studio time

-paying musicians and songwriters

-mixing and mastering

-production

-duplication and fulfillment

-marketing

Any funds raised past our original Kickstarter goal will mean a more polished, enhanced record down the line: We will be able to pay our musicians and songwriters more on the front end; we will have worlds more flexibility with added time in the studio (which will mean fewer limitations in what we can actually create); we will ensure the best quality post-production team to mix and master the album once it has been recorded.

We’ve come up with some out-of-this-world perks for everyone who contributes, including original artwork, personalized songs, exclusive merchandise, backstage passes, acting and voice lessons, early access to music, and the chance for me to come over and cook you dinner!

YOU are the most important ingredient in all of this. Each and every backer of this record is a collaborator in my eyes, no matter how small or large the contribution. In the end, we will be making this effort happen together. I hope it goes without saying that I wouldn't be even remotely where I am today without your support, and for that, I owe you everything. I promise with your help, we’re going to create something truly unique and special...and funky...in return. Along the way, I will make it a point to update you with photos and video content of how work is going, what we've been cooking, and the trials and tribulations of the journey. Having you beside me throughout the process is incredibly important to me. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been a privilege getting to know you over the years on tour and after shows, and I’m so excited that we’ll get the chance to join forces together now.

Love,

Dylan

a few past collaborations:

With Charlene Kaye at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, BC and at London Music Hall in London, Ontario:

With George Watsky at Slim's in San Francisco:

With StarKid at the House of Blues in Cleveland and Roseland Ballroom in New York City:

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I am beyond excited by the potential that exists for this project--it is something that I have wanted to get underway for years. Because I am working independently, a lot of the traditional "risk" associated with making an album from scratch is eliminated. There is always a chance that production elements won't always work the way we want them to. This is also a project that will honestly be created transatlantically--I already know that will be challenging: writing sessions in Los Angeles, recording sessions in Brooklyn, fulfillment and production in the midwest. But WE will be creating this TOGETHER. The fact that no label is attached to this record really means THE SKY'S THE LIMIT! We truly get to make the album we want to make!

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    212 backers

    EVERLASTING THANKS! Your name will be credited proudly on my website and immortalized in internet time and space forever! You will also receive ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    81 backers

    EARLY TRACK DOWNLOAD! As an added thanks for your contribution, you will receive exclusive early access to one track of the album before it is released, along with a credit on my website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    734 backers Limited (66 left of 800)

    EARLY ALBUM DOWNLOAD & PERSONALIZED THANK YOU CARD! You will receive exclusive early access to the entire album before it is released, a hand-written thank you card, along with credit on my website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    SIGNED POSTER! You will receive a personalized, limited-edition poster, featuring original artwork by my good friend, the amazingly talented Ray Sumser. You will also receive an early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    103 backers

    PERSONALIZED PHYSICAL CD! If you're as nostalgic as I am, you will want your very own personalized, signed copy of the album. Fight the digitization of the world! Of course you will also receive an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    70 backers

    LIMITED-EDITION T-SHIRT! Celebrate in style with your very own exclusive, limited-edition album t-shirt, for backers only. You will also receive a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    12 backers

    PERSONAL COLLECTION SELECTION! The Saunders library is small and mighty, but for your generosity, I will open it up for your listening and viewing pleasure. Enjoy a gift box of books, albums, plays, or DVDs from my personal collection, with a one-of-a-kind inscription. You will also enjoy a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    1 backer

    PHONE CALL PERFORMANCE! After perfectly executing back flips in your honor, I will personally call and thank you for your support. While we're talking about our favorite films and political theories, how about a live performance of a song your choosing, and a Twitter shout out to document? You will also receive a personalized gift box from my library, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    GUEST LIST & BACKSTAGE MEET-AND-GREET! You are unbelievable. To thank you for your incomparable generosity, please enjoy four guest list passes to any future concert, play or show I do, complete with a backstage meet-and-greet before or after the show! You will also receive a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    1 backer

    ONE-OF-A-KIND ALBUM ART and ORIGINAL REHEARSAL SCRIPT! I won't be able to begin to thank you for your contribution, so how about my original, fully-annotated rehearsal script from any past production! One-of-a-kind scripts may include: prior StarKid Productions, film screenplays, or scripts from regional theatre productions. You will also receive a handwritten, framed, and inscribed copy of song lyrics from the album, or any song of your choosing! Of course you will also receive four guest list spots to a future concert or show, a backstage meet-and-greet, a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    1 backer

    PERSONALIZED RECORDING! I will be shouting your name from the rooftops for the rest of my days. Get excited for your very own, one-of-a-kind recording of Billy Joel's "Only The Good Die Young" or R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Those would be my picks. I will cover and record ANY song of your choosing (or two, or three, or four!), in your honor! You will also receive an original rehearsal script, a one-of-a-kind piece of album art, four guest list spots to a future concert or show, a backstage meet-and-greet, a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger.

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    1 backer

    STUDIO VISIT & ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT! Your support is a vital part of making this wild dream come true for me. For your unprecedented generosity, you will be acknowledged as an Associate Producer of the album (with your name credited proudly on the physical album itself), and will enjoy a full-day studio visit with myself, Tomek, the band, and production staff. Take a trip backstage with us (complete with inevitable "Ferris Bueller" reenactments), enjoy lunch on us, and see what it takes to make this album a reality. You will also receive a one-of-a-kind rehearsal script, a recorded cover of your choosing, a one-of-a-kind piece of album art, four guest list spots to a future concert or show, a backstage meet-and-greet, a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger. **Contributor must provide transportation to Los Angeles or New York City.

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    HOMEMADE DINNER, ACTING / VOICE CLASSES, & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT! Words cannot express my gratitude at your undying love and support, so I will embark on an elaborate home-cooked meal for you and your friends, as well as 5 one-hour acting or voice classes (classes are transferrable and can be used at any time, in person or over Skype). Your backing will also earn you the title of album EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (with your name credited proudly on the physical album itself)! Of course you will be visiting the recording studio to watch as the album takes shape, as well as a one-of-a-kind rehearsal script, a recorded cover of your choosing, a one-of-a-kind piece of album art, four guest list spots to a future concert or show, a backstage meet-and-greet, a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger. **Contributor must provide transportation to Los Angeles or New York City.

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    PERSONAL WEEKEND TOUR & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT! You are the top donor to a lifelong dream--so how about a weekend devoted to YOU! You will be flown out to either Los Angeles or New York, and put up in a hotel to spend the weekend touring my favorite city spots! How about breakfast and coffee, a hike, a museum stop, my favorite sandwich, a trip to the Santa Monica Pier, a visit to Universal...the possibilities are endless! It will be a unimaginable adventure, comparable to Fievel going west in 1991. And I will be thanking you for the rest of my days. As executive producer (with your name credited proudly on the physical album itself), you will also enjoy a home-cooked meal from my kitchen, 5 hours of acting or voice lessons, unlimited visits to the recording studio, a one-of-a-kind rehearsal script, a recorded cover of your choosing, a one-of-a-kind piece of album art, four guest list spots to a future concert or show, a backstage meet-and-greet, a personalized gift box from my library, a phone call and performance, a Twitter shout-out, a limited-edition t-shirt, a personalized physical CD, an original signed poster, early album download, credit on the website, and ancient Lithuanian swagger (airfare included for continental US donors only; international donors will make up difference in average cross-country domestic flight costs).

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Funding period

- (30 days)