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A book of photos, interviews & essays charting the rise of the alternative classical music scene in London.
A book of photos, interviews & essays charting the rise of the alternative classical music scene in London.
168 backers pledged £5,574 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Ten years ago, a new generation of composers and musicians started putting on classical gigs in non-traditional venues. Since then, a new alternative classical music scene has emerged. Now, there are alt classical gigs happening all over London - everywhere from warehouses to pubs, to abandoned underground stations - essentially creating a new music movement, yet nobody has captured and drawn this together in a single printed document.

Our book “We Break Strings” is a labour of love, and will showcase a community of talented musicians at a pivotal moment in music. We hope you will support us in making this book a reality.

Gabriel Prokofiev and Sarah Dacey
Gabriel Prokofiev and Sarah Dacey

Composer Gabriel Prokofiev (who had founded classical club-night and record label NONCLASSICAL back in 2004) felt that this thriving alternative classical scene deserved to be shared in the format of a Photo Book. After talking to music blogger Thom Andrewes and photographer Dimitri Djuric, who have both been following the developments for the last few years, Gabriel asked them if they would collaborate to make a book surveying the scene.

Multi Story Orchestra
Multi Story Orchestra

 We Break Strings is the product of our desire to bring this scene to a wider public. The book charts a scene driven by a desire to create a new space for contemporary music outside of the traditional concert hall.

The text draws on conversations with over thirty musicians, composers and promoters, giving a sense of the breadth and complexity of ideas, motivations and influences behind this musical moment. Thom spent many months interviewing the people that make up this scene, whilst Dimitri captured them during performances and rehearsals. 

Featured new music nights include Nonclassical, Kammer Klang at Café OTO, London Contemporary Music Festival, and the Multi-Story Orchestra, who play in a car park in Peckham, among others. These are captured in the atmospheric photographs of Dimitri Djuric and further explored through interviews with the curators, musicians and composers behind the nights. The social, cultural and aesthetic implications of the scene are investigated by commentary and short essays by Thom Andrewes.

The book is 144 pages, printed on 150gsm art paper. 300gsm softcover, 21cm x 28cm.

The book comes with an exclusive CD of live recordings of many of the composers & performers featured in the book, recorded at the Nonclassical club nights over the last 10 years.

Thom Andrewes and Dimitri Djuric
Thom Andrewes and Dimitri Djuric
Leon Michener
Leon Michener

Reward Prints:

The prints will be archival inkjet for black and white images and Digital C-Type for the colour images. Most images were shot on 35mm film. All the images on this page are available for print, as well as all image from the book. Below are examples of prints.

Langham Research Centre
Langham Research Centre
George Barton and cacti A4 print
George Barton and cacti A4 print
Gabriel Prokofiev and Sarah Dacey A3 print
Gabriel Prokofiev and Sarah Dacey A3 print
John Richards and Dirty Electronics 16 x 20 in. print
John Richards and Dirty Electronics 16 x 20 in. print

Risks and challenges

We have put in time and money to bring this book to a nearly finished state. We have taken all the photographs, written up the text, the layout has been designed; all that is left is to manufacture the book and distribute it. We are hoping to find backers to help us with this final cost.

Publishing art-quality books is expensive, but we decided to self-publish in order to have complete control and integrity; and to make the book we felt the scene deserves.

The risks and challenges when publishing a photo book include the possibility of delay. If this campaign is successful, we will do everything possible to make sure the book and the prints are shipped by November 2014.

Please take a look at the exciting rewards we’ve put together for our supporters, every little bit really does help! If you can’t support us financially, please consider spreading the word via social media or your friends. Thank you so much in advance.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £4 or more About $7

    Our sincere gratitude for your support + your name will be listed as a backer on the We Break Strings web-page.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    Our gratitude for your support + a digital download of a track of your choice from Nonclassical Recordings catalogue.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $33

    Receive the book We Break Strings signed by the authors.
    Free shipping within UK

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    126 backers
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    Pledge £50 or more About $82

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + an A4 sized print from the book.

    Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £60 or more About $99

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + 5 album downloads of your choice from the NONCLASSICAL RECORDINGS catalogue. Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £70 or more About $115

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + an A3 signed print from the book. Free shipping within UK

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £80 or more About $132

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + 5 CDs of your choice from the NONCLASSICAL RECORDINGS catalogue. Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £100 or more About $165

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + an A2 sized print from the book. Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £120 or more About $198

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + two A3 signed prints from the book. Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £160 or more About $263

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + two A2 signed prints from the book. + x2 Vinyl albums/EPs from the Nonclassical catalogue. Free shipping within UK

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    Pledge £200 or more About $329

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + 1 hour seminar from author Thom Andrewes. (Travel expenses & accommodation to outside of London not included).

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    Pledge £300 or more About $494

    Receive a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + two A2 prints.
    + x2 guest-list tickets to NONCLASSICAL 10 year anniversary gig season in East London, October - November 2014, including 4 live music events.

    + Invitation to post-season dinner with Gabriel Prokofiev and Nonclassical artists
    (Travel costs not included)

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    Pledge £700 or more About $1,152

    A one of a kind commissioned 16 x 20 portrait of you taken by photographer Dimitri Djuric at a location of your choosing within London. + A signed copy of the book We Break Strings.
    + x2 guest-list tickets to NONCLASSICAL 10 year anniversary gig season in East London, October - November 2014, including 4 live music events. + Invitation to post-season dinner with Gabriel Prokofiev and Nonclassical artists (Travel costs not included).

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    Pledge £1,500 or more About $2,469

    A special one-off private concert at Gabriel Prokofiev's house for you and 5 guests, from Nonclassical artists and DJs

    Plus a signed copy of the book We Break Strings + two A2 sized prints.

    Travel not included

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Funding period

- (30 days)