My name is Abbie Weisenbloom. I run a house concert series based in Portland, OR . My husband Harold and sons Max 16 & Zach 13 also help out. We have hosted over 300 shows in the past 7 years on our living room stage featuring artists from all over the world.
The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise money to buy equipment that will improve the live streaming / broadcasting part of our series. That’s right, not only do we host live shows in our living room, we also broadcast them live on my Concert Window channel. Check it out! http://www.concertwindow.com/abbiewpresents.
In addition we want to edit the footage with the goal of establishing a YouTube channel, so that this is available to the artists -- with their permission of course -- and yourselves as well.
By supporting my project, you are also investing in the hundreds of amazing musicians who play here and their audiences!
- We support all-ages audiences by presenting music in a comfortable listening room environment on a financially accessible sliding scale basis.
- We support artists who make this music by giving them 100% of the door proceeds as well as 50% of streaming proceeds and by providing a quality listening audience both live and online for them. The revenue from streaming will help offset our costs.
I didn’t always host house concerts. I have a degree in French. I used to work as a tech writer and web developer, yet I have always been passionate about creating art, making music, and traveling. After I became a stay at home mom on moving to Portland, I also struggled with feeling isolated personally and professionally. Don’t get me wrong, although I adore raising my children, it does take a village to raise them and I so I turned to music and the community around it in search of connection. I dusted off my flute from grade school, took lessons, joined jams, started my kids on violin lessons, and - to make a long story short, this led to me hosting our very first show in 2009. This is and has been a project that I can invest in full-time that includes the whole family. In addition to enriching our lives, this concert series has touched hundreds of audience members and individual performers that we have hosted to date.
- Learn more about the story of how we started our series! Read the interviews on my press page. ( Here's an interview I had with the Oregon Bluegrass Express. )
- Watch this Oregon Art Beat video about our series!
WHY HOUSE CONCERTS?
- House concerts are a wonderful way to experience music. Have you ever been to one? I’d guess that there are probably several opportunities in your town. Imagine having one of your favorite musical groups playing in your own living room. It’s a huge thrill! Not only does your home and family benefit from the wonderful and unique energy that this kind of event creates, but you are also investing in community and the artists.
- Our house concerts are all-ages events. Often great music is held in venues that are for 21 and over audiences.
- You can travel through music! I have always looked to other cultures to round out my perspective in life and lived in France for 3 years. We have people from all over the world come to perform here. Without the cost of a plane ticket, we all can enjoy the cultural perspective that these performers bring to us and their unique take on music too. In-house audiences benefit by seeing the artists up close and personal.
- Our shows are financially accessible since they are sliding scale suggested donations.
- The artists benefit in at least a couple of ways -- we give them 100% off the door donations as well as 50% of online tix/tips. They have the pleasure of performing before a quality listening audience and also expanding their online audience.
WHY LIVE STREAM THE SHOWS?
I had always prioritized the intimate connection between the live audience and musicians by minimalizing any equipment between the audience and performers. On the other hand, increasingly I became really excited about the possibility of sharing these concerts with the wider world if it didn’t take away from the in-house audience experience.
- Streaming audiences can enjoy all or part of the show from the comfort and convenience of where ever they happen to be.
- They can support their favorite artists on the road and what we do here by tipping and buying on-line tickets. We have been streaming shows for over 2 years now via my Concert Window channel. I don’t have a lot of money to throw at this sort of thing, so I was playing with relatively inexpensive technology I had access to, but now I need to improve my setup. Some of my Channel’s followers have been requesting better cameras and also a way to view the shows later on. Stat slide with bullets
IMPORTANT FACT : House concert hosts are not paid! Most people don’t know that house concert hosts are legally not allowed to be paid, since we are not a venue but a party. However, I CAN legally be paid via my Concert Window channel with tips and tickets sales, so this is a very empowering option for me and an exciting way to finance what we do here. While I continue to host shows that benefit the artists & community here in Portland ~ I will also explore how I can use technology to further amplify what we are doing here to help support the series and spread the music far and wide.
Here's the Plan!
I have been testing equipment over the past few months so I know better what actually works in our setting since there is no plug and play solution for what we do here. I can show you a list of things that do work that I’m confident in investing in.
- $2300 Video Editing Computer -- For me to use to turn extensive footage into clips for the artists use and people to enjoy and learn from.
- $2000 Electronic Piano - For artists when they play here.
- $2000 Streaming Computer -- Currently I’m borrowing my kids' computer. This would be dedicated for streaming -- fast enough for Multi-cameras, recording to disc, and streaming in real time.
- $1600 Pan Tilt Zoom Web Cam
- $300 Joystick controller for camera. I use this in the kitchen so I don’t interfere with the live audience experience.
- $500 towards software. Finalcut for video editing / VMix Broadcast for multicam streaming and recording.
- $399 Go Pro Silver. Experimenting with this as a less expensive webcam for streaming. I will probably upgrade this over time or use it for a unique perspective.
- $300 High speed cables - Fast powered cables for quality high video streams.
- $550 ETL Edwina Large Diaphragm Microphone. Vocal groups love these when we need a little vocal boost. Streaming audiences also appreciate it.
- $500 Fishman Performer Amplifier w/ Phantom - Excellent mid-range amp we have tested and like + it’s not ugly.
- $200 Toward Hard Drives for storing video
I am convinced that this series continues to be worthwhile and I want continue to doing it while also evolving in exciting new ways using streaming technology. But I can’t do this without your financial support to sustain the series and take it to the next level.
ARTISTS & AUDIENCES WILL LOVE YOU!
By supporting my project ~ you are also investing in the musicians who play here, the listening audiences, our community, and helping to actualize this exciting dream of bringing live acoustic music from our living room to yours and to people all over the world.
We hope you will join us in supporting this next exciting phase of our project.
Rewards - Art, Music, Lodging!
My list of rewards will grow as the campaign progresses. Since I am also a visual artist and make all of the posters for the shows, my rewards will include digital/and or copies of posters - over 300 to choose from. Also detailed seek and find drawings that I create myself, creative word art with backer names, and so on. I will also be creating awesome playlists from artists who have played here with their permission. I will continue to announce these rewards as they become available.
Thank you for stopping by. We'd love to have you on our team!
Risks and challenges
Although I have been running this series for over 7 years, and the streaming part of things for over 2, the next phase -- building the YouTube channel, troubleshooting streaming video / audio recording, and learning new hardware software -- will involve some time to adjust and learn how to operate everything smoothly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)