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Djoliba Crossing tells the story of an artist’s journey into the heart of West Africa to explore Mandé music and culture.
Djoliba Crossing tells the story of an artist’s journey into the heart of West Africa to explore Mandé music and culture.
71 backers pledged $4,304 to help bring this project to life.

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Djoliba Crossing: Journeys into West African Music & Culture

$4,304

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11/20/2013 Update!

I am very excited to announce that I have the opportunity to return to Guinea, West Africa this December 2013 for four weeks. My main goal during this time is to revisit the people and places that have inspired this book (for the first time in six years), and present my artwork to the people of the villages about whom this work is based. Thanks to the generous support of this project here on Kickstarter, I hope to be able to present a gift to the people of the village as a token of my gratitude for the experiences I had with them while traveling there this past decade.

I will be documenting this journey on my blog throughout the month of December, located at davekobrenski.com.

Summary

Djoliba Crossing is my first book. Chock-full of stories, my own illustrations, music transcriptions, and a whole lot more, the book is about my experiences over the past decade traveling in West Africa, where I set out to learn about the music and culture of the Malinké people of Guinea.

Drawing from years of travel and research in West Africa, Djoliba Crossing pays tribute to the great musical and cultural legacy that is still found today throughout Guinea. Part illustrated adventure travelogue, and part reference book for educators and musicians, the book combines cultural information, detailed music transcriptions, illustrations, and personal accounts to paint a vivid picture of the people who live on the banks of the Niger River in central Guinea. The book grew out of my desire to share with others what I learned through my travels, but also to give something back to the people I came to know there — who taught me much more than just the music I had come to learn. I hope you'll take this adventure with me!

Book Contents

Djoliba Crossing features:

  • 184 pages of good stuff! 
  • over 70 full-color illustrations (paintings, drawings, maps) 
  • 30+ pages of music transcriptions in an easy-to-understand format 
  • historical and cultural information, personal accounts and stories, diagrams, and more.

More Details

Djoliba Crossing is a book that I intended to be accessible and readable, and appreciated by a wide audience: I’ve paid close attention to the aesthetic design of every page of the book, to ensure that reading it is a visual treat! 

Whether you are:

  • a musician eager to dive into the music transcriptions; 
  • an educator looking for some background information (and inspiration) on music and culture in West Africa; 
  • an appreciator of the arts looking to hold something beautiful and thoughtfully crafted in your hands; 
  • or even the casual reader looking for something different than anything you have in your collection —

this book has something for you!

The Book

What Others are Saying...

Remaining Tasks for Completion

At this stage of the project, the book itself is completed — meaning all text and illustrations are in place; cover and interior design and layout complete...the book is essentially ready for print. However, I have exhausted my financial resources at this point, and I fear that without some community support, the project may linger in the archives of my computer.

That's where, I hope, you come in! I'm asking for financial support to aid in the completion of the project, and to see it to fruition. What I need money for is one last round of refinements (proofs, editing, etc), setup fees with the printer, and the printing/binding of the book itself. Additionally, if I reach or exceed the goals set here, some money will go towards distribution and promotion once the book becomes available.

Backer Rewards

In addition to signed softcover and limited edition hardcover versions of the book, backer rewards include:

Limited Edition 18x24 Poster #1

Limited Edition 18"x24" Djoliba Crossing poster
Limited Edition 18"x24" Djoliba Crossing poster

Limited Edition 18x24 Poster #2

18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 2
18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 2

 Limited Edition 18x24 Poster #3

18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 3
18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 3

Limited Edition 18x24 Poster #4

18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 4
18"x24" limited edition Djoliba Crossing poster 4

18x24 Archival Print on Watercolor Paper (can choose from any of my paintings)

Les Batteurs I, 18x24 watercolor by Dave Kobrenski
Les Batteurs I, 18x24 watercolor by Dave Kobrenski

Artwork Postcards

Postcards of Dave Kobrenski's watercolor paintings
Postcards of Dave Kobrenski's watercolor paintings

Future Hopes for this Book...

The process of creating this book was in and of itself a completely satisfying endeavor — If some people out there enjoy the book even half as much as I enjoyed making it, it will have been a success for me! That said, I can't help but wonder...will this book do well enough for me to pursue the idea of writing and illustrating other books? I sure hope so. Might there be a publisher out there that wants to take on the distribution and promotion of this (or other) books that I make? Who knows. I guess all I know is that I will continue making art and sharing it with whoever will appreciate it...and if I can do that, I reckon I could be a pretty happy fellow.

Risks and challenges

The challenges with completing the project (other than financial) at this stage are becoming fewer as I reach the finish line - I feel very confident that with the proper funding, printing the book and making it available for distribution is within reach.

Some possible obstacles at this point might include: the challenges of being an independent publisher and being the only person working on this project (ah, time being such as it is); of working with the company that will be printing the book (file preparation and delivery in the exact specs that they require); and preparing the book title itself for its ultimate end-goal: distribution to sites like Amazon, B&N, etc.

However, I have researched the process extensively, read books on self-publishing and the P.O.D. industry, and have talked with several others who have self-published their own books, and I feel very confident in my ability to see this project through to completion...I’ve come this far; there’s no turning back now!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Set of 3 full-color postcards, each featuring a different artwork from the book.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited edition 18x24 "Djoliba Crossing" poster (see image in description)

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    Signed soft-cover copy of the book

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    Limited edition, signed hard-cover copy of the book.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Limited edition, signed hard-cover copy of the book, plus the limited edition 18x24 "Djoliba Crossing" poster (see image in description).

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Specialutgåva! Two signed soft-cover books, one limited edition signed hard-cover book, and three sets of postcards (3 in a set, so 9 postcards with various art)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    1 limited edition, signed hard-cover copy of the book, the 18x24 "Djoliba Crossing" poster, and 1 full-size (18x24) museum-quality giclee print on watercolor paper of one of Dave's paintings

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    2 signed hard-cover books, 2 limited edition "Djoliba Crossing" posters, 1 full-size (18x24) museum-quality giclee print on watercolor paper of one of Dave's paintings, and a handwritten letter of appreciation

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Funding period

- (30 days)