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Tricky Pixie's cellist is recording her own album -- a tasty selection of richly layered and looped cello compositions!
Tricky Pixie's cellist is recording her own album -- a tasty selection of richly layered and looped cello compositions!
349 backers pledged $15,897 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Release the Cello! -- a debut album from Betsy Tinney project video thumbnail
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$15,897

349

UPDATE 8/24/13 -- WE DID IT!! I am SO grateful to all our wonderful backers, and also to all the amazing folks who shared and tweeted and posted about this project! Because of your help (every ONE of you!) this Kickstarter has been a phenomenal success! THANK YOU!!!

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My name is Betsy Tinney, and I’m an independent musician and composer. Mainly, I play the cello and write instrumental music. I have performed and recorded with dozens of other musicians and bands, but this is my first solo album.

Most of the music on this full-length album will be original cello melodies, layered and looped to create a rich tapestry of sound. When I perform solo, I use an electronic looper to record cello melodies or short phrases on the spot, then immediately play those back while I play along with them. With the looper, I can add and subtract layers on the fly, building and shaping the piece as I go. Since much of my material is improvised rather than memorized, each piece is different every time I perform it.

8-20-13: NEW VIDEO! To see me perform the song Floor of Heaven live, click the video player below. (Imagine yourself on a grassy knoll on a warm summer's night... the night sky above you is deep black and crowded with stars. The night peepers are calling, and a warm breeze plays across your face. And, if you really listen, you can hear the stars singing...)

To hear the song Gentle Storm, a sample track from the album, click the player below. (All sounds on this track were made by my cello -- even the drum and the "rain" sounds.)

To produce this album, I’ll be working with a great team of talented and experienced professionals, including Jeff Bohnhoff of Mystic Fig Studios (recording and mixing) and Kevin Kº Wiley of the Touring Music Collective (video & graphic design). Although this is mainly a solo album, I’ll be joined on a few tracks by S.J. Tucker (guitar, djembe, and vocals), Jeff Bohnhoff (electric guitar), and a few other top musicians (to be announced).

We’ve kept our production costs low: only $10,000 to record, mix, master, produce and replicate this CD and ship it to you with all of your rewards. (In comparison, many record labels spend $100,000+ to produce an album.)    

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

1. CHOOSE A REWARD PACKAGE: Take a look at the many reward bundles we have on the right side of the screen.  To support the project, just click on the reward you want and follow the easy instructions.

2. GET THE NEWS OUT: Help us spread the word about this Kickstarter project through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs, email, phone calls, text messages, and word-of-mouth.  Every "share" helps -- not only does it boost our signal, but it can improve the project's rankings on Kickstarter and other sites.

Update 7/31/13: Stretch Goal Announced!

Oh my goodness, dear backers, you blew right through the 100% mark just 12 hours after my update about being at 67% -- I am completely blown away! Thank you all so much for your overwhelming support!

Now that we’ve reached 100%, we know the album’s going to happen FOR REALZ! OMG!!  …Okay, now that I’ve stopped bouncing (mostly), it’s time to talk about our first stretch goal.

Stretch goal: $15,000 – More Tracks + Tricky Pixie

If we make this stretch goal:

  • We’ll add 2 more tracks to the album (some of the stretch funds will cover the additional cost of recording, mixing and mastering those tracks).
  • We'll bring in the rest of Tricky Pixie to perform at the album release concert (Sooj lives in Arkansas, and Alec will be in the upper Midwest by then, so we’ll need to fly them in). We’ll also need to hire a larger hall and sound system to accommodate the resulting extra magic.
  • A video of the release concert will be made available to all backers.
  • Each backer $50 and up will receive a voucher for 2 complimentary tickets to the release concert.

Update 7/30/13: Alligator Drives

(This is a quick summary of Update #1. For the complete text of this update, click "Updates" at top left.)

SJ, Alec and I each played something like nine concerts during this year's Faerieworlds – some as Tricky Pixie, and others as “solo” shows (in which the other two of us played anyway). Our excellent videographer, K Wiley, captured many of our concerts, including my own solo show; I’m hoping to include some of that footage on those alligator USB drives.

…Speaking of which, here’s what those alligator drives look like:

(What doesn’t show in these photos, of course, is the live concert audio and video that will be inside each alligator. :)

Risks and challenges

As with any complex creative project, this album has its share of challenges and risks. The most obvious risks are the possibility of cost overruns or delays.

Regarding cost overruns: Our financial advisors, who have years of experience at producing and financing albums, have worked out an exhaustive budget for this project. We're pretty sure they’ve taken just about everything into account.

Regarding the possibility of delay: We have carefully scheduled the process of recording, mixing, mastering, and producing the album, and have planned for as many eventualities as possible. We’ve even built some buffer time into the schedule in case something doesn’t go as planned. Based on this, we’re confident that we can have the album and the rewards ready to put into your hands by January at the latest. Of course, we’ll be keeping all our backers apprised of the album’s progress as we go.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    TIP JAR: Every dollar brings us closer to releasing the cello! You will receive download codes for two songs from the completed album, and we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening with the project.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIGITAL PACKAGE: You will receive codes to download the completed album and a set of related ringtones, we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening with the project, and Betsy will send you a personal thank you via email.

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    138 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SIMPLE PACKAGE: A physical copy of the completed album, download codes for the completed album and a set of related ringtones, access to Betsy’s recording diary, and a thank-you card signed by Betsy.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SPONSOR PACKAGE: We’ll put your name in the album credits, and you’ll receive early access to the digital tracks, a 9x12 print of the cover artwork, and everything in the SIMPLE package; Betsy will sign your CD.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    JAM WITH ELEPHANTS: You’ll receive an 8 oz jar of Liberty Elephant Jam (homemade by Betsy, using Liberty blueberries and elephant blackberries!) and a 9x12 Liberty Elephant art print. You will also receive everything in the SPONSOR package.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    TEA WITH JAM AND ELEPHANTS: You’ll receive an invitation for two to attend an exclusive, VIP gathering in Redmond, WA, to celebrate the release of the new album. There, you will receive your 8 oz jar of homemade Liberty Elephant Jam (homemade by Betsy, using Liberty blueberries and elephant blackberries!), a 9x12 Liberty Elephant art print, and everything in the SPONSOR package.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ALLIGATOR: Betsy found some amazingly cute alligator USB thumb drives, which we will load with exclusive video and audio from some of Betsy's concerts (including some Tricky Pixie and SJ Tucker concerts). You will also receive everything in the JAM WITH ELEPHANTS package.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    NOODLE-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB: Each month for a year, you’ll receive a download code for a new, original cello improvisation (“noodle”) by Betsy. You’ll also receive everything in the ALLIGATOR package; your art prints will each be signed by the artist.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    CELLO-STRING NECKLACE: A simple, elegant necklace (suitable for all genders) made for you by Betsy from one of her played-out cello strings, semiprecious stones, and sterling silver findings. You’ll also receive everything in the NOODLE package and, at your option, an invitation for two to the VIP gathering in Redmond, WA.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT: Betsy will play a one-hour concert for you and your friends in the privacy of your home. (Travel costs extra.) You’ll also receive everything in the NECKLACE package and, at your option, an invitation for two to the VIP gathering in Redmond, WA.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    YOUR OWN CELLO PIECE: Betsy will create a new 4-5 minute cello composition for you based on your preferences, and will record it for you in her home studio. You’ll also receive everything in the NECKLACE package and, at your option, an invitation for two to the VIP gathering in Redmond, WA.

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Funding period

- (30 days)