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It is time for the world's first Ukulele Concerto, and who better to write it than the first composer ever commissioned through eBay? Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 8, 2012.

It is time for the world's first Ukulele Concerto, and who better to write it than the first composer ever commissioned through eBay?

About this project

As far as I can tell, no one has ever written a Concerto for Ukulele and Orchestra. It is about time that changed. I think I am qualified to write the first ever Ukulele Concerto, and maybe incorporate some variations on the popular "La Folia" melody (which you can hear in the video above). I am the first composer ever commissioned to write a Horn Concerto over the Internet. I have notation software. And I have a ukulele. Only one thing holding me back: lack of replacement strings.

I have so far been lucky with my ukulele, which I bought from Professional Guitars in Ferndale back in 2009. Since then, I have twice replaced the strings on my mandolin, which I hardly ever practice. My uke, on the other hand, I practiced almost every day of 2010 and it still has its OEM strings. But with my kind of luck, the strings would probably as I was in the middle of writing a big, new piece.

With $10 I should be able to get one, maybe two sets of replacement strings. I shouldn't use any of the partial amount I have so laboriously and strenuously raised towards a string quartet concert, whether I (hopefully) get to put it on or (realistically) I have to refund the backers of that project. Nor can I really use the money earmarked for my extremely arduous job search, which is fraught with so many dead ends and false hopes. So I turn to Kickstarter for help.

I'm envisioning a piece lasting 10 to 15 minutes, for a chamber orchestra with 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings plus continuo. And oh yes, it should be tonal. None of that avant-garde crap, nor the silly pursuit of originality that causes so many modern composers to sound exactly alike.

Of course I would like to get it played by an orchestra, whether with me or someone else as the soloist, but since even my little string quartet concert seems so pie-in-the-sky now, I will probably have to settle for a computer realization for the accompaniment. Perhaps I should be encouraged by the example of Anton Bruckner, who never heard his Fifth Symphony played at least in the 2-piano arrangement, yet wrote another four Symphonies after that.

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    An e-postcard of someone playing the ukulele somewhere in Detroit, e-mailed to you.

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    A postcard of someone playing the ukulele somewhere in Detroit, snail mailed to you.

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    A PDF of the Concerto e-mailed to you.

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    A recording of me playing a potential cadenza for the Concerto e-mailed to you.

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    A PDF of the Ukulele Concerto and a recording of the piece with a recording of me playing the piece with a synthesized orchestra.

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    A PDF of the Ukulele Concerto and a recording of the piece with a recording of me playing the piece with a pianist playing the piano reduction of the orchestral parts.

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    A handwritten copy of the score of the Ukulele Concerto and a recording of the piece with a live orchestra. (The score may deviate from the final version in minor details).

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Funding period

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