With my long-awaited first album underway, I'm asking for your help to make it happen!
Hello friends, family and newcomers to me and my music! I’m a Scottish singer songwriter based just outside Edinburgh and I’ve worked away tirelessly since 2011, when I first released an EP The Gathering Crows, doing the things I love most - writing songs and playing live music.
The time has come to make my first album!
It was always my intention to make an album soon after recording the EP, and after a year of live performances and promoting the EP, I took some time out when our amazing son arrived - but still kept writing and doing live performances where possible. I've taken time out this year to concentrate on writing and getting this album off the ground.
I’ve collaborated with some great musicians and made new friends over these past years who have really contributed greatly to my musical growth. And with the ever-present burning desire to do an album, I got a bunch of my songs, did some rough demos and shared them with producer Mattie Foulds (who recorded my EP). He put me in touch with musician Steven Polwart... and the rest will be the fruits of ongoing (enjoyable) labour!
No title as yet, (the hardest thing to do I’m finding!) but there’s 11 tracks going on it, all self-penned, 3 of which I’ve been performing live over the past year or two (The Promise, On The Shore and The Piper of Peanmeanach) and 8 of which are brand new. There’s a taste of one of these new tracks, A Drover’s Tale, in the campaign video.
I’m endlessly interested in people and their stories, but I do also write from a personal perspective on subjects that interest or concern me. The songs interweave fact and fiction, history and present day, with many inspired by my connections to the Scottish Highlands. I have real passion for the vibrant musical connection between Scottish and American folk styles which is reflected in my music.
Mattie will be again recording and mixing for me at Heriot Toun Studio; it would probably be easier to list who he hasn’t recorded on the Scottish folk scene rather than list who he has, but it includes an impressive line up of award-winning artists who always seem to go back and work with him... plus he’s a great guy who loves what he does! I’m fortunate too in that he’ll also put his brilliant drumming and percussion skills to good use on the tracks. And there’s Steven - another great guy - who is probably best noted for his work with Scottish singer songwriter Karine Polwart (his sister) and musician Inge Thomson, so he’ll be helping me arrange the songs and also record his considerable guitar skills for the whole album. We’re currently lining up some fantastic guest musicians for double bass, fiddle, slide, banjo and mandolin so it’s going to be a real collaborative project of the best quality.
You can listen to some tracks from my EP recording here:
I need you!
This project has been a long time in the making and I’m really excited that it’s finally coming to fruition. I’m doing this independently rather than through a record company and in order to do this, I need your financial support. In return I’m offering rewards, one of which I plan to be an incredible album! It's worth noting that if I don't achieve the target fund, then I don't get anything, even if there's money been pledged, so I'm really hoping you can help me reach the target figure. If I go over that figure, then that's brilliant as it means I can put more investment into promoting the album.
Apart from the finished album in physical CD and digital format, there’s a host of goodies which include thank you cards, an album themed limited edition poster, t-shirt and memento book, all designed by me. I’m using my skills from my pre-musical career as a graphic designer and I still enjoy great design and keeping a hand in it. These goodies will be designed once recording has been done and artwork is explored for the finished album. I will also have the input of my designer husband who is lending his creative eye to these exclusive project rewards so they really will be something nice... there’s also some extra special musical offerings too which I hope will entice you into helping me make this album.
So what stage are we at now?
We’re currently arranging music, confirming guest musicians and planning our studio time. Recording is scheduled for mid to late October this year, with a planned release of the album in Spring 2015. Sounds like a while away for release, but this gives us time for mastering the record (another process at another studio) and to produce quality photography and artwork for the physical release and to plan and promote the upcoming album and the main launch gig in Edinburgh.
And what do the funds raised here pay for?
Studio costs and musician fees are covered and the funds raised here will go towards mastering the album, photography, printing, duplication and promotion. All these post-recording stages are an essential part of the process of making and releasing an album and although it will have been recorded and mixed, it can’t go anywhere or reach anyone if I can’t complete all the stages, which is why this campaign to ask for your help is so important.
Here’s what the budget looks like...
Listed below is an edited list of stages and round ups of what they will cost:
£3000 for studio fees (recording and mixing)
£2300 for musician’s fees/expenses
£500 for studio mastering (final version of the mixed recording)
£650 for artist photography with usage rights (album sleeve)
£1600 for print and duplication (physical CD)
£500 for marketing / promotion
£500 for fees by Kickstarter / payments processing to facilitate this campaign and fulfilling pledge rewards
I should add that I’m relying, in part, on time and talent kindly offered to me by a number of people who want to help get the album to release and well promoted. I am extremely grateful for this support which helps reduce the overall cost of the whole project.
What happens after Kickstarter?
I’ll be updating on progress of the finished product via:
I’ll also be enlisting the help of friends and family to help pack rewards to my kind backers for this project when it’s ready!
And finally a big THANK YOU!
It would be difficult to bring this album to it’s realisation without your help, and I want to make an album of the best quality possible, in all aspects of it’s production, because that’s what you expect and deserve! You truly have my deepest appreciation in backing this project and I thank you kindly for supporting me in creating new music.
Risks and challenges
The recording will be done via other finance, so the the funds raised on Kickstarter are for after recording takes place. Possible risks and challenges are that recording is delayed through unforeseen human and technical circumstances, in which case it will be rescheduled to an appropriate timescale and the release date may alter. However, a detailed schedule and budget plan has been worked out for the whole of this project from pre-production to release and I am confident that this will be fulfilled as I'm working with a great team and have the time and support of friends in fulfilling my obligations. Updates of the recording and release progress will be frequent via my website and social media and if any unforeseen delay occurs, backers will be first to be informed. This album will be made and I look forward to sharing it with you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)