About this project
Thank you all so much for your incredible support in making this Kickstarter a runaway success and a boldness-affirming triumph.
If you'd like additional copies of the CD & DVD you can order them here: https://valerievigoda.bandcamp.com/album/just-getting-good-music-film-download
And please do stop by my blog where I go into detail about how much this entire Kickstarter experience has meant to me and how I feel more connected to my audience (YOU!) than ever before.
I’m floored. Thank you doesn’t begin to match the depth of my feelings; but thank you. I am delighted, inspired, and freaking PUMPED to no end about what we are creating together.
Just getting started, Val
Hi, I’m Valerie Vigoda and this is Just Getting Good: my new electric-violin-and vocal, live-looping, solo album and concert film.
I make all the music happen from scratch, by myself, with just my voice, my violin, and live-looping software called Ableton Live. Video projections respond to my playing—so that not only can you see what I'm doing in the intricate dance with my pedals and gear, but the images are different each night, creating a uniquely beautiful multimedia experience with every performance.
Please join me on the journey of putting it together, and check out the table of the rewards I'm offering further down the page.
Because we hit the $50,000 stretch goal, I'm releasing the title song of the album for everyone to see and hear right now in this video... bedroom style. Enjoy!!!
In the first twenty-four hours, we’ve already successfully reached our initial goal of $30K. This is AMAZING. AMAZING, I TELL YOU.
I am overwhelmed by this incredible, bold outpouring of support.
AND we’re not done.
We're setting three levels of stretch goals, all designed to make this thing better. All of them will allow us to get it done FASTER and give us more time for fulfilling your rewards and making more music. Please see our Stretch Goals section below for details on what we'll be able to do at $50K, $60K, and $70K.
For over a decade I toured the country, singing and playing electric violin with my band GrooveLily. In addition to eight albums and thousands of tour dates, I also spent many months on the road with Cyndi Lauper, Joe Jackson, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Then my husband (and bandmate) Brendan and I had our son Mose, and we've spent the last 8 years mostly writing songs from home: ten musicals (click here for a full list), as well as tons of pop tunes (click here for samples) and songs for films—many for Disney’s animated Tinker Bell series. But I’ve missed performing, and we finally figured out a way for me to perform live completely solo, with Live Looping.
Wrapping our heads around this technology has been a several-year process...but so worth it.
Check out this video of me demonstrating how I layer my songs in loops during a live performance. I first used the Ableton Live program when we wrote a musical called “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me,” in which I'm alone onstage as the only musician and actor for a large fraction of the show. Along with my Mark-Wood-designed "Viper" electric violin, Ableton allows me to create a huge sound completely on my own - and that was the initial inspiration behind Just Getting Good.
And here's the full 2011 performance of "Thaw" so you can see an entire song.
I’ve done unplugged living room concerts and blasted my way through clubs and dives across the country, but this show is different. It's a big multimedia experience, best encountered in venues that are appropriate to its size and scope.
Since this is NOT your typical one-woman concert, we’ve decided to include live video projections: that way you’ll get to see the Ableton Live screen and close-ups of everything I’m doing, including shots of the pedals I hit with my feet to trigger all the recording. In addition, our video designer will be mixing in curated images (which vary every night in response to how I play) to make it feel like something bigger than just a chick with a violin and a laptop and a bunch of gear.
With such a visually dramatic show, and also because part of the fun of live looping is seeing what the performer is doing, we decided to make a concert film of Just Getting Good in addition to the CD.
It makes me feel phenomenally, powerfully alive to be able to stand alone on stage and create an entire evening on my own. But the truth is, while I’m the only one on stage, I’ve got an amazing team of artists working with me.
Jason Thompson (video projections) worked with us on our musical WHEELHOUSE. His credits include the Broadway musical BABY IT'S YOU!, VENICE at the Public Theatre, SF Symphony, and New World Symphony in Miami. He’s received an LA Ovation Award, Jesse Award Nomination, LADCC Nominations, and LA Weekly Theatre Award Nominations for his work.
Sibyl Wickersheimer (set design) designed the set for our Disney Cruise Lines TOY STORY THE MUSICAL. She's an Assistant Professor at USC whose recent credits include: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory, Lookingglass Theatre, South Coast Repertory, the Natural History Museum of LA County, and over 10 productions at Tim Robbins' The Actors’ Gang.
Chris Luessmann (live sound) sound-designed our show LONG STORY SHORT at San Diego Rep and mixed SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES at La Jolla. Sound and Video Supervisor on JERSEY BOYS at La Jolla Playhouse and sound designer for THE THIRD STORY Off-Broadway. Sound Supervisor for La Jolla Playhouse for 4 years.
Paul Wojciak (live video) shot and edited my first looping performance videos in 2011 which are featured in the main video above. He’s also been a camera operator for years on TV shows including: AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, THE BIGGEST LOSER, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK, and BREAKING BONADUCE.
Makaela Pollock (director) directed the first workshop of our new musical BEAUTIFUL POISON at 5th Avenue Theatre. Her work has been seen on the stages of New Century Theatre Company, Village Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Trinity Repertory, Intiman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Seattle Public Theatre, and Cornish College of the Arts.
Ben Wisch (album mix) mixed some of GrooveLily’s best-sounding records, from "Are We There Yet?" to "Sleeping Beauty Wakes." As a two-time Grammy Award winner, Ben has developed a reputation for creating soulfully rich sonic landscapes, supporting the artists he works with by creating a shared vision of the recording experience.
Brendan Milburn (producer/arranger) is my husband, and he's also 1/3 of GrooveLily. He’s the brains and the ears behind every one of these remarkably complex arrangements which he sews together seamlessly. He may not be on stage for Just Getting Good, but you’ll hear him all over every tune. Brendan's extensive bio can be found here.
(See the stretch goals section below for further details, now that we've blown past our initial goal of $30,000.)
We want to make something beautiful and worthwhile, that you'll want to explore and experience multiple times. Creating and recording the show, in all its technical complexity, takes a ton of geeky pre-and-post-production and design work, as well as gear, materials and a venue; and above all else, it takes a team of highly skilled creative people, who need to get paid fairly for their work.
Our initial budget is very modest for the extremely ambitious scope of this project (and our team giving us their "friend/family rates"!) - but it will allow us to make the thing with only a few corners cut, and the only people donating their time will be me and Brendan. Here's the estimated breakdown of costs:
Since we don’t know how much we can raise, and since Kickstarter is "all-or-nothing" (e.g. we only get to make use of the money pledged if we reach our goal), we kept the budget as bare-bones as possible. But this budget will require us to spend a few months doing work which ideally we’d hire other people to do. That work includes:
- mixing half the songs
- video editing/DVD authoring
- graphic design
Basically, the more we raise, the better we can make the entire project, because the production values go up across the board. If we reach a stretch goal of $50,000, we’ll be able to hire professionals to mix ALL the songs, do the video editing and DVD authoring, and take care of still photography and graphic design.
So let's celebrate the power of creating things together—whether you have $1 or $10,000 to spare, whether you live across the street or across the globe—and bust through our primary goal.
If we can hit $50k, we will be able to:
- Pay Ben Wisch to mix the WHOLE album, and not have Brendan mix the other half. (Brendan's pretty good at mixing, but Ben is world-class.)
- Pay Paul Wojciak to edit all the video footage into a beautiful film, rather than have Brendan and Val do it for free (we're okay, but Paul is the real deal).
- Pay a professional graphic designer to design for the entire CD/DVD package
- Pay a professional photographer to do the still photography for the project
If we can hit $60k, we will be able to:
- buy road cases for all the gear that Val needs to tour with - flying to concerts isn't currently possible without these.
- hire a third cameraperson for all three shows, giving us more angles and options during editing, and make the film better thereby.
- Pay off some of the the pre-production not included in this budget, which Brendan and I have been paying out of our own savings and lines of credit.
If we can hit the glorious amount of $70k, we will be able to:
- create detailed explanation videos for each of the songs, so the music geeks among you can take what we've learned painstakingly by trial-and-error these past four years and build upon it to make your own awesome creations
- outsource some publicity work, to help promote the project once it's ready
- book and travel to arts presenter showcases over the coming year, to increase visibility for me and the show
- Pay off more of the the pre-production not included in this budget, which Brendan and I have been paying out of our own savings and lines of credit, including all the gear we’ve already bought to do live looping.
And really, the sky's the limit here. The more we raise, the more time we can devote to making music (there are a bunch of additional songs in the pipeline, just waiting for the chance to see daylight)…as well as making your experience of this Kickstarter campaign as good as we possibly can.
I am filled with gratitude for what you've already done, and look forward to sharing the very best of myself with you.
Creating this wildly challenging, totally unique multimedia musical experience has been (and continues to be) a joy; in the solo concerts and school master classes I've done so far while learning how to pull this off, audiences have been stunned by what is possible using this technology. As someone who generally FEARS technology (yep, it's true), I have found that making myself face those fears has been tremendously rewarding—and when I can introduce a young music student or high school violinist to what you can create ALL ALONE in this way, their mind expands and it's an amazing thing to see.
This music is part GrooveLily and part new for me. I am hoping that our long-time fans will come along for the ride, and that newer ones (especially fans of STRIKING 12 or SHACKLETON) will be open to this new sound.
So with your pledge, you’re not just making it possible to do the concert, CD and live DVD, you’re proving I have an audience out there which will help me bring the show to a town near you.
The joy of Kickstarter is that YOU get to decide what music gets made these days.
So if you like what you’ve heard here, or if our music has ever touched you...
- Back this project (check out the rewards table below)
- Come to one of the three shows in LA, December 11-13.
- And SHARE this with people you think would dig it. That would make such an ENORMOUS difference in making this project a success.
(And if you personally know people in the media from journalists to bloggers who’d be interested in covering this, message us directly. We’d love to connect.)
Sending you a thousand kisses, a million hugs, a zillion thanks and infinite love!!
Here are the rewards in a clearly organized table.
If you want a reward that doesn't include tickets to an performance in Los Angeles this December, we'll make those tickets available for individual purchase shortly after the Kickstarter ends on November 16.
Risks and challenges
We've recorded eight full-length albums and half a dozen EPs, including multiple live recordings. We're working with top-notch professionals we've worked with before. The only new aspects of this adventure are the live-looping aspect which I've been perfecting for the past four years, and the DVD of the live concert film. We've got great folks lined up to make the DVD and we are confident that everything will go smoothly. We've locked down the theatre we're shooting in this December. And the only thing we'll need to figure out are the dates for the rewards that involve scheduling with/meeting you in person. Can't wait to see you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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