12 albums (or eps) in 12 months!
12 albums (or eps) in 12 months!
Support this wacky 2nd 12-month challenge of mine - releasing an album (or ep) every month on my Bandcamp for a year! Wish me luck <3
Support this wacky 2nd 12-month challenge of mine - releasing an album (or ep) every month on my Bandcamp for a year! Wish me luck <3 Read more
Hello! I am launching this Kickstarter campaign in order to complete 2 12-month challenges (yes I said it that way on purpose...for those who don't know, 212 is my lucky number).
Last year, on 2/12 to be exact, I started a 12 month "song-a-day" project, and have diligently shared 331 songs so far, to date. Those are on my YouTube as proof of my habit but also, hopefully, as inspiration to you - to live creatively whenever possible.
This year (on April 1st to be exact), I'll be starting another 12 month project - to release a real album or EP (short album) every month on my Bandcamp (+iTunes/Spotify etc, when able).
By the end of these 2 12-month challenges, I hope to have pushed myself to get over every tiny little thing that has held me back as a creative person. Fear of being judged, fear of being misunderstood, of being disliked, of being KNOWN. Cuz I'm kinda weird, and for how muppety happy I come off, also strangely sad and fatalistic. And my music reflects all that. One thing I've confirmed is that I have actual fans. A very tiny (so far?), but loyal few. Like some buy my whole 3 disc discography and have me mail them packages, to Scotland. I think I always thought I was too weird or too quiet to be embraced, without changing who I was.
So I'm going into this next year, emboldened, and as part of that boldness, I want to ask for your support. One option is to visit my Patreon! On that page, you can become a monthly patron, and it'll be like a little behind-the-scenes fan club...for just $2/month! (or more if you really like me and want to see me grow :) (not actually, I've accepted I'll never be 5'0")
Another option is supporting this Kickstarter campaign! While releasing a scrappy song-a-day on YouTube costs no money, it turns out my next challenge DONE WELL would cost at least $60,000. But that's crazy, so I'll do my best DIY style with ProTools and home recordings, and a mastering software subscription (both the cloudlight album and my made-in-a-weekend album were created this way last year).
Here's some expenses I plan to incur for this project (minimums needed+more is of course going to be helpful!):
-$200+ for guest musicians (already paid $120 to Hunter for a full week of cello recording last week! on incredibly difficult parts. he deserves sooooo much more!)
-$300+ for arrangers/mixing assistance in the home studio (already promised to fundraise $200 for Elisabeth Blair for her 4 cello/MIDI arrangements - dozens of hours of work so far, all unpaid)
-$400+ for mastering and professional mixing of at least one of the 12 albums (one of them, the one with cello and arrangements, has been in the works for 2 years and I'd like to hire an outside ear for it but that is historically way outside my budget). The rest will be a bit scrappier, even after putting $300 toward renewing my mastering subscription with LANDR in April (which is how I've been able to make some of the handheld recorder piano/vocal songs loud enough to listen to enjoyably...some I don't run thru the software tho, because of time, and I'm guessing you notice that as you would have to crank up your speakers for those ones...which is terrible for a "real" album).
(NOTE: normally mixing and mastering 12 ep/albums would be many many many thousands of dollars...some professionals spend between $10,000-$40,000 PER ALBUM, and of course many years of work, so this budget and timeline is VERY DIY...but anytime I'm able, I'd like to be able to afford to make this music the best possible).
-$500+ for regional touring expenses to promote these albums and this project, most of which I can cover myself by saving up (gas, car, a little time off work here and there), or rescheduling students around the tours...mostly just planning a few 3-4 day weekends, but hopefully one or even two 9-day tours (i.e. one week off work + weekends), if I can afford it, to make it to places a little further from me (I otherwise rarely take time off from teaching except holidays, unpaid, and I don't take "real" vacations...) The more I've shared songs the more people are asking me to come play shows near them and it's tough for me financially to do that...working on Toledo, Muncie, Iowa, and more right now, and there is a chance my fanbase will grow if I release 12 official things on my Bandcamp this year. (also I just LOVE touring so if you contribute and you want me to come play near you, let me know and I'll try my best to make it happen :)
-$712+(???) Duplication + odds and ends: cost of materials to print discs, ordering cases, maybe a small cassette order, I don't mind a limited edition 12-discs only release for each album and skipping (obviously) the usual $200-2000 spent per project on pressing discs/tapes/vinyl, but even handmaking things comes with lots of costs that add up (supplies, discs, cases, printer ink, etc) , buying a backup laptop refurbished if needed ($100-200), as mine is almost full from this song-a-day-for-a-year project and doesn't work for ProTools mysteriously and a second recording space may be necessary as I've never released 12 albums in a year before! (+ also to use for live shows to play with my own backing tracks), any minor car repairs if my older car can't keep up with this pace or touring lol, mailing costs and packaging expenses, etc. This budget is absurdly low and I'm sure I'll pay for most of these things out of pocket, but wanted to include this list so you can see how modest my budget it :)
In closing, if you've enjoyed my songs but wished they were higher in quality and easier to hear or listen to (mom and dad!)(or anyone who says they can't hear me haha)...this is your year. Almost everything I release will be made in ProTools (i.e. studio quality) and at the level of last November's made-in-a-weekend album at the very least (i.e. lo-fi DIY but with good mics, and MIDI keyboard sounds that are soothing and purdy). No more one-off sloppy handheld recorder songs. That's just been the method to keep up with writing a song every dang day. Also inspiration strikes each day at weird moments, and I need a better set-up in every room, truth be told (options for higher quality recording at my real piano, AND in my 1st floor office...maybe a portable studio setup, not just upstairs in the shared music studio that doubles as Bryan's office, i.e. his desktop computer w/ ProTools and he's nice enough to let me use it, he's my biggest fan and supporter :). But first things first, whatever expenses you'd like to help with, you can even let me know where you'd like your contribution to go!
Oh one more thing!
Lastly, I will send you THINGS! Do you want a rainbow cloud JiTR tshirt? Done. Do you want a CD copy of one of my past albums? Done. Merch for the upcoming releases? Done. Obviously within reason of your donation, but just let me know and I'll give you any perks you want!! I love mailing out stuff! HOWEVER, I have so much stuff now - and will have sooooo much more to choose from soon - that the perk descriptions got super confusing, even for me, and I like words and cataloguing... so I decided to just say 1 thing or 2 things, even tho it sounds absurd. You get to pick the thing(s), and whether you want old or new things as your rewards <3 (or both!)
Here's some current merch to choose from!
(i.e. handmade discs, professionally pressed discs, tshirts, more...also I'm sure my band cloudlight would be happy to pitch in an item or two per order as well, if you are interested,: https://cloudlightmusic.bandcamp.com/merch )
...and of course there will be 12 more albums/eps this year too, each with their own different packaging...but those are a mystery for now! oh and while making the rewards, I added piano lessons and mentoring sessions in 15 min increments, so if you pick 10 things, you could use 4 of those things, for example, for an hour lesson/session if you want!
(email me anytime for clarification - firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Thank you for your belief in me and support of my music. And please don't feel obligated to donate in any way. I have my health (mostly), my sanity (mostly haha), and lots of good things in my life. This is just the simplest way to allow anyone who wants to do a one-time contribution towards this unpaid singer/songwriter career path (and specifically for these two crazy intense years of 40x my usual output) that I've been on for a decade now, to show support. Without becoming a monthly patron. But I have lots of fun perks for that too, if you're curious: http://www.patreon.com/jessicaintherainbow
And my friends who work as professional fundraisers told me I should let you know...
I owe $55,000 more for music education (I have a BA in classical piano performance, a BA in dramatic literature/English, and an MFA in Musical Theater Writing).
I make about $22,000-30,000 per year as a piano teacher, and even when I worked as a FT accompanist playing piano up to 10 hours per day, I never made more than $35,000, but incurred medical expenses due to trashing my wrists and hands from way too much playing per day.
I pay a small house payment in educational debt each month.
Almost all of my free time is spent trying to pursue a dual "career" as a piano/songwriting teacher and mentor and a singer/songwriter, but between payment at shows ($20-100 per show, but often unpaid or $50 at absolute most if I'm honest... some are for charity, and many can only pay in gas money), and album sales (historically way less than $100 per year in my niche genre), it is barely more than a hobby, despite multiple albums on iTunes...you would think this is a sign to give up, but I've learned that this is true for 99% of the music industry. It is the reason so many people stop doing it, or start playing mostly cover songs in bars, where they are paid $200/night or more. Being a "creative professional" who is art-driven means mostly unpaid in this current culture (Spotify has made this worse...we don't even know who is listening to us, and most of us never even see the pennies we make from those listens).
So your support of this project will be DEEPLY GREATLY IMMENSELY APPRECIATED...by me, OR by any musician or poet or playwright or artist you know. We are taught to be starving artists, that somehow that gives us more meaning, but honestly, most of us are over the moon when someone buys some of our merch, or donates to our album fundraisers, or any other little thing you feel inspired to do. It always means the absolute world to us. Usually we are intelligent people with tons of skills, we just deeply love our chosen path and do it despite the horrible pay scale.
But like I said, no pressure...just if you'd like to be part of my journey this year! I will thank you in both love and things. <3 Thanks for reading.
p.s. the video (above) was created for free (er, payment in merch and snacks) by film/art students - Caleb Kilgore-Gordon, Rachel Resterhouse, and Jonathan Clark - an example of creative people coming together all around me for free/low pay, to create work to share with you. I am so grateful and lucky for these things happening throughout my time as a working singer/songwriter - however, if this campaign raises an amount far beyond the minimum, I will contact these cinematographers/artists/directors again about making a new video and actually paying them for their work! (or if they aren't available, some other super talented professional cinematographer friends of mine...I'd love to create more music videos for you :)
Risks and challenges
p.s.s. Kickstarter encourages me to list the risks and challenges of this challenge! Well obviously it is immense...as I've never tried to release 12 albums in a year before, but I wrote wayyyy more than 12 albums worth of songs this past year, and every year since 2014 (or sooner). So the risk is that I'll have some technical malfunctions and not be able to afford to repair things needed to keep up with these releases. But I'm strong and resilient and creative, and if that happens, I'm sure I'll find a way to release SOMETHING. Borrow a friend's computer, etc. So my guess, based on my A-student nature, where I do what I say I'll do and try to get a good grade at it (in my mind lol), is that I'll make this happen! But of course there could be delays and setbacks and limitations on my time, mailings could be slow, etc (i.e. I still have to work and teach my 28 students, and be a person this year). Kay bye!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)