Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 9, 2009.

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"The Universal Thump" is the forthcoming orchestral pop album by acclaimed Brooklyn-based Australian singer-songwriter-pianist, Greta Gertler.

UPDATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3

Dear Friends,

It's a chilly morning in Brooklyn, after a couple of days of rain. I sit in my kitchen. Yesterday's coffee is heating up. Pro Tools is set up on my laptop and I'm working on some backing vocal ideas for the big show on MONDAY, DECEMBER 7 at The Living Room. New Yorkers - Will you be there? This will be our final fundraising push before the deadline of next WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9. I am so excited to be playing with a 12-piece band! Plus there will be a raffle on the night, with really cool PRIZES from VESELKA! (Please see previous update).

THANK YOU again for backing "The Universal Thump". We are currently at 52% of our goal for funding this album. I am overwhelmingly grateful for your support and encouragement with this album. And I am so inspired by all the musicians who are working on this album with me, and grateful for their support for and participation.

Because we now only have a few days left in which to raise the rest of the funding, and we will receive NONE of the pledges and the album will not be completed unless we reach our goal - I am now asking even more of you, even though you have already been so generous because we basically need to double the pledges within 6 days, otherwise "The Universal Thump" will be stranded.

Do you happen to know anyone - even just one orchestral pop fan, someone who came to a show with you once and liked what they heard, or liked a previous recording of mine - who might like the music we are making, and wish to back this album? If so, would you please help to spread the word by sending them to this Kickstarter page in the next few days?

If we manage to succeed in raising enough pledges by December 9, I have decided to send something extra, along with the album and other rewards to ALL BACKERS - a very special Holiday Gift - "GRETA's SECRET GUIDE TO SURVIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY" (including a book, map and supplies)! I can't reveal more about this but it is something I've been working on for the past 10 years, and it's highly confidential. You guys will be the first and only people in the world to receive this gift if we make it to our goal for the album on December 9! :)

Meanwhile, I passed by this mural yesterday, while I was teaching piano in Park Slope. It is a few doors down from the studio in which we are recording "The Universal Thump". In addition to the show on Monday, my piano students have their big end-of-year Recital this Sunday, December 6 at IBeam Studio (also on 7th Street, Brooklyn) from 2-4pm. I am really proud of how they are all playing! Plus they are writing some cool songs! Please let me know if you'd like to come along.

THANK YOU again, for hopping on the whale and being part of this. Kicking hard for the final push off the island!

Greta & The Universal Thump Team :)

MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT:

"What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about- however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way- either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content." - "Moby Dick", page 6.

As some of you already know, I recently began working on my fifth album, "The Universal Thump", with Brooklyn-based producer/drummer Adam D Gold. What you may not know is this is the most ambitious, melodic and diverse orchestral pop recording project I've embarked upon yet.

Adam and I, with a large cast of fellow music-makers, are currently tracking full arrangements for 16 songs. We will ultimately narrow these down to the best and most cohesive 10 or 11 finished mixes. Similarly to my album, "The Baby That Brought Bad Weather" (2003), this one will feature a core band of drums, piano, bass and guitar, plus additional elements such as string quartet, horns, vibraphone, accordion, pedal steel, organ, choir...

This is a whale of a record! And all of the musicians involved so far have generously lent their genius to this project, helping to make it a statement with a Humpback's stature. But now, financially speaking, this album is beached! Marooned, rather helpless, on the shore with just a core group of musicians encouraging it to keep going.

It's tough funding a project this large in this economy (as I'm sure you know), and we could really use some assistance to get this beast swimming out into the world once and for all! Are you interested in hearing "The Universal Thump"? Would you like to help finish it by contributing? Kickstarter is set up to facilitate fund raising at all levels of donation: from purchasing the album in advance to offering a greater contribution, which would greatly aid in speeding up production of the album.

Perhaps you know my music well and are awaiting this new record? Or perhaps you are new to my music but have an interest in supporting creative independent art? This is your opportunity to help give this record the final push it needs to get out and swim out on its own!

This will be an interactive project. I will be posting video clips from the studio, rough mixes and other audio/visual materials as the album progresses and as the funding grows, so that you can be more directly involved with the making of this album. Feedback and correspondence is encouraged via Facebook, or through this website.

The only catch with Kickstarter is that "The Universal Thump" will only be funded if we meet our fundraising goal. If we fall short, your donations will be returned to you.

So, I am really grateful for any support you can give. Please contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like to donate an amount not listed here. Any contribution would be really greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Greta Gertler and The Universal Thump Team:
Adam D Gold, Jonathan Maron, Pete Galub, Roy Nathanson, J. Walter Hawkes, Sean Sonderegger, Alden Banta, Jon Dryden, Byron Isaacs, Ed Haber, Ken Thomson, Rachelle Garniez, Barney McAll, John Ellis and more to come...

FAQ

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    44 backers

    THE PYGMY SPERM WHALE: You will receive an advance, digital copy of "The Universal Thump", including extra tracks from the album sessions.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    66 backers

    THE PYGMY RIGHT WHALE: A signed, advance first edition pressing of "The Universal Thump" (ie. a real, tangible CD) plus digital downloads of extra tracks from the album sessions.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    24 backers

    THE COMMON MINKE: A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus a Limited Edition SONGBOOK, featuring all the chord charts, lyrics and photos of the making of "The Universal Thump".

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 backers

    THANKSGIVING SPECIAL - THE UNCOMMONLY HANDSOME MINKE:Same as the Common Minke, but Greta will throw in a personalized THANK YOU SONG (30 seconds or less), which she will leave on your voice mail or answering machine (this offer applies throughout the world.)

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    13 backers

    THE BELUGA: A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), a signed copy of Limited Edition SONGBOOK, plus your name will be included in the "THANK YOU" section on the album credits.

  • Pledge $125 or more
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    7 backers

    NEW REWARD!!! THE DISORIENTED BABY WHALE (see article below): Specially designed, shoulder-rubbing Universal Thump" T-SHIRT! Plus a signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), a signed copy of Limited Edition SONGBOOK, plus your name will be included in the "THANK YOU" section on the album credits. Article about Baby Whale: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4562632.ece

  • Pledge $200 or more
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    10 backers

    THE ORCA: A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), a signed copy of Limited Edition SONGBOOK, plus your name will be included in the "THANK YOU" section on the album credits. Plus, you will receive an original, personalized, HAND DRAWN ALBUM COVER (of a whale, of course) by Greta.

  • Pledge $300 or more
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    3 backers

    THE 'FREE WILLY': A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), a signed copy of Limited Edition Songbook, plus your name will be included in the "Thank You" section on the album credits. Plus, you will receive an original, personalized, WATERCOLOUR ALBUM COVER (of a whale) painted by Greta.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    BALAENOPTERA PHYSALUS: (Studio Patron Level). A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), signed Songbook, plus your name will be included in the "Studio Patron" section on the album credits. You will be invited to attend and give feedback on a RECORDING SESSION in Brooklyn, and will likely be enticed to sing backing vocals on a song on the album. Snacks and vocal warm-ups will be provided.

  • Pledge $750 or more
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    0 backers

    THE BIG-WINGED NEW ENGLANDER (Backstage Pass): A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Studio Patron" section on the album credits. You will receive FREE ACCESS TO ALL GG SHOWS for one year following the official release of "The Universal Thump". If you are not in New York, Greta will send you a care package from NYC, including a Katz's salami, knishes and other delights. (This is a good option for all you Australians.) When Greta tours Australia next, she will alternatively provide Vegemite, Tim Tams and other delights to those in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer

    THE RIGHT WHALE: (Executive Producer Level) A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Executive Producer" section on the album credits. You will and a guest will receive free access to all Greta Gertler shows for one year following the release of "The Universal Thump". You will be invited to the final listening party for the album, prior to the final mastering session. Cigars and sushi will be provided.

  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    0 backers

    THE HUMPBACK: (Tour Promoter Level) A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Executive Producer" section on the album credits. Greta and her band will come to your house and perform "The Universal Thump" live, in its entirety for you and your guests.

  • Pledge $1,750 or more
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    0 backers

    THE SPERM WHALE: (Tour Manager) A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Executive Producer" section on the album credits. Greta and her band will come to your house and perform "The Universal Thump" live, in its entirety for you and your guests. Greta will also bake you a whale-shaped cake while performing the show at your house.

  • Pledge $2,000 or more
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    1 backer

    KRILL BUILDING: A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Executive Producer" section on the album credits. Greta will write and record a song specifically for you - this could be a gift for someone close to you, a way to get back at someone, or a chance for you to express whatever you'd like to express through song.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    KRILL BUILDING DELUXE: A signed, advance copy of "The Universal Thump" (CD), plus your name will be included in the "Executive Producer" section on the album credits. Greta will write and record a FAMILY ALBUM specifically for you, featuring a song about every member of your immediate family (up to 10 people).

  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers

    THE NARWHAL: All of the above. Plus a set of steak knives.

Funding period

- (77 days)