About

Update

OK, it’s “miracle” or “free music” – here’s the deal, and please share: I think my Kickstarter has peaked and won’t get funded. But I’m hugely appreciative of those who’ve pledged support to date. As of this moment, there are only 10 days left to get funded, and I’m only at 23%, and on Monday I start a new, very demanding full time job, so I won't be able to push this myself much more. With that in mind, I need you to know that I will record this new ballet class regardless. And if you pledged to this Kickstarter, even if it fails to get funded (which means it costs you nothing), I’ll still send you a download code to get the entire album when it’s finally finished. It’ll take a while, maybe late this year, maybe January or February, before it’s finished, but you’ll get it either way. That’s the deal. Share this with everyone you can and make sure they understand that if they pledge they get something awesome pretty much just for being cool. Or they contribute to a miracle and still get something awesome in the end.

Now here's the project:

Music for Ballet Class

There are thousands of ballet studios around the world, but for many of them it’s not realistic to have a live accompanist for every class. As a result, there’s a need for pre-recorded music formatted especially for class – these collections of pieces need to be ordered carefully and follow the progression of classic ballet classes; they need to have good steady tempos that are also dynamic and inspiring. Perhaps most importantly, they need to be interesting enough to inspire movement and to survive the many, many repetitions a teacher will hear. Ballet class recordings should be a mix of artistic beauty and technical competence.

For this project I’m hoping to find a broad audience of dance instructors, studios, choreographers, dancers, and music lovers in general, and to enlist their support. I’m aiming to produce a work that is inspiring – something that you will want to listen to even when you’re not teaching a class, or even if you aren’t a teacher at all. I also want to produce a work that provides a superlative tool for the studio – offering clear introductions, a good variety of combinations, reliable and appropriate tempos, and longer play times both to reduce how often you have to go back to your player as well as to allow combinations that go on immediately to the other side. I also believe strongly in providing musical support for the end of combinations, to allow a full 8 counts of balance or otherwise to help ensure dancers work through the finishing position.

I’ve improvised and played my own compositions for ballet class for over two decades, and over that time have developed a confident and wide repertoire. I’ve also played for many well-known dance professionals especially from Pacific Northwest Ballet, here in my home town of Seattle. Some of these dancers are part of my project team and will be advising me on their preferences for their classes and what makes the best class recordings in their eyes. Others, including former PNB dancers Louise Nadeau and Kevin Kaiser, will be working with me directly on the entire project.

Watch the video for this project to learn more about their involvement and their support. You’ll also hear a number of selections from my works, taken from a test ballet class recording that Kevin and I did at the recording studio where this project will be produced.

I’ve received really encouraging feedback from the small group of teachers who are currently using the test CD in their classes. Their students have also become excited about this project too. I hope you’ll join them in supporting me!

As a composer and improviser, I’ll be inspired more than anything knowing that there is an audience waiting for this music. In addition to the central recording, you can ask me to produce a unique combination just for you and your class at higher levels of pledges. If for example you are looking for your own adagio for the center, or a really dynamic petit allegro, you’ll be able to get a recording from me that’s yours alone. And for others I’ll also share the original test class that Kevin and I recorded – an entirely unique production that will otherwise never be released.


Budget

The budget I’m proposing covers some key elements and that’s it. I’m expecting to spend 60 hours in the recording studio (Lake Union Recording), and another 4 hours in the final mastering session (RFI Mastering). I’ll be working with a professional photographer/videographer (Tim Aguero) and designer (Ryan Obermeier) to produce final artwork. There’s the printing and manufacturing process for 500 CDs (DiscMakers), and then there’s postage and materials to mail the final products. Lastly the budget is rounded out to include income taxes and hosting fees. And that’s it!


Stretch Goals

If there’s enough interest to warrant stretch goals, we can explore extending the print run, and ideally producing more tracks to create a 2-disc set, allowing for two different kinds of classes, a slightly more up-tempo class as well as a slower class to give you options based on your style or mood. If that sounds good to you, I'll need your help to get the word out to as many people as possible! Thank you!

OK, it’s “miracle” or “free music” – here’s the deal, and please share: I think my Kickstarter has peaked and won’t get funded. But I’m hugely appreciative of those who’ve pledged support to date. As of this moment, there are only 12 days left to get funded, and I’m only at 21%. I’m performing this weekend, and on Monday I start a new, very demanding full time job. With that in mind, I need you to know that I will record this new ballet class regardless. And if anyone has pledged to the Kickstarter, even if it fails to get funded (which means it costs you nothing), I’ll still send you a download code to get the entire album when it’s finally finished. That’s *any* pledge. It’ll take a while, maybe late this year, maybe January or February, before it’s finished, but you’ll get it either way. That’s the deal. Share this with everyone you can and make sure they understand that if they pledge they get something awesome pretty much just for being cool. Or they contribute to a miracle and still get something awesome in the end. OK, it’s “miracle” or “free music” – here’s the deal, and please share: I think my Kickstarter has peaked and won’t get funded. But I’m hugely appreciative of those who’ve pledged support to date. As of this moment, there are only 12 days left to get funded, and I’m only at 21%. I’m performing this weekend, and on Monday I start a new, very demanding full time job. With that in mind, I need you to know that I will record this new ballet class regardless. And if anyone has pledged to the Kickstarter, even if it fails to get funded (which means it costs you nothing), I’ll still send you a download code to get the entire album when it’s finally finished. That’s *any* pledge. It’ll take a while, maybe late this year, maybe January or February, before it’s finished, but you’ll get it either way. That’s the deal. Share this with everyone you can and make sure they understand that if they pledge they get something awesome pretty much just for being cool. Or they contribute to a miracle and still get something awesome in the end.

Risks and challenges

I have a high degree of confidence in the success of this project if it’s funded. With any recording project there are challenges to be considered, but I have a solid career of project success already on my resume, and have already released seven albums previously. The most recent project “Improvisations” was a very high quality release, and was recorded at the same studio I will use for this project. We’ve recorded a test CD for classes there already, and know that the recordings sound great back in the ballet studios.

The risks are mainly to timing and release dates. My preference would be to have a completed product finished in time for the beginning of the ballet school year in September, which is very ambitious. If we assume the funding process is complete by the end of July, that leaves a busy August. A realistic schedule of recording sessions (still to be scheduled with the studio, and dependent on their availability) would allow perhaps three weeks of duration to pack in all of the sessions. We’d prepare the packaging files at the same time, but getting mastering completed, files handed off to manufacturing, and then the press process, plus after delivery the mailing process of addressing and mailing; all of those steps take time. It’s much more likely that the final CDs would be ready in November.

Some intermediate steps we can consider is an early release on digital formats for downloading, which would allow delivery much sooner, much more likely in the September timeframe.

But for other key phases of the project, things like recording quality, getting music right for each combination, and overall format, those are very low risk in my opinion, as I have lots of experience running these kinds of projects and will have very talented professional support all the way through.

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Support

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Contributor : Complete collection of tracks in MP3 format for download

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    Corps de Ballet :
    Copy of the final CD mailed to you

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    Soloist :
    Signed copy of final CD mailed to you, with a personal thank you note to you or someone you choose

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    Principal :
    Same as Soloist, plus your name listed on the CD liner notes as Principal Supporter

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Patron : Same as Principal, plus a unique recording of a barre combination of your choice (a variation on the final CD track) on an individual signed CD. Your name listed on the CD liner notes as Patron Supporter

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Sponsor: Same as Patron, plus three unique recordings of a barre combination of your choice (a variation on the final CD track) on an individual signed CD, and an invitation to the private CD release party. Your name listed on the CD liner notes as Artistic Sponsor

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Choreographer : Same as Patron, plus a video of one of your unique combinations being performed in the studio. Your name listed on the CD liner notes under Choreographer's Circle

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    Director : Same as Choreographer, plus signed copy of the original test CD with 18 tracks. Your name listed on the CD liner notes under Directors

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    Founder : Same as Director, plus a day of in-person class accompaniment at your studios (travel and accommodation if necessary not included but negotiable). Your name listed on the CD liner notes under Founders

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Funding period

- (30 days)