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Help us launch Rupa & the April Fishes' new plastic-free studio album!
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213 backers pledged $20,945 to help bring this project to life.
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Over the past 7 years, I have been slowly creating this album of music. It has drawn from experiences I have had falling in love, becoming a mother in a time of climate catastrophe, and finally deeply melding my passion for caring for humanity through directly engaging communities I had known as an artist by responding to invitations to accompany them as a physician. This led me to the frontlines accompanying people on hunger strike, protesting police violence in San Francisco. It took me to Standing Rock, where thousands of indigenous people were standing against a petroleum pipeline crossing their source of drinking water. It has taken me on a massive journey to examine this question--what is the calling of healers today, as we sit at the edge of an unstable climate. What is required of all of us now, for the sake of future generations?

For me, the calling is to understand the roots of what ails us so we can move forward in beauty and love. To focus our unflinching attention on the places that are hurting and to transform these places through radical actions of kindness, rich imagination and deep understanding. This music is a part of that awakening. I asked my dear friend and master muralist Mona Caron, who did the artwork for our first album, to create something special with me for this album. I wanted each song to be accompanied by a seed. I wanted to release seeds, instead of more plastic that would end up in a landfill or in a whale's stomach. So I asked her if she would create the artwork around 12 seed packets for 12 songs. She did not only that but created a stunning visual vocabulary for this music. Through the seeds, I wanted you my audience to be invited back into the magic of connecting with seeds, these incredible origins of life that have all the information needed for life in their tiny sleeping bodies. I asked my dear partner and organic farmer Benjamin Fahrer to help me source the seeds--from our own garden, from the gardens of indigenous seed keeper and story-keeper Rowen White, from the garden of organic farmer Don Tipping

Over the space of 7 years, the band went into the studio and recorded this powerful collection of songs. I went up to British Columbia at the invitation of Ojibwe elder Sharon Brass, to reimagine one of my songs she wanted to "indigenize" to use her expression, for a movie she was making. I worked with 7 powerful First Nations women from tribes across the north to reimagine the song. The Water Song is one of the most magical pieces I have ever been involved in making. I worked with my incredible friend and radical performance artist Guillermo Gomez Peña to craft a Declaration of Human Rights for the Other San Francisco to document the changes that we have been witnessing here and to insist upon the dignity and rights of all on this earth. The album features the band together with special guests Todd Sickafoose, Andrew Border, Karen Stackpole and more. It was expertly mixed by Damion Gallegos (The Coup, Fungo Mungo) in Oakland and mastered by the legendary Howie Weinberg in LA. It sounds amazing, and we have covered all of the recording and production expenses. 

What we need now is funding to support the launching of the album--to create these hand-crafted seed packets and pay all the others who have supported the fruition of this vision, from Mona Caron and her beautiful work, to the seed keepers, to website developer, the PR teams on 3 continents and our videographer Zen Cohen who has created the title track video which will be launched April 1st.

As I delve deeper into my work as an artist and healer, I am understanding that it is not just what I do, but how I do it that matters. Your support over years has allowed me to develop in a way where the how resonates with the what I am communicating. I am so grateful for the years of support for this work  And I am grateful to you for helping us launch this album in the best possible way! 

Risks and challenges

Being an artist is like tapping into the magic of seeds--the belief that something beautiful and life-sustaining can start from something so small. It is a challenge every time I enter the studio to ensure I can record the music I create at the level of quality I love and to invite other artists to follow me into these crazy paths that offer no direct financial renumeration. I am so grateful that they activate to the muse with me because they feel the importance of what we are creating together to help elevate the perspective of humanity a little bit in these challenging times. And we need your support to keep the good things coming. THANK YOU!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Download Album on April 19th

    12 FLAC/WAV or MP3 files delivered to your inbox on the full moon of April--our album release date 4/19!

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Concert Poster and Album

    Digital download delivered to your inbox and a signed Concert Poster from our CD release show in San Francisco delivered to your doorstep!

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Seeds for your summer garden!

    Get a hand selected collection of seeds from Benjamin's Fahrer's personal collection! This includes Heirloom Tomato, Italian basil, baby lettuce mix, indigenous corn, large leaf arugula and flat leaf parsley. Enough of each to pull off a bountiful harvest this year!

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Incredible BIG Poster and Music

    Art and music should never be separated. You will get a signed 27x27 digitally printed poster of the beautiful album artwork by muralist Mona Caron together with a digital download code!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Seeds and Songs!

    Seeds to cultivate your own medicine garden. Hand-crafted seed packets designed by artist Mona Caron and hand-selected seeds sourced by Regenerative Farmer Benjamin Fahrer. All 12 packets with all 12 songs. Packets will be mailed with album download code inside.

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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Home Garden and Farm Consultation

    Get a 30 min phone call with Regenerative Farmer Benjamin Fahrer to discuss and answer any questions you have about all things growing. From the right fertility management startegies, to pests to tips and tricks about growing the most food possible in as little space you can imagine. Farmer Ben's 25 years of organic growing is priceless and you have his expertise here!

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    Pledge US$ 90 or more About US$ 90

    Seeds Songs and Something for your Wall

    The seed packets, the songs and the 27x27 poster!!

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Seeds and CDs

    Get the set of 12 seed packets with the digital download of Growing Upward and all 5 of the band's other albums as CDs.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Happy Birthday to You!

    In 2014, I was a lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit we filed to liberate Happy Birthday back to the public domain. We won and Warner Chapell paid out $14 million, most of it going to artists who were forced to pay to use it in a recording. Unfortunately I only got $455 which is why I'm here asking you for money to continue my work. As a Liberator of Happy Birthday, I will sing you HBTY as a recording and send it to you along with a download code for the album and a set of our hand-crafted seeds.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Doctors Handwriting

    I will write out the lyrics to the song of your choice from any of our albums on archival paper that you can frame. I cannot promise it will be completely legible. LOL! I will give you deep gratitude for helping us achieve our goals without compromising our values. And send you a digital download of the new album!

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Dinner and Jam Session

    Dinner for 4 with the band and an informal jam session to be held on a Monday night at an artist's kitchen on the California coast. Scheduling to be flexible with our touring schedule. Also includes poster, seed packets and digital download of the album.

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    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    House Concert

    An acoustic concert at your house to be scheduled when we are near your town and around our tour schedule. You may pass the hat or charge your invited guests to help you make up the costs. You can request whichever of our songs you want and we will create the set list with those at heart. Also comes with seed packets, 27x27 poster, digital download of the album.

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    Pledge US$ 6,000 or more About US$ 6,000

    Eternal Gratitude and Guest List

    Our deepest gratitude knowing there are people like you who support independent artists like me with something important to say in these challenging times. You would get a lifetime of being on our guest list at shows as well as the digital album, the seeds, the 27x27 poster and a Hi5.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    2 tickets to secret concert 4/27 too!

    Join the band at an intimate performance of the new and old music in a studio in Half Moon Bay, surrounded by artwork and pianos! Two tickets and the album download.

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Funding period

- (31 days)