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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- (30 days)