Approaching Nirvana started in 2009. For 3 years it was just 2 guys who had never met, making music together and collaborating online. Until 2012, when our fans banded together and helped us meet for the first time with the help of Kickstarter. Through the support of our amazing fans we produced our very first album together, Evolve. And now we felt it was the right time to reach out again for a project we've had on the back of our mind for a very long time.
Since the beginning, the vast majority of our releases have been in the electronic genre. But there is one album in our release catalog that sticks out:
Volume 1 was one of our first releases. We were able to experiment with amazing new sounds and ideas without the mold of modern dance music. The combination of orchestral sounds & cinematic tone fused together with gritty electronic synths & energetic beats was where we began. It’s been 6 years since we’ve been able to focus on a project of this scope and it’s time to return to where Approaching Nirvana all started.
Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 is more than a collection of Cinematic tracks from Approaching Nirvana. It is an experience. It's meant to be listened to from start to finish. While we're starting off with 7 total tracks, our goal is for Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 to include 20+ tracks. We are targeting a release date in December of this year (2015). The album will be copyright free for use on YouTube and Twitch. One of our biggest dreams with this album is to be able to have a live orchestra perform it once it's completed and to have you come see it.
One of the cool things about this album is that we're going to be chronicling the creation of it on our Twitch Channel. We will be streaming regularly throughout the latter half of the year and viewers will be able to watch the creative process unfold throughout. We will be creating Cinematic Soundscapes not only with the help of our Kickstarter Backers, but also with the day-to-day help of our Twitch viewers.
In 2008 & 2009, Sam Willson and Andrew Sinclair had been submitting their solo music to Newgrounds in the Audio Portal. While the site was primarily based on Flash animations and games, the Audio Portal was a place for musicians to submit their tracks and be heard by animators and listeners alike. In early 2009, Sam & Andrew met through the Audio Portal and began talking about doing some collaborations. Sam brought energy & rhythm from an energetic, up-beat, electronic music background and Andrew brought emotion & tension from a more classical, cinematic background. Approaching Nirvana was born. It was only natural that our first song together would be a combination of the two: The Heist
After a few tracks uploaded to Newgrounds, we spent the first half of 2009 more on electronic music with the release of 2 EPs: Breaking Influence & Sounds of Summer.
But in the Fall we decided to put together a collection of cinematic & electronic-orchestral fusion tracks with the release of Cinematic Soundscapes Vol. 1. Since then, we have found success grounded in more of an electronic music background with over 10 albums to our name.
Here are some of our most popular Electronic tracks:
Witness (feat. Veela)
Don’t Just Stand There (feat. Sean Vance)
Though, with each album we haven't forgotten our cinematic/orchestral side. It has snuck into more traditional Electronic productions and we have also managed to included a cinematic song or two on the majority of our Electronic albums. Here are some of those tracks:
The Last of Us
We make a living through our album sales; it is what has allowed us to continue to do what we love. That being said, in order to keep moving forward, we have had to release albums on a pretty tight schedule. Cinematic Soundscapes is a much larger undertaking than our usual projects and we want to make sure that we really knock it out of the park. We can’t produce this album on that schedule and with the ability to spend more time on the album without the pressure of a looming release, we feel like we can get better results.
Aside from giving us the time to focus our attention on this project we will be using the money to purchase new equipment. Andrew’s been working on a computer from 2009 and we’ve really pushed it to the limit. We need to update our Software Instrument Library with new Audio Units and VSTs. We are still working on orchestral & cinematic instruments that we purchased over 5 years ago and technology has come a long way. Stuff like EastWest’s Hollywood Strings and Brass as well as some other instruments from 8Dio are at the top of the list. It’s time to take the sound and detail to the next level and it is going to cost a decent amount of money to get there.
The money also goes to other things:
- High quality CD replication
- Awesome artwork & logos
- Cool custom headphones
- Amazing custom Approaching Nirvana Dropshades glasses
- Our first ever digital sheet music booklet
- A new version of our website
- Online Music Distribution (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc)
- Shipping & Handling
- Fulfilling & Packing Rewards
- Money that doesn't go to us (Kickstarter & Amazon Fees/Taxes)
- Completing other stretch goals (if met - see below)
At $15,000, Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 will be funded! Includes 7 song EP & Studio Computer Upgrade.
Custom Headphones Reward is upgraded from custom painted V-Moda LP2’s to custom engraved or 3d printed V-Moda M-100’s.
Add 5 tracks for 12 songs total.
Listen to the album from start to finish in one audio file. Adding custom transitions and adjusted versions of each song so that music flows smoothly from the first track all the way to the last track.
Add 2 more tracks for 14 songs total.
We're long overdue for a new version of this website. Hitting this stretch goal means that ApproachingNirvana.com gets a huge overhaul and brings our website up-to-date.
Add 2 more tracks for 16 songs total.
Physical CD is upgraded from a single Digipack to a Special Edition Dual Digipack.
Add 2 more tracks for 18 songs total.
Everything from midi files for a song to loopable versions of tracks and even some individual solo instrument audio files. These files will be delivered to everyone who receives a digital download of the album. Looping versions will only be produced for songs that work in loopable format.
Add 2 more tracks for 20 songs total.
As we produce Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2, we will be chronicling progress on our Twitch Channel. With this stretch goal, we will be editing together a documentary style video from the livestreams that highlights the music making process & interaction with our fans during album production. The video will be uploaded to our YouTube Channel.
Add 2 more tracks (plus 2 bonus tracks!) for 24 total songs
Sam and Andrew currently live in different areas. We will set up a stream server so we can stream from any location without interruption!
Sam & Andrew do a livestream event (potentially w/ VIP backers) singing Karaoke to their favorite songs and fan requests.
We will work together with various electronic music producers to put together a 5-7 track Remix EP that takes the themes and melodies created in Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 and brings them into a traditional EDM format. Deliverable Q1/Q2 2016.
We will produce a Music Video for the standout track from Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 to be uploaded to our YouTube Channel. Deliverable some time between Dec 2015-Feb 2016.
Full Remaster/Rework of Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 1. We will bring all 17 tracks up-to-date with brand new instruments and production techniques. We will also rework some tracks that feel "unfinished." Once finished, the album will be uploaded and released. The album will be delivered digitally to anyone who backed this Kickstarter. Deliverable Q1/Q2 2016.
This is our dream for Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2: a live orchestral performance of Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 in its entirety. This is a huge undertaking and we would be using the funds to pay for the time and services required to transcribe the album into a format for orchestral performance, to learn and practice the performance, to integrate our electronic side into the performance, and to produce visuals for the show. Deliverable Q2/Q3 2016.
Approaching Nirvana is and has always been about moving towards something new, something exciting. As we have grown, we've come to find that each person's story is different. The meaning of Approaching Nirvana has changed over time and our vision doesn't just include us or our music any longer. This has been a long requested project from our closest fans and supporters. We want to make this album a reality and tell a new story together with you.
Here is a sneak preview of one of the tracks on the album, A New Hope (working title):
The physical CD version of Cinematic Soundscapes Volume 2 will be produced using a Digipack style, with liner notes on the inside. If we hit our Physical Album Stretch goal at $37,000, we will be expanding this to a special edition Dual Digipack style, with liner notes on the inside covers. We have produced both of these kinds of CDs before. You can see examples of each of these styles below.
Funded right here on Kickstarter, Dropshades are Audio Reactive LED glasses that bounce to the beat of the music. In the $200 Dropshades Reward Tier, we will be offering custom versions with the Approaching Nirvana logo on the left and right arm of the glasses. Here is some more info about Dropshades taken from their website:
We did custom headphones for our last Kickstarter and we want to do them again. This time around we're going to be including headphones from V-Moda. A super awesome Custom Approaching Nirvana design will be on the shields on the left and ride sides of the headphones. We'll be using the V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Over-Ear headphones in our Custom Headphones Reward Tier. And if we hit our Upgraded Headphones Stretch Goal @ $20,000, we'll be including the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear headphones in the Headphones Tier. Each headphone includes a detachable microphone.
- Type: Over-Ear Circumaural
- Frequency Response: 5 - 30,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 105 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Weight: 260g
- Warranty: 2-Year Premier Warranty
- Product Page w/ More Info
- Type - Over-Ear Circumaural
- Frequency Response - 5 - 30,000Hz
- Sensitivity - 103 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity - -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance - 32Ω
- Weight - 280g
- Product Page w/ More Info
Note: All images associated with V-Moda and Dropshades are used for explanatory purposes only - we will be reaching out to these companies to work towards custom merchandise.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk involved in this is taking time away from other projects. But we think the reward of having our full attention to this project will yield the best results. And one of the hardest challenges for us will be making sure the headphones we provide are absolutely the best quality we can make with the budget we're working with. It'll also be interesting to create sheet music for full orchestra songs for the first time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)