About this project
We made our $7,800 goal allowing us to finish our album!
We are thrilled! Thank you so much! We made our goal six days early - and are already exceeding it. We are so incredibly grateful to all of you for making our Kickstarter goal a reality. Thank you.
Because we're in this lucky position, we want to share with you several more goals on our horizon. They're called "Stretch Goals" here on Kickstarter:
---If we make it to $8800 (exceeding our goal by 1K) this will pay for our tickets and incidentals for our west coast record release tour. We can't wait to see you in California!
---If we make it to $10,800 (2K more), we will -- finally! -- be able to re-design and re-build our website and branding materials to support our new record. We would love to make this happen.
---If we make to to $11,300 (an additional $500), then we will also have the funds to take out an ad or two in the Village Voice and Time Out NY to market our most fun and outrageous NYC record release party to date.
---All said and done, if we make it to $456,000 (an additional $444,700) we will quit our day jobs and buy a house in Hudson dedicated to the creation and celebration of Balkan vocal music, and Balkan music ONLY! We will pay for your travel to come live with us year round. We will sing for you all day long, every day. And feed you.
Creating our album:
In the years since we recorded our last CD, we've written up a storm of new arrangements -- songs about dragons and weddings, the fleeting nature of youth, bandits, and a lot of other things too -- and we're dying to get them out into the world! We've chosen two amazing venues in which to record our songs - the acoustically gorgeous Temple Beth Emeth in Flatbush, which we fell in love with when singing as part of Michael Winograd's Ditmas Acoustic Series, and in Sarah's Kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where we've been rehearsing weekly for the last five years. We are collaborating with supremely talented recording engineer, Don Godwin, and mastering engineer, Sarah Register. We saved up all our money from our gigs and workshops for a year, but that's not enough to cover our recording, mixing, mastering, designing, pressing and promoting. We are asking for your backing so that we can record and promote songs like this:
Here's what we sound like singing about a river that reaches up and pulls a girl in (behind a 3D light installation) at the art gallery at Bucknell University:
We raised enough already to get us through recording almost all of the songs on our 15-track album, but we can't take this any further without your help. We are asking our friends and community to help us raise $7,800 to pay for our last four tracking sessions, the mixing, the mastering, the design, the printing, the publicity, and all the other steps it takes to get this CD from it's current place into your hands.
If you've never seen us...
...here's how we look in Polly's woodshed in our old fashioned outfits:
...and a pensive moment before at Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
... Golden Festival post performance after-glow
... at the top of Trump Tower
... and at the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe.
If you've never met us,
...here's what we're like on stage before we start singing:
(CREDITS: Featured Video: DP: Gemma Flemming, Editors: Josephine Decker and Willa Roberts | Additional Photo + Video: from top to bottom: Walter Wlodarczyk, Benoit Cortet, April Renae, Barry Long, Brian Gonzalez, Ambrose Ferber, Walter Wlodarczyk, April Renae, Willa Roberts, Gregory Gutin, Toby Vann)
ABOUT BLACK SEA HOTEL:
Affectionately dubbed a “punk rock version of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares,” Black Sea Hotel is a Brooklyn-based a Capella trio that recreates traditional Balkan music, generating their own inimitable, gutsy sound. Sometimes lyrical and ethereal, sometimes dissonant and driving, their distinct voices create a harmonic blend that has been called haunting and otherworldly. Black Sea Hotel finds new ways to use melody, harmony, and rhythm to tell ancient stories which still resonate today.
Gathering inspiration from master singers, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, the trio creates a unique repertoire, arranging and composing complex, three voiced interplays based on original material. The sometimes strident, sometimes unearthly textures and overtones characteristic of Black Sea Hotel’s music make it hard to believe that their sound comes from only three voices.
Black Sea Hotel’s appeal draws a remarkably broad audience. They perform at venues ranging from concert halls and universities to downtown clubs, folk festivals, and the Bulgarian embassy. They have collaborated with such musical luminaries as Kremena Stancheva of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, beatboxer Adam Matta of Carolina Chocolate Drops fame, and Brooklyn Balkan bands Ansambl Mastika and Raya Brass Band. The trio has been broadcast live internationally on Public Radio International's "The World, Global Hit" segment, as well as on WFMU, WNYC, WAMU, and Serius XM Radio Live on Fine Tuning. They also regularly lead classes, workshops, and lecture-demos in Balkan singing.
Black Sea Hotel’s live performances, as well as their self-titled album, have been praised by Alex Gallafent of PRI’s “The World”, David Byrne, esteemed music producer Martin Bisi, NY’s Lucid Culture, Timeout NY, East Village Radio, and more. The group was the Editor’s Pick and Featured Artist on CD Baby, # 2 on iTunes World Music Top Albums the week of their first CD's release.
As Black Sea Hotel finishes their current album, they are looking forward to a very lively 2014, with projects including a commission by Lenore Davis for composer Bruce Adolphe to create a new music score for Black Sea Hotel's three voices, piano, and three cellos, as well as touring with a rock band to write home about... Details to come!
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT US:
“…Black Sea Hotel takes some of the most compelling elements of Balkan folk music and strips them down to their barest form. The vocal trio executes the kind of close, difficult harmonies that inspired Kate Bush to collaborate with Trio Bulgarka."
-The Washington Post
“[These ladies] are exceptional musicians and magnificent singers. Listening to them singing Bulgarian folksongs brings me back to my childhood… Their performance is just fascinating.”
- Kremena Stancheva, Soloist- Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
“Black Sea Hotel captures an other-worldly sonic experience, wonderfully concordant and discordant (to my post-punk ear), a totally unique sound on this planet.”
- Martin Bisi, Engineer/Producer (Pixies, Sonic Youth, Swans, Herbie Hancock, Dresden Dolls)
“When their voices combine, these incredible women create a miraculous and transportive alchemy that, for me, transcends the very physicality of music itself.”
- Bill Kates, Sirius Radio Personality/ Producer
“[Black Sea Hotel creates] exciting arrangements that preserve and honor the strength of Balkan folk traditions while bringing fresh and vibrant interpretations to these haunting songs. The blend of their stunning voices makes my spine tingle!”
- Shara Worden, Singer/Composer (My Brightest Diamond)
Risks and challenges
We are so lucky to be part of a big warm awesome community of musicians in Brooklyn who are inspired, as we are, by the music of the Balkans. We've called on them to help us book gigs and we've followed their recommendations for engineers, designers, production houses, and publicists. We've encouraged our community to give us continuous feedback, and they've been endlessly generous. Now we need to reach out more broadly. Our biggest challenge is getting our sound out into the world outside of the Brooklyn Balkan community.
After we finish this CD, we want everyone to know about it! Please tell your friends, please post this Kickstarter on your FB, Twitter, your Mom's chalkboard, and as you root for us, we'll keep singing for you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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