I LOVE HARRY POTTER!
A little nerd cred: I've read all the books 4 times (I think?) and have listened to the audio books (usually while jogging) twice. No joke: I can't read (or listen to) Book 7 without crying. Like a baby.
Speaking of babies, my son is only 4 1/2 months old but as soon as he's old enough you better BELIEVE that HP and his crew will be putting my little man to sleep. I'm so excited to share these stories with him.
This is going to sound incredibly corny, but my favorite thing about the series is this idea: Love Is The Most Powerful Magic. The idea that having your friends and family around you is the most important thing. These concepts are integral to the books. You're taken on this amazing journey and by the end, you can really feel the truth of those ideas. They're made abundantly clear. They're made obvious. I love that.
WHO ARE YOU?
I'm Jonathan Mann! I’ve been writing a new song everyday and posting it to youtube for the last 2000+ days:
I write about all kinds of stuff from politics to video games to science to what’s going on in my life to - well sometimes I just write about not knowing what to write about. Over the course of the last 6 years of song a day, I've written a handful of songs based on the Harry Potter series. These songs just kind of come out - there's not a lot of forethought in it. They really just arrive, and I'm like, "OK, I guess we're writing another Harry Potter song! Awesome!"
Anyway, there's five of these songs especially that are really good! None of them are about Harry directly - they're more like fan fiction in song form:
What if the character that Bruce Willis always plays worked for the Ministry of Magic? What if a child born to a magical family turned 11, got no letter, and snuck his way to Hogwarts? What if Voldemort had chosen Neville?
These are the kinds of things I explore in these songs.
The songs are mostly recorded, but there's still a lot to do. I don't want to put theses songs out half-finished. Song A Day is all about working quickly, getting the ideas out there and not worrying about "perfection". But then when it comes time to make a record, I want to be totally sure that everything is as perfect as possible!
First of all, the songs have "midi drums" on them, which means they're programmed into the computer - they're not real. There's a big difference between getting a real drummer to play on a track vs. programming the computer - something is always lost when only using midi. (Sometimes it's OK, like for all kinds of electronic music, but these songs are more in the folk-rock-pop vein and the midi drums just don't cut it.) My good friend Jesse Olson Bay will play the drums. He's a true artist. Jesse's charging $1000.
There's also 3 of the tracks that are just screaming out for horns. They're like, "We're good and all, but when you put horns on us, we'll MELT YOUR FACE!" I can't play any brass or woodwind instruments, so I'm turning to my friend Matthew Joseph Payne to help orchestrate and record the horn parts. Matt's charging $1300. Matt does amazing work.
Finally, the songs need to be mixed and mastered. Mixing an album just means taking all of the elements and putting them in their proper sonic place - sort of like working with potions. All the ingredients need to be just right, from the EQ to the compression to the reverb and the panning and levels. My friend Nick Krill of The Spinto Band and Teen Men is just the wizard for the job. Nick will charge $1800.
Mastering is a really tricky business. To tell you the honest truth, I don't totally understand what goes into it. All I know is that when I send my tracks to Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering to be mastered, they already sound great - but when I get them back, they SOUND FREAKING INCREDIBLE. He's worked with The Magnetic Fields, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem and many more. He's truly the Headmaster of mastering. Jeff charges me $1500.
This adds up to $5600. Not a ton of money, but I definitely can't afford it alone!
I'm releasing this EP digital only because frankly, that's the format I prefer when buying music! You may disagree - that's cool. Let me know if you do - if enough people ask for a physical object (CD, record or other), I'd start thinking about making a stretch goal. For now, though, with the scope of this project, it really makes sense for me to just do digital only.
THAT'S IT!I can't wait to share these songs with you! Harry potter means so much to me. I also want to shout out to all the amazingly inspiring Wizard Rock (Wrock?) bands out there - I hope to join your ranks with the release of this record!
Risks and challenges
I've gone through this process many times before, and I've worked with all the people involved on multiple occasions. So I'm very, very confident that we'll get this project done.
That being said, all but two of us has a kid (Matt's got two as of a month or so ago!! Congrats Matt), and kids are definitely a challenge to the creative process! We'll get the recording, mixing and mastering done for sure.
The only real challenge I forsee is if I max out some of the backer rewards: If I end up having to write 200 minisongs and draw 200 pictures - it may take me longer than I think. But I will do my best - and I will definitely get it done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (15 days)