Thank you, folks! My heart is full.
Because of all of you stellar and wonderful backers (and friends who boosted the signal) my album, Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour, is funded, along with mythic bookmarks painted by Starr Weems based on costume designs by Torrey Stenmark, a lovely album songbook, and a chap book (or PDF) of Seanan McGuire’s short story, “Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour!” Keep up with my album’s progress and other music projects in updates, on my website, on my Patreon page or via my mailing list—I have songs, music videos, and more fun! Please, be part of it. <3
Addendum: I declare we are close enough to the stretch goal to make it happen! We have been making plans to get Teresa, Brenda, and Amy out to Mystic Fig Studio to record. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thank you!
Who am I?
Hi folks! I am Mary Crowell. I’m a musician and a geek who loves mythology and role-playing games. I adore collaborating and making music with my friends, and many of them will be performing with me on this album just like they did on Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories (You can listen to it on Pandora Radio!). This is the story of Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour: a mythic tour through life, friendship, monsters, and music. And coffee.
This is my third solo album and my first Kickstarter. Like Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories (2012), this new album will be recorded—has been being recorded—at Mystic Fig Studio in sunny San Jose, California by Jeff Bohnhoff, the album's producer. The cover artist for this album is Robert Bean of Huntsville, AL. His painting, Season of Sorrows, perfectly captured the feelings I have about the album.
These songs are sad, funny, and sexy, and they are mythic. We’ve always told stories to ourselves to help us understand why things happen. We write and we tell, and we rewrite and we retell, changing details as we reinvent ourselves and our societies. We keep the bones of our favorite stories.
“Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour” is the title track. In it, several mythological women have created a Girl Band, left their families, and now travel to make music together. This is a bit like the Hero’s Journey of Joseph Campbell. Torrey Stenmark was inspired by the characters in it to create costumes for them and use her musician friends as models. I commissioned Starr Weems, the cover artist for Acolytes to create a series of Bookmarks based on this song and Torrey’s ideas. We have gotten carried away and now are mining other songs on the album for additional bookmarks. These delightful and stunning bookmarks will be part of the rewards tiers for the Kickstarter.
“Courting My Muse” was supposed to be the title track of my first solo album, Courting My Muse. I was never entirely pleased with my arrangement. And I didn’t like how my voice sounded on many of the songs in that album. I now understand that the small sound booth in that particular studio was comb filtering my voice, making it sound thin and lifeless. Then I played it with Betsy Tinney and Amy McNally at Conflikt in 2011 and fell in love with the song all over again. I’m delighted it’s going to be in this album. “Courting My Muse” is a flirtatious loving song about romancing one’s own inspiration—courting one’s creativity.
“Pandora’s Box” is just really dirty. It’s also an angry declaration that “’no’ means ‘no,’ A**hole!” This one is really fun to sing.
“Meet Me at the Labyrinth Plinth” was the result of a song prompt from the Soulwriters2 group. The Labyrinth Plinth is a bar that cranky Greek goddesses go to drink wine together.
“Fairest of Them All” s another cranky one. It’s about . . .wow. It’s about many things really. Apples, Jealousy, Sleep. But one of the themes is competition among women to be the fairest (whatever that may mean) and a bit about how messed up that is and how much it messes us up. It’s a cautionary tale. And . . . it won’t be enough caution.
I guess it’s time to stop shying away from the fact that one of the major themes of my new album is death and dying and how important it is to enjoy the moment—to fight for every second you have—to strive and hope to thrive.
“October in July” is a song about the hope of cooler weather in the midst of the July steam room that is Alabama. But the musical bridges comment on the need to appreciate every part of the year and understand the inevitability of dying and rotting.
“Remember Mister” is about appreciating your loved ones, gathering and remembering good experiences, and realizing that summer always comes back around. Reality is described in terms of painting.
“He Asked Me” is about how much it sucks to get older and how you worry about your loved ones—particularly your offspring and other people who depend on you and their ability to take care of themselves after you are gone. And you must fight these dark fears for yourself. For me, the only way to fight is by writing songs.
“When You Go” is not intentionally about death, but it is about bidding someone farewell. And perhaps you fear they aren’t leaving for the right reasons. (I was wrong about that.) This song was written for Gwen Knighton Raftery in 2004. I knew I would miss her and her stories and songs about fairytales and her wonderful wicked laugh—I would miss them so much when she moved across the ocean. And I do. Thank goodness for Skype!
I have four songs that are from worlds created by me, and one song from Seanan McGuire’s October Daye world.
“Coffee Cantata” is a happy celebratory advertising jingle inviting creative types into an establishment called the Coffee Cantata. This one is set in my D&D campaign world of MUSE. It mentions mooples, and I don’t explain what they are.
“Goliards” tells of the endless journey of a giant robot school full of teachers wandering a desolated world. It is set in MUSE too—perhaps far in its future.
“Patchwork Cliché” is a mad science murder ballad. My favorite quote about it was Seanan McGuire telling Tony Fabris at a filk circle, “That’s no metaphor. That’s a bone saw!”
“Coffee with a Friend” is my coffee with an elder god song. The plot creeps on you gradually as reality shifts from verse to verse. Seanan McGuire is going to be a gorgeous Shoggoth in a orange tentacular dress on one of the Kickstarter bookmarks!
Jazz and Mai (Raven May Waltz)” is inspired by Jazz and Mai, one of my favorite couples in Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. I love their relationship, and this song might be one they would dance to at a Beltane Ball.
This album grieves. It dreads grieving. It’s angry. It’s sad. It’s darkly humorous. It’s sexy. It meets me right where I am: worried about my parents and other loved ones, and fearing my own impending old age. The only thing you can really do when all your mortality crashes down upon your head at once is love your family and friends, try to be there for them, and make all the art you can. This album celebrates this. It rages against this.
And you can dance to it.
What Your Pledge Covers
The Mythic Bookmarks
The first time I performed the title track, “Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour,” a costumer friend of mine (Torrey Stenmark) heard it and was moved to create costume concepts for all the mythological musicians and support staff mentioned in the song. She based them on several of the people that I regularly perform with. And she based their costumes on the rainbow because she thought she had heard a verse about Iris the Messenger. (And I totally wish I had written one now.) So, Starr Weems, the artist making these bookmarks is going to do one for herself as Iris the Messenger. Starr made the gorgeous covers for my previous, album Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories. And we’ve added more bookmarks to the pantheon to represent other musicians on the album and characters from other songs.
Right now we have me (Mary Crowell) as Persephone, Judi Miller as Galatea, Michelle "vixy" Dockrey as Idunn, Sunnie Larsen as Ariadne, Amy McNally as Hel, Torrey Stenmark as Arachne, Betsy Tinney as Echo, Starr Weems as Iris, Brooke Abbey as a Peppermint Lady, Maya Bohnhoff as Kalliope, Seanan McGuire as Shoggoth, and Jeff Bohnhoff as Jeff Vader (god of mixing). There will be two more mythic bookmarks if we make our first stretch goal.
These mythic bookmarks (probably sized at 2 in by 7 in) will be printed on glossy card stock with the image on one side. One the other side we'll put the musician's name, deity they are portraying, and probably the phrase, "I Kickstarted the Pomegranate Tour!"
The Tee Shirts and Totes
Misty Granade is the graphic designer for this Scattering Seeds project as well as my previous solo album, Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories, and Play It with Moxie’s band album Play It with Moxie, Live! She has designed the album cover and Kickstarter header using Robert Bean’s art, and she is also designing the associated tee shirt and tote. The tee shirts and totes will differ slightly as far as art choices, mainly because I am trying to avoid the tee shirt problem known informally as “I have a gigantic sticker on my back.” But here is an early mock up of the tee shirt front.
I am planning to actually make a Pomegranate Tour after the album comes out, so I'm including performance dates and venues on the back of the tee shirt and possibly tote. (Message me if you would like to have a performance in your area!) We also want to use the pomegranate image by Starr Weems on the back of the tee and other side of the tote bag.
The Pomegranate Tour Songbook
Yes, there will be a songbook. It will include both lyrics with chords to all fourteen songs on the album and lead sheets for them. Starr’s mythic bookmark art will be adorning it throughout in full color, as will Robert Bean’s poignant Season of Sorrows. There are both PDFs and FULL COLOR PRINT copies available at certain rewards tiers.
This February for my birthday, New York Times Bestselling author Seanan McGuire wrote me a short story inspired by my song “Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour,” and then very generously offered to let me make it available as part of my Kickstarter rewards. This story is so so gorgeous. It made me cry. The only people who have read it are Seanan, her beta readers, my husband and me. The PDF will be made available at certain reward tiers.
I mentioned my husband for a reason. Wesley is making 29 chapbooks with a print of Seanan’s story and the lyrics to my title song. Seanan and I each get one chapbook. The other 27 of these lovingly crafted, beautiful chapbooks are rewards. Seanan and I will both sign all of them.
$15,000.00 USD Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour is FUNDED! YAAAAAAAAY!
$16,500.00 USD More Peppermint Ladies! We can now afford to fly Brenda Sutton, Teresa Powell, and Amy McNally to Mystic Fig Studio and add their beautiful voices and instruments to this project. Additionally, there will be two more Mythical Ladies (Teresa and Brenda) Bookmarks in the rewards tiers that have purchased All the bookmarks.
$18,500.00 USD More Music! We can afford to master all the songs Mary Crowell has recorded for her Patreon patrons during the past year: May 2015-May 2016 and send digital copies to all backers at the $10 tier and above.
$22,500.00 USD Mary Crowell gets a small grand piano. (She yearns for a Yamaha.) We can afford duplicate physical copies of the years worth of mastered Patreon songs with minimal packaging for everyone at the $60 and above tier. (There will be additional shipping charges for those tiers.) And Mary will record a song on that new grand piano. (If this stretch goal makes we will ask for your vote on what that song should be in our survey at the end.)
Risks and challenges
After Scattering Seeds On the Pomegranate Tour is successfully funded, we may encounter delays in mastering, duplicating, printing rewards (like t-shirts), and shipping. Wesley Crowell is researching the best materials to use to make those chapbooks. He's made a few prototypes already. We'll be doing our best to keep you updated if our final shipping date ever has to be pushed back.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)