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A new collaboration of contemporary choral works by composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.
A new collaboration of contemporary choral works by composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.
A new collaboration of contemporary choral works by composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.
74 backers pledged £6,445 to help bring this project to life.

About

A new collaboration of contemporary choral works by composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir.

Ascension - A New Contemporary Choral Album

£6,445

74

The Ascension album is now funded! Thank you to everyone who has supported this project! Pledging can still continue and pre-orders past this point still goes directly into the album. Any support over the next few days will go towards anything from additional promotion, advertising and extra special packaging (with included graphic design) of the physical album. 

Please note the higher level rewards and opportunities of this Kickstarter will only be available for the remaining days of this page.

Thank you for visiting this Kickstarter campaign! The Ascension album is an independent collaboration between James and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir, based at Portsmouth Cathedral, Hampshire, UK. This 18 month project is the debut album of composer James Dunlop. 

The album will feature 12 tracks of new contemporary choral music composed by James Dunlop. The fantastic Portsmouth Cathedral Choir have agreed to perform on the album and it is due to be recorded at Portsmouth Cathedral in early October 2015. The album will mainly consist of a cappella works but it will also feature the Northumbrian Small pipe player, Alice Burn, as a soloist with the choir.

The Ascension album is a brand new choral album that, with unique opportunities, lets the public participate with its development and have an insight into the album's creation. The title Ascension is taken from the Ascension of Jesus, the Christian festival that celebrates the resurrected Jesus being taken up to Heaven in the presence of eleven apostles.

The album will feature works set to religious text as well as modern contemporary pieces of a melodic thematic nature. The 12 tracks will mainly be a cappella works. 

This is James Dunlop's debut album and a big leap in his musical career; it is an exciting opportunity for him to work with Dr David Price and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and will bring new, fresh works to the genre, as well as a new composer's voice. Work on the album has been ongoing for many months and looks set to be a welcomed addition to choral repertoire.

It will be recorded on location at Portsmouth Cathedral, Hampshire, UK and be a new modern collection of works to continue, and promote, the catalogue of choral music.

So why help fund this particular album? The Ascension album is a highly ambitious project that requires appropriate financial support. Quite simply, this Kickstarter campaign is required to secure the financials for recording and release. We're all very much looking forward to working on this together and producing the best product possible. It is crucial that this stage is successful as it will have a major impact on the realisation of the album.

This choral album is unique with regard to the level of pledge rewards. The opportunity to commission and name future choral works are few and far between; as well as backers becoming an integral part of the team. These higher end rewards are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and will only be available for this 30 day Kickstarter campaign. We know this album needs your help and we wish to thank you, as much as we can, for your support.

You will be able to follow the progress of this album through 2015 to its release in late November 2015 and have a far more personal experience with its progress and completion than any other choral album to date.

The video shows 7 members of Portsmouth Cathedral but we want ALL of Portsmouth Cathedral Choir on the album! It's a community based project that can only happen with the success of this campaign.

During the course of this album project there will be:

  • Updates on the latest news and where we are with the album
  • Live video streams and chat sessions where viewers can ask individual questions
  • Opportunities to have your say with album details

The physical release of Ascension will be a Limited Edition. I've never believed that albums should have a 'standard' CD case as well as a 'deluxe' case like so many other Kickstarter campaigns. With physical CDs becoming more obsolete in a digital age, I want the physical album to feel and look as deluxe as possible.

The CD case selected for Ascension is a case-bound book style. Very much like a hard-back book, it has a hard case and premium quality thickness paper on the inside. Instead of having a separate booklet, like most albums, it features the pages within the case; with the CD also enclosed. It will feature custom artwork, photographs, biographies and personal touches. It will be a cut far above any album in a standard plastic case or cardboard pack. All CDs from this Kickstarter campaign will be signed, with higher level rewards containing personal messages.

James Dunlop - far more comfortable behind a camera than in front...!
James Dunlop - far more comfortable behind a camera than in front...!


James Dunlop is an award-winning composer and musician currently residing in Hampshire in the UK.
His works have seen two world premieres in the Royal Albert Hall, London, as well as performances around the UK and abroad at venues including the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, KKL Luzern (Switzerland), Southampton's O2 Guildhall, and the South West Proms  -  with various bands and choirs, and recordings for commercially available albums.
James is a musician in The Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth, The Royal Band, and has performed on TV, radio, albums and on stage around the world, with such well-known performers as Katherine Jenkins, Ed Sheeran, Joss Stone, Susan Boyle, Alfie Boe, Lucy Kay, Ant & Dec, the RPO, Il Divo, Raghu Dixit and The Tenors, and for audiences including British royalty and world dignitaries.
He has recently appeared on the ITV This Morning show, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Strictly Come Dancing, the Queen's Christmas Day Speech, Channel 4's Gogglebox and on the BBC coverage of The Festival of Remembrance.

                 

Portsmouth Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Sea, is a distinctively spiritual and prayerful space. It has witnessed wars and peace, famous marriages, been bombed and rebuilt and remains a building of greatness and simple enduring beauty.

At Portsmouth Cathedral you will find a much acclaimed Cathedral Choir of men and boys, a close harmony group (formed from Choral Scholars), Cathedral Consort (mixed adults), a mixed youth choir Cantate, superb Organ playing by the resident team of musicians, jazz extempory and a myriad of groups and orchestras performing concerts. Music is at the heart of the Cathedral’s many cathedral and diocesan responsibilities and the Music Department plays as full a role as possible in this regard.

Dr David Price
Dr David Price

Before Dr David Price came to Portsmouth he was Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral having previously held Organ Scholarships at Rochester Cathedral and Croydon Minster. In addition to his duties at the cathedral, he serves on the committee of RSCM Portsmouth and is a member of the Council of the Royal School of Church Music. Portsmouth University conferred David Price with an Honorary Doctorate of Music in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to the development of music at the Cathedral and for his contribution to the cultural life of the city. In 2009 his St John Passion for Good Friday was published by Encore Publications in a series of the gospel passions alongside John Scott, Philip Moore and Richard Lloyd. In 2013 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of The Guild of Church Musicians. 

Alice Burn
Alice Burn

Alice Burn is a leading Northumbrian Piper from the North East, who is an international performer and a piping tutor. She has been broadcast on radio several times, including live on BBC Radio 3’s ’In Tune’. In 2009 Alice was a finalist in BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Musician of the Year with folk harpist Emily Hoile and she performed with North East folk group ‘Folkestra’ in the BBC 2008 Folk Prom. In 2013, Alice toured as soloist with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and with two theatre companies. Last summer, Alice performed at the International Bagpipe Festival, Czech Republic, with the Windy Gyle Band. Alice graduated from the University of York in 2014 with a First class BA honours and is currently studying for an MA in British Music at Durham University.

                 

Andy Deacon is the facilities manager and executive engineer for Creation Recordings, one of the country's leading location recording companies. Andy has recorded at Air, Maida Vale, Abbey Road, Strongrooms, and Sony before it closed. Added to this, he has recorded and produced many live concerts from the Royal Albert Hall including artists such as Jamie Cullum, Imogen Heap, Bill Bailey, Ennio Morricone, Boris Grebenchkof, Katherine Jenkins and the BBC Big Band, to name but a few. More recently, he has been employed by the BBC as a music and mix consultant.

Sam Hayles is an independent design consultant and award-winning graphic designer and has experience in working with bands, record labels, Trailer Music companies, DJs, Artists, Magicians and Music Composers since 1999…
 
Based in Edinburgh/Scotland after having lived and worked in France for over a decade, his capabilities span from concept development to design/direction, animation and illustration. He is also a practising visual artist working across different mediums.

To help make the funding of this album as exciting as possible, the project has 25 pledge levels each with their own unique rewards! Ranging from a £3 donation, which gets the backer a personalised social media shout out (and a BIG thank you!), to £20 which will see the backer receiving the Limited Edition CD case-bound book of Ascension signed by James Dunlop. From £30 Ascension album tea is bundled with the album and from £50 the ultimate Ascension album, tea and custom cup & saucer hits the shelves! A3 Hi resolution posters join the roster at £70. Pledging to receive multiple albums also offers discounts of up to 60%; perfect for a group!

The most unique rewards allow you to commission and/or name a new choral work on the album. You may dedicate a choral work to yourself, a loved one, a family member or a friend. The dedication will be present on the CD case and on the sheet music of the work. If any of the works are published in the future, the dedication will also be present on that sheet music as well. It is the perfect gift for any music lover; a rare opportunity. It will be received in time for Christmas too...

Tea and the choirs go hand in hand! Because of this the Ascension album is also being released with its very own luxurious Ascension English Breakfast tea in a metal tin and matching tea cup and saucer. Each tin contains 25 tea pyramids of classic English Breakfast tea from The Tea People. This full-bodied classic marries bold texture with rich flavour. Its smooth taste comes from hearty, malty teas of Assam and Ceylon blended with refreshing hints of muscatel from Darjeeling. Ascension tea will be branded similar to the cover of the album.

Tea example
Tea example

The matching tea cup and saucer, for all the tea lovers, is produced from bone china and has a 'I'm drinking the tea of angels' logo. Below is an example of the tea cup and saucer style though the graphic design will, like the tea, match that of the album cover in a black stencil. This will feature on both the cup and the face of the saucer.

Tea cup and saucer style example
Tea cup and saucer style example

Additional reward details can be found here

All specific dates have been agreed by all parties and now only final funding is left!

This Kickstarter campaign is the final step needed to fund this album. Ascension already has the very kind support of the Arts Council England.

Please help us fund this ambitious step forward for new choral works. Thank you very much for reading and for your support.

James Dunlop and Dr David Price with members of Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. Credit: Eightwood Studios
James Dunlop and Dr David Price with members of Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. Credit: Eightwood Studios
                                                                                 

I'd like to also thank Eight Wood Studios for their time to make the project video. They didn't have long but did an absolutely fantastic job. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk is the project not being funded. We're all very keen to see this album succeed. Without the success of this Kickstarter campaign, the album quite simply can't be funded.

All other possible risks have been kept to a minimum:

The recording dates with Portsmouth Cathedral Choir in Portsmouth Cathedral have been booked.
All parties in relation to the album's production are onboard.
The entire project is secure from a production and management point of view

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £3 or more About $5

    THANK YOU!

    Thank you for supporting the Ascension album. You will get a personalised Facebook or Twitter shout out!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    DIGITAL EP GIFT

    You will receive a digital mp3 download of 3 tracks from the album selected by James Dunlop + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    DIGITAL EP AND DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS

    You will receive a digital mp3 download of 3 tracks from the album selected by James Dunlop + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    4 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $24

    HD DIGITAL WAV + MP3 DOWNLOAD OF THE ALBUM

    You will receive a digital download link of the full album in both high definition 24bit 96kHz WAV and standard mp3 + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $24

    ✶EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUM OF ASCENSION✶

    You will receive a copy of the physical album 'Ascension' signed by James Dunlop + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    Limited 17 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    ✶SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUM OF ASCENSION✶

    You will receive a copy of the physical album 'Ascension' signed by James Dunlop + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $47

    ✶SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUM OF ASCENSION AND ASCENSION TEA✶

    You will receive a copy of the physical album 'Ascension' signed by James Dunlop with Ascension album English Breakfast tea (metal tin containing 25 tea pyramids) + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About $55

    TWO SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUMS

    You will receive 2 signed copies of the physical album + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $79

    ✶SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUM WITH YOUR NAME ON THE THANKS PAGE, ASCENSION ALBUM TEA AND CUSTOM TEA CUP AND SAUCER✶

    You will receive a signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page with Ascension album English Breakfast tea and custom Ascension album tea cup and saucer + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    9 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About $94

    FOR THE CHOIR SINGER

    You will receive one digital PDF voice part from a work of your choice on the album to sing along with! Plus a signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £65 or more About $102

    5 SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUMS

    You will receive 5 signed copies of the physical album + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £70 or more About $110

    PERSONALISED SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUM AND SIGNED POSTER

    You will receive a personalised signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page. Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £80 or more About $126

    EARLY BIRD 10 SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUMS

    You will receive 10 signed copies of the physical album + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge £90 or more About $141

    ✶2 SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUMS WITH YOUR NAME ON THE THANKS PAGE, 2 ASCENSION ALBUM TEA TINS AND 2 CUSTOM TEA CUPS AND SAUCERS✶

    You will receive 2 signed copies of the physical album with your name on the thanks page and 2 Ascension album English Breakfast tea tins and 2 custom Ascension album tea cups and saucers + 2 signed posters + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    4 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    FOR THE CHOIR SINGER/CHOIR

    You will receive one digital PDF score from a work of your choice on the album to sing with! Plus a signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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    3 backers
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    10 SIGNED PHYSICAL ALBUMS

    You will receive 10 signed copies of the physical album + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $157

    ☏SKYPE CHAT WITH JAMES DUNLOP☏

    You will be able to have a Skype chat with James Dunlop for 30 minutes! Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $236

    ☏SKYPE CHAT WITH JAMES DUNLOP☏

    You will be able to have a Skype chat with James Dunlop for 60 minutes! Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge £400 or more About $629

    ♚COMMISSION A WORK♚

    You will be able to commission and dedicate one work from the album to someone of your choosing! Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a score of the commissioned piece, 2 personalised signed copies of the physical album (one for yourself and one for the dedicated individual) with your names on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

    The dedication will appear in writing on the CD case and at the top of that work's sheet music, for the album and for any potential future publishing of the music.

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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $786

    ♚RECEIVE A BEHIND THE SCENES ASCENSION ALBUM PACK + SKYPE CALL♚

    You will receive a behind the scenes pack featuring work sketches, special photograph prints, project timetables, recording schedules etc. (James will make sure this is extra special!). Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a 60 min Skype call with James Dunlop, a personalised signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge £700 or more About $1,100

    ♚HAVE LUNCH WITH JAMES DUNLOP IN LONDON♚

    Have lunch in London with James Dunlop! Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a personalised signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

    Lunch restaurant is determined by James but he's paying!

    Backers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge £750 or more About $1,179

    ♚COMMISSION AND NAME A WORK♚

    You will be able to commission, name and dedicate one work from the album to someone of your choosing! The lyrics will be determined by the title as well. Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a score of the commissioned piece, 2 personalised signed copies of the physical album (one for yourself and one for the dedicated individual) with your names on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

    Naming is subject to approval

    The dedication will appear in writing on the CD case and at the top of that work's sheet music, for the album and for any potential future publishing of the music.

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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,572

    ♚BE NAMED AS THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND COME ALONG TO THE RECORDING SESSIONS♚

    Be named on the album as the executive producer and come along to one of the recording sessions in Portsmouth Cathedral in October! Plus Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + a personalised signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

    Backers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,572

    ♚PERSONALISED CHOIR MUSIC PACK, CHOIR DEDICATION AND SKYPE CHAT♚

    You will get the physical sheet music + digital PDFs to every track on the album for your choir to sing before it is in the public domain, as well as personalised touches added by James. One work will also have a dedication of 'first performed by XXXXXX Choir at XXXXX Hall January 20XX. Conducted by XXXXX'. Plus a 60 min Skype call with James, 1 personalised and 19 signed copies of the physical album with your name/choir name on the thanks page + Ascension album tea + Ascension custom tea cup and saucer + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,929

    ♚COMMISSION YOUR OWN CHORAL WORK, HAVE IT RECORDED IN PORTSMOUTH CATHEDRAL, COME ALONG TO YOUR RECORDING AND HAVE MULTIPLE SKYPE CHATS WITH JAMES TO FINALISE YOUR WORK♚

    You will get the physical sheet music + digital PDFs to a brand new choral work written specially for you, a loved one or a friend by James Dunlop. The work will be named and dedicated by you. The piece would then be recorded just for you with 16 members of Portsmouth Cathedral Choir in Portsmouth Cathedral. You shall have a special invitation to attend the recording. Plus multiple Skype calls with James to discuss your new work + Ascension tea + Ascension tea cup and saucer + personalised signed copy of the physical album with your name on the thanks page + signed poster + WAV & mp3 digital albums + Digital Behind the Scenes photographs + Facebook/Twitter personalised shout out!

    PLEASE NOTE: This work would be a special commission by the backer and would not be featured on the Ascension album.

    Backers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

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Funding period

- (30 days)