An App to Save & Share the Stories of Madrid
Madrid is the valley of Misfit Toys. It’s the world’s largest open-air insane asylum. A sunny place for shady people In Madrid, the odds are good – but the goods are odd.
When coal was discovered near the dawn of the 20th century in a parched, rugged valley of New Mexico, the company town of Madrid was erected. Booming through the Depression, coal-powered incandescent Christmas spectaculars drew 15,000 visitors daily. With seams of both hard and soft coal, Madrid’s mines supplied all the power to build the Atomic Bomb in Los Alamos.
And then, practically overnight, economics dictated that coal mining in Madrid be abandoned. The entire town was put up for sale in 1954. There were no buyers.
Yet another ghost town, condemned to dust and rust … until it was rediscovered after two decades by a handful of brave souls. Freaks, hippies, outlaws and artists resurrected Madrid in their own image. It was an unsupervised measure of mayhem.
With perhaps the most artists-per-capita in America, Madrid is in renaissance today, boasting a remarkable range of galleries, goods and services. How this town was reborn can only be understood by listening to its original eyewitnesses. These pioneers are veterans and shamans, hiders and seekers. Their tales swing from comedy to tragedy and back, sometimes in the same story.
The tour is a GPS-based App. On their phones, visitors will be guided along by listening to tales of Madrid, as told by the people who lived it. The VoiceMap platform already has a roster of self-guided walking tours across the world: from Madrid, Spain to Madrid, New Mexico (coming soon!).
The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for the costs associated with producing this oral history tour. The budget reflects the necessary priorities: 10% ($250) to marketing, 10% ($250) to recording costs, 80% ($2000) to the storytellers.
In 2001, while camping around New Mexico with a good dog, I fell in love with the tiny town of Madrid at first sight. I have written four of my seven novels here, in an ecstatically iconoclastic community.
Whenever visitors learn that I’m a writer, they inevitably tell me that I ought to write about Madrid, and tell its stories. I always reply, “I can’t. Nobody would ever believe them.”
That’s why I am creating this oral history tour, to preserve the authentic account. It’s how I wish to thank the town which has been my home since 2001, the home I’ve looked for all my life.
I expect to release this oral history tour during the summer of 2017, in conjunction with the worldwide publication of my first audiobook, The Object: a love story.
Please visit my website AndrewWice.com to learn more.
Risks and challenges
The production schedule demonstrates potential challenges to be overcome. My recent experience producing, recording and editing my first audiobook, coupled with my time earning the trust of the good people of Madrid over the last sixteen years, leave me uniquely qualified to complete this product successfully.
Pre-production (current phase): outreach to storytellers. Despite the natural reticence of this ruggedly individualistic population, the project's appeal has successfully reached a critical mass with over two-dozen local contributors signed up already, and more expected.
Production (estimated 2 weeks): recording in KMRD studio. Madrid's own low-power radio station is in the middle of its fabulous new building's construction. This will ensure a pure, professional studio sound ... but not until it is completed, in mid-summer 2017.
Post-production (estimated 2 weeks): editing. I expect to have at least twenty hours of stories, from which I must cut the tour down to only one hour. Too many stories is a nice problem to have, and one which will be addressed by releasing a longer "Director's Cut" version of the tour, as well as reserving stories for a second or third tour, and ultimately, archiving the complete recordings in a free-to-listen, unexpurgated online format.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)