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Louis died at age 17. He left us a treasure trove of original music, lyrics and poetry.  This CD and book will keep Lou's voice alive.
Louis died at age 17. He left us a treasure trove of original music, lyrics and poetry. This CD and book will keep Lou's voice alive.
230 backers pledged $15,765 to help bring this project to life.

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$15,765

230

Louis "Free As The Sun" Painting by Lynn Pass
Louis "Free As The Sun" Painting by Lynn Pass

In an essay entitled "Melodies and Me," written for a college English class a few months before his death, Louis ended with this heartfelt wish: "I hope that, when I die, my music will live on forever."  May his memory be a blessing.

      Louis Raymond Case Debruge – March 4, 1997 to December 4, 2014

Lou in Utah – "Second Nature" Adolescent Wilderness Therapy
Lou in Utah – "Second Nature" Adolescent Wilderness Therapy
  • Free As The Sun is going to bring healing to countless individuals.
  • 1,000 copies of the CD and 500 copies of the book will be printed by mid-December 2015 when the project is fully funded! 
  • Sample copies will be provided to therapists working in dual-diagnosis residential settings around the country, settings much like the ones in which Louis began his work of disclosure & healing. 
  • The silence about abuse and the shame of addiction are broken one voice at a time.... 
  • Our goal will be reached one committed backer at a time! 

   visit  www.freeasthesun.com to learn more

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  • Five Track CD produced by Marv Ross of Quarterflash! Marv has brought Lou's voice to life with the help of some of Portland's best recording, engineering, mastering, graphics art and CD replication stars! 
  • Features four original songs composed and written by Louis. Fifth track is All Diamonds by Quarterflash, from their most recent CD Love Is a Road. 
  • Marv Ross (guitar/bass) and Gregg Williams (drums) accompany Louis Debruge (vocals, guitar), Shea Mackinnon (vocals, guitar & percussion) and Tristyn Meek (vocals). 
  • Rob Stroup (8 Ball Studio) & Gregg Williams (the Trench Studio) of Portland are project engineers 
  • CD Cover Art by Zap! Graphics (Keith Buckley
  • CD Reproduction by Crave Dog in Portland 
  • CD Mastered by Ryan Foster of Foster Mastering, Portland

The 130 page book includes 30 poems & song lyrics as well as essays and journal excerpts Lou wrote between 2009 and 2014 (ages 12-17)  Louis' work and his story will be an invaluable, unique resource for healing.  It will become an important therapy tool in residential treatment centers.  Lou's story will find its way into the hands of professionals who work with recovery programs, with troubled teens, and with adult survivors of abuse. Lou's counselor, Donald Wright, believes in this project. "We need a more story-centered approach in my field," he says.        

  • Part I:      Lou's Song Lyrics and Poetry 
  • Part 2:     Lou's Essays and Journal Writing 
  • Part 3:     Other Voices - Contributions by Judge Neal Lemery, Randy Ellison, Tyler Tully, Andrew Willis & Melanie Blow (Stop Abuse Campaign) - advocates and teachers for survivors of abuse
  • Part 4:     Study Guide - offers suggestions for using the songs and the writings in individual or group therapeutic settings or for personal journal work
  • Part 5:      Reading & Resources

Book edited by Rhonda Lee Case (Lou's mom)

Rindy Ross (licensed mental health counselor with 15 years experience in therapeutic practice) has this to say about the book:  "Lou’s speaking out and his mother's painful quest to shine a light on the darkness of abuse and its repercussions will be such a helpful resource to others who feel alone and defeated."

Marv & Rindy Ross (Quarterflash)
Marv & Rindy Ross (Quarterflash)

When Lou and Shea were in middle school, they were sure they were destined to be career performers together. At 17 years old, Lou was enrolled full time in community college and talking about a new dream. He was thinking about working as a counselor, making music part of his therapeutic practice. Bruce Zufelt (Lou's counselor at NWBHS when Lou was in treatment there at age 15) recognized that Louis had the true gifts of a wounded healer. Louis led a workshop for his peers called "Using Poetry and Music to Heal from Trauma." Staff and clients alike were amazed by the power of what Louis shared that day.  Lou and Shea are still destined to be friends singing together -- not in the same way* -- but in a new way. 

  *(Louis and Shea in 2013 singing "I Can Tell" by the White Stripes)

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Rob Stroup, Naomi Hooley, Marv Ross and Shea Mackinnon at 8 Ball Studio in Portland May 2015
Rob Stroup, Naomi Hooley, Marv Ross and Shea Mackinnon at 8 Ball Studio in Portland May 2015

The Free As The Sun Project Budget below shows clearly that we are going to make good use of every dollar our Backers and Sponsors contribute!  All musicians and artists involved in this project are being compensated at a fair wage (though many are offering their courtesy rates.) This includes our musician friends willing to provide us Rewards!  This project is Portland Perfect.  We're keeping it local & homegrown but thinking global about the possible outreach for Lou's music and book.  Thank you for "kicking in" and for spreading the word between October 18 and November 16, 2015.  We believe in this project and we believe in Goodness and we believe in Lou's voice -- and in you!  We're "all diamonds." 

Free As The Sun Kickstarter Budget
Free As The Sun Kickstarter Budget
John Petrucci Music Man (Ernie Ball Electric) Guitar
John Petrucci Music Man (Ernie Ball Electric) Guitar
Free As The Sun T-Shirts!  You know you want one!
Free As The Sun T-Shirts! You know you want one!

Risks and challenges

It is a challenge to talk openly about the pain of childhood trauma. The nature of the material is highly personal and includes disclosures about childhood abuse which some may find difficult to face. This project's sole/soul goal is one of healing. We believe that Louis' story will serve the public good as it will help to further break the silence surrounding childhood abuse. We are willing to run great risks to see that Louis' voice is heard - loud and clear - as he left it for us to share. May his memory be a blessing.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Digital download of the title track "Free As The Sun" + instant good karma & we will paint your name on one of the stones in Lou's memorial garden.

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    Digital download of the entire CD before the release date + instant good karma & your name on a stone in Louis' memorial garden.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Handwritten note of thanks from Shea MacKinnon & Tristyn Meek, CD vocalists (on note card w/Lou's self-portrait) plus digital download of the CD in advance of release date, instant good karma & your name on a stone in Louis' garden.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Physical copy of Free As The Sun: Lou's Songs of Life CD, hand-written thank you from Tristyn & Shea, digital download of CD, instant good karma & your name on a stone in Louis' garden. Free shipping in the US!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Exclusive "Free As The Sun" T-shirt (Lou's self portrait from 2003, design by Jeremy Kramer) plus physical CD, digital download, note of thanks, instant good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden. Free shipping in the US!

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Signed print of "Free As The Sun" painting by Lynn Pass (actual size and suitable for framing!) + "Sun" T-shirt, Physical CD + digital download, instant good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Your CD will be autographed!
    Marv & Rindy Ross of Quarterflash & Shea Mackinnon will sign your CD + "Free As The Sun" painting by Lynn Pass, T-shirt & physical CD + digital download + Good Karma & garden stone.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Be a Sun Sponsor!
    Adds your name (or your company's name) to the "Free As The Sun" website and to the CD Release party program as sponsor. Includes autographed CD + print of "Free As the Sun"- painting & T-shirt + digital download, instant good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    You'll receive everything in the $100 reward package PLUS a copy of Lou's original, handwritten lyrics sheet for "Free as the Sun" (on quality parchment paper) and a special bonus CD - either "Wild Places" by Portland's own Moody Little Sister, Jazz by the Dan Balmer Trio or one of Naomi LaViolette's CDs. And of course instant good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    PERSONAL RING TONE! recorded for you by Ellen Whyte, Grammy Award Winning Portland Blues Singer who was inducted this year into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame!
    You'll make a splash when you forget to turn off your phone. :) Backers choose from a menu of her six favorite tunes. Adds your name to the list of sponsors on the website and CD release party program. Plus, a copy of Lou's original hand-written lyrics sheet for "Free As The Sun" & autographed CD + signed print of "Free As The Sun" painting by Lynn Pass + "Sun" T-shirt + digital download; instant good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    POWER OF LOVE Rewards Package!
    Two VIP tickets for Free As The Sun CD release party (March 5, 2016) at Youth Music Project in West Linn, Oregon. Adds your name to the "Free As The Sun" Website as sponsor and to the CD release party program. Plus, a copy of Lou's original hand-written lyrics sheet for "Free As The Sun," an autographed CD; one extra CD ("Wild Places") and a signed print of "Free As The Sun" painting + T-shirt; digital download, good karma and your name on a stone in Louis' garden.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Fused Glass Cheese/Appetizer Plate by Oregon artist Lynn Pass. Do you enjoy nature and love to entertain? This hand-made fused/slumped glass plate featuring is embossed with elegant ferns; fashioned from an emerald green glass wine bottle. The finished piece is 12" X 4.5". The hand beaded cheese knife is done in green and clear beads and silver wire to complement the piece. This is sure to be a conversation piece the next time you entertain! Lynn's work has been displayed in many Oregon galleries. Plus absolutely everything in the $100 Reward.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    "LET'S WRITE THE NEXT HIT!" - a private songwriting session with Marv Ross of "Quarterflash" to compose a song based on one of Louis' poems or your own text.* Also includes two VIP tickets for CD release party (3/05/16) where you'll be acknowledged. Adds your name to the list of Sponsors on the website & program & includes everything else from the "Power of Love" reward above. (* Session at Ross Productions Studio or in your home if you live in the Portland Metro Area; does not include travel costs for those coming to Portland from elsewhere. Schedule 4-8 weeks in advance for 2016.)

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    MORE MUSIC WITH THE STARS, PLEASE!
    "Free As The Sun" vocalists Shea MacKinnon and Tristyn Meek will bring their talent and good energy to your wedding or party. They will skype or meet with you to discuss a set list that can include instrumental keyboards, voice and guitar, or voice, guitar and percussion. Two VIP tickets for Free As The Sun CD release party (March 5, 2016) where you'll be acknowledged and everything else from the "Power of Love" package reward above. (*Please schedule at least one month in advance of performance date. Available to those living w/in 90 miles of Portland.)

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    HANDMADE OWL MASK JUST FOR YOU!
    Unique and magical creation by Naomi Hooley (see samples at the Moody Little Sister Website) and TWO "Wild Places" CD's by our magical friends Rob and Naomi (MOODY LITTLE SISTER) Two VIP tickets for the SUN CD release party March 5, 2016 and all the other perks of the "Power of Love" Reward package above.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    ANDROMEDA SUN = PARTY SUNSHINE!
    This house concert will have you and your friends singing to a selection of well known classic rock tunes & enjoying the original music of this fab foursome. Includes 2 copies of Andromeda Sun's brand new CD plus everything in the "Power of Love" Package above. (*Limited to residents of the Portland Metro Area; schedule in advance for 2016)

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    UNFORGETTABLE HOUSE PARTY/CONCERT* with Portland singer/songwriter Parfait Bassalé.
    Parfait is from Senegal/Benin and sings & raps in both French and English. Free download of his latest CD for you and up to 9 of your guests! Schedule at least 2 months in advance for 2016. Two VIP tickets for March 5, 2016 CD release party where you will be acknowledged by Parfait! Plus everything from the "Power of Love" Reward above. (*Limited to residents of the Portland Metro/Vancouver, WA/Salem Area please)

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    RECORDING SESSION AT THE TRENCH (with Gregg Williams, Engineer) in Portland, Oregon.
    Check out the website for the Trench Studio and be amazed! One three-hour session of professional studio time includes a photo shoot and a completed CD of one track of your own original music and solo or group performance. Adds your name to the list of Sponsors on the website. Two VIP Tickets to the CD Release Party March 5, 2016 where you will be acknowledged! Plus everything else in the "Power of Love" reward above. (*Does not include travel expenses to Portland. Must be scheduled at two months in advance for 2016.)

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

    A WEEKEND* BEACH RETREAT IN OREGON Enjoy two nights at a cozy beach house in Netarts on the Oregon Coast. Bring your Kayaks to explore Netarts Bay; visit the Nehalem winery or tour the 3 Capes Loop and Tillamook Cheese Factory. Your name added to the list of Sponsors on the website & party program & everything in the Power of Love Reward above. (*or weekday stay; Reservation will be made directly with owner and is subject to availability & terms of use; no pets; does not include travel expenses.)

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    THE UKALAIENS ARE COMING!
    Host a ukulele workshop for up to 30 people (teens/adults) with Portland's favorite Community Harmonizers, Steve Einhorn and Kate Power. Kate & Steve bring up to 30 ukuleles and the fun to your home or other venue. Y'all need only show up and be read to laugh and learn together for an hour. Absolute beginners welcome = a terrific neighborhood or holiday party! (Why not split this Rewards cost w/your peeps?) Includes 2 instructional DVD's "Learn to Play the Ukulele" and 2 CD's of Celtic Tunes by Kate and Steve. Your name added to the list of sponsors on the website & Program; 2 VIP tickets to CD Release Party where you will be acknowledged plus everything else from the "Power of Love" reward package above. (*Schedule in advance as much as possible for 2016; you cover travel expenses if outside 90 miles radius of Portlandia.)

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    LOU'S OWN BURTON BLUNT 153W Snowboard, his XL Burnton Snowboarding Jacket, Size L Snowboarding Pants, Bindings & Size 12 Snowboarding Boots are his gift to you. Two VIP tickets for March CD release party where you will be acknowledged. Adds your name to the list of Sponsors on the website. Plus, everything else from the "Power of Love" package reward. (*Must live within 90 miles of Oregon City or of Mount Hood (OR.) We'll meet you at Timberline Lodge for drop-off or deliver this reward right to your door!)

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    PARTY TIME À TROIS! Marv & Rindy Ross (Quarterflash, Trail Band) and violinist Eddie Parente (also from the Trail Band) will play a two set show (90 minutes of great music!) for your event in your home or in a venue of your choice. Catered hors d'oeuvres for 20 plus help with set up and clean up. Two VIP tickets for March CD release party where you will be acknowledged plus everything else from the "Power of Love" package reward above. (*Must be scheduled at least three months in advance for 2016 and travel is limited to 90 miles from the Portland area.)

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

    YOUR OWN PORTLANDIA ADVENTURE!
    Enjoy a 2 night stay at one of McMenamin's Guest Lodges + dinner in their lodge restaurant (Edgefield in Troutdale or the Kennedy School in Portland) so that you can attend the CD Release Party with VIP tickets (2) on March 5th! You'll be honored at the event and included in the video shoot that evening! Your name highlighted on the project website and in the CD Party Program. On Sunday, 3/06/16 Tour KBOO Community Radio studios & enjoy lunch on Sunday at Bread and Ink on Hawthorne Boulevard with "Sun" vocalists Shea and Tristyn, their amazing vocalist friend Ellen Whyte & Lou's mom. Also includes everything from the "Power of Love" Package plus an extra T-shirt and 2 extra CDs. (*This reward does not include your airfare to Portland or other expenses beyond those mentioned above.)

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    A UNIQUE & PRICELESS COMMISSIONED SONG by Portland singer/songwriter/pianist Naomi LaViolette! After consulting with you, Naomi will create a beautiful song to commemorate your event or as a gift for a special person you wish to honor in music. Naomi has composed songs for many occasions and purposes, including birthdays, anniversaries, funerals and for businesses. Listen to sample commissioned works at her website naomilmusic.com / She will send you two of her CD's. We will throw in everything from the "Power of Love" Reward plus some extras. More about Naomi: "Naomi LaViolette has found her niche between retro-style grooves and cool pop. Her smooth vocals span the sultry blues of Norah Jones to the ambience of Sarah McLachlan, and her inclusion of both vintage and current keyboard sounds are reminiscent of both the funky rhythms of Billy Preston and classic folk-rock of Carole King. Her songs strike a distinctive balance between sweet flirtation, soul-searching and gratitude. LaViolette’s roots are deep in classical music—she has a master’s degree in classical piano performance—but she has also immersed herself in jazz standards, folk songs, soul, pop and gospel." (Note: 1-3 months turnaround time for song depending on artist's performance schedule.)

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    LOUIS' OWN JOHN PETRUCCI MUSIC MAN (Ernie Ball) electric guitar w/case and Fender tube amplifier will be yours if you can Kick this project up with your generous contribution. Includes ten of Lou's favorite music books so that you can play Clapton, Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Green Day and others! Make your own beautiful music on Lou's favorite electric as your reward for helping us share his music with the world. 4 VIP Tickets for the CD Release party and 4 autographed "Sun" CDs + 4 T-shirts. Two copies of the Companion Book. Your name added to the list of Sponsors on the website & party program plus everything else from the "Power of Love" package above and unlimited Good Karma. (*Limited to residents living in Oregon please or to those willing to cover the cost of air shipping.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)