(Thanks to the many folks over the years who shot the photos!)
SO GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE SUPPORT!!!
We've achieved STRETCH GOAL #1! Let's try for STRETCH GOAL #2: another song!!!
I've been dreaming about this project for months. Writing material. Drawing up plans. Researching and meeting with producers. Putting together the band. And now, here we are! Amazing.
A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES is an EP collection of some of the songs I've written in the past year. My last album was released over 10 years ago. A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES is the album I didn't realize I've been making ever since.
I dare say these are the best songs of my life. They come from growing up and growing older. They come from listening to others and examining myself. They come from loss, grief, joy, love. They come from a deep appreciation of the folk, Americana, country, and singer-songwriter artists who have buoyed my spirit throughout my life.
Will you join me in the making of this album by backing this campaign? Whereas years ago making a record was a magical effort behind secret doors -- nearly impenetrable to independent artists like me, and completely closed off to you -- times have changed. Now, YOU AND I ARE THE RECORD LABEL.
As the creator and visionary for this project, I am deeply appreciative that you've come this far. Truly, my community of family, friends, and fans is everything. With you in mind, I've created super-fabulous incentive rewards just for this campaign. In appreciation for your support, as a backer at every level, you'll get exclusive Kickstarter content and your name inscribed on the wall in my little "she-shed" cabin where I do almost all of my songwriting.
Will you back this campaign and add your light to A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES?
- Are you the "I'm in! Just take me to the rewards!" type? Got you covered! NOTE: Different rewards catch your eye? You can pledge at multiple levels!
- Are you the "Don't bore us, get to the chorus" type, but still want details about this campaign? Scroll down to the "ABOUT THE RECORD" in orange below.
- Or are you the type who loves a good story? Here's how this project came about:
Did you ever have a dream so bright that, though the path was not blazed, or the road twisted like an M. Night Shyamalan plot, you could follow it like headlights in the dark?
Did you dedicate everything to your dream, as they say you must, with tenacious commitment?
And, did it happen, after years and years, that one day your light blinked out?
Over the past year, after a looooooong hiatus from my singer/songwriter career (during which I recorded 3 albums and toured throughout the Northeast and across the U.S.) I've been working on a new collection of songs.
It started last spring with one song about a woman and a question:
The song came begging to be written. (Sometimes songs are like that. Insistent.) I dusted off my guitar, dusted off my voice. Both were weak from neglect, because though songwriting was once my light and compass, it'd been over 10 years since my last album and tour.
A melody emerged; verses moved around; I tested different lines in the chorus. I was hoping to heal a relationship in my life. Perhaps, I thought, the craft and emotion of writing this song would reveal a key to peace in the fraught rapport.
In the song, I pondered what I knew of this woman's younger days. I remembered that she'd once wanted to be an archaeologist.
I thought about how she might have felt in middle age, having given up some dreams. Now in my 40s, I am arguably "middle aged." I, too, have lost dreams along the way.
Every song is a conversation. As I wrote the pre-chorus, I found myself hearing the song not just as the composer, but as the intended audience:
In my early 30s, my own brightly lit dream -- of recording and performing my own songs -- blinked out. Maybe the electricity faltered. Maybe life got stormy. Maybe I was in a marriage that wasn't working. Maybe I felt too young to be stuck there for life.
Though my heart still ached to write songs and sing, I found that I couldn't do it anymore. For the first time in my life, I stepped away from music.
So I left the East Coast for someone else's dream in California. I practiced yoga. Wrote down stories from the touring days. Composed music for film/TV. Played in several kirtan/world music bands. Made a lot of pies.
I got divorced. Fell in love. Grieved over not having children. Married. Became a stepmother. Published essays and poems. Did very little songwriting (though, truth told, not none). Made more pies.
Ten years went by.
The years were tender, hard at times, often quite beautiful. I embarked on a sort of archaeological self-excavation.
Then, last year, I built a tiny "she-shed" cabin. I needed a quiet place to write. A room of my own.
And -- suddenly -- my dream re-sparked. The light went on.
Was the song about the woman?
Or was it about me?
...I'd be writing songs. I'd be singing.
And so I did. I wrote six months' worth of songs, a new one every week. And out of that emerged a new record.
This Kickstarter campaign is for A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES.
Turns out, sometimes a dream is not at all like headlights in the dark.
Sometimes it's a long string of sparks, flickering here and there, revealing pieces of the world one blink at a time, like a time-lapse release.
Sometimes it's like A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES illuminating the night.
Records are like homes. We all live in one, but few of us know everything it takes to build one from scratch.
So what does it take to make a record?
I already have an AMAZING team -- producer, studio, live and mix engineer, and musicians -- that I can't wait to tell you about in a later campaign update, when it won't get lost in the shuffle of this giant campaign word block. As a friend says, "Don't make me drink from a firehose."
Some interesting numbers, for the numbers folks:
I've set my goal for this campaign for $9600, which will cover SOME of the costs of recording, mixing, mastering, and manufacturing this album of 6 songs. If we exceed our goals for this campaign, the first stretch goal is to create a music video for promotion on YouTube. If we're widely successful -- a girl can dream! -- we may be able to add another a song or two. The cost of recording a single song is about $3267.
Here's (approx.) how the funds will divvy up:
For the pie lovers:
"Lovely songwriting and arrangements." - The Boston Globe
"Silver's tough-yet-tender vocals move through the space where Lou Reed meets Chrissie Hynde, ensuring that Something Pretty Something True lives up to its name and then some." - Performing Songwriter Magazine
"Silver first seduces with a rich, highly emotional voice. Though her arty lyrical flair reflects Ani DiFranco, Joni Mitchell, and even Jane's Addiction, it's a very personal modern rock approach." - Boston Herald
"Beautifully throaty, melodic voice belting meticulous poems...a truly talented songwriter." - The Spectator (Raleigh, NC)
"Listening to [On The Dashboard Of A Shaky Car] is like stumbling upon the perfect small town on a cross-country, broken-hearted road trip. You love the place so much and it's so familiar to you, yet you also find a whole new way of understanding your life and loves there. All of the emotional baggage you took with you is unpacked by chanteuse Arielle Silver's voice - low-riding, naked, and sure - coupled with wise, nimble lyrics and beautiful instrumentation." - Cynthia Gralla, author of The Floating World (Ballantine)
Thank you for supporting A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES by backing this campaign or sharing it with others in your communities. Your support means the world to me. From my deepest heart, thank you.
P.S. If you have a idea for a custom reward configuration that you would like to propose, send me a message. Let's work together!
Risks and challenges
As an artistic creation, not a gadget launch, the primary challenges in this endeavor come from being a human, with work, family, and a body/mind/spirit to care for. I am happy to report that all those elements are essentially in fine order. :)
The album will be recorded, produced, and mixed at Secret World Studios, which is owned by GRAMMY-winning engineer Brian Yaskulka, whose brother I have known for years, and whose work I have admired since The Rescues debut album in 2010.
The manufacturing of the CD and book will be done by very well established companies – under the CD Baby umbrella – with whom I’ve had a relationship for almost 15 years. They are arguably the best company for independent releases like this, and they manage everything from CD production to digital distribution, registration, and more.
The shirts will be manufactured by a reputable screenprinter, on soft shirts in various sizes. With two weeks after the campaign closes on May 23, you'll receive an email asking for your preferred size, mailing address, etc. Look for that email around end of May/early June!
My qualifications for THE INNER LIGHT level come from my current work teaching yoga since 2009; serving as editor-in-chief of several literary journals, and publishing my own work in many others; working as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor; teaching as adjunct faculty at Antioch University since 2016 and at the International Women’s Writing Guild annual conference since 2017; leading workshops and retreats on creative vision and yoga since 2010; and the guidance from many mentors over the years at my alma maters: Brandeis University, Berklee College of Music, Antioch University Los Angeles, and beyond.
The CALIFORNIA GOLDEN HOUR retreat location is a private estate, which has hosted our yoga immersions for several years and with whom my yoga retreat agent has a long standing relationship.
The goal is to complete the recording, mixing, and mastering by the end of 2019, for an album release in early 2020. I believe this schedule is reasonable for the scope of the project. All project backers will be informed if the timeline shifts.
After 25 years of writing, performing, and recording, I am so very grateful to embark on this next phase with the support of my amazing community of music-loving friends, family, and fans. Thank you for being a part of it.
ArielleLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)