About this project
Hello! I'm Marian Call, and I've been making music with all my might for a lot of years. It's been a joy and a privilege to meet so many of you guys and make art with you since 2007. My career is just a drop in the ocean of incredible things being made by independent folks just like me -- but I'm so happy to be your drop.
I'm making my ninth album now, tentatively titled Standing Stones. This summer in Austin we recorded the rhythm section, so the foundation is already laid, and it sounds fantastic.
Expect nice full electric guitars, some big fat snare, some Hammond organ, even brass and backup singers. I am making the songs that help you drum your hands *really* hard on your steering wheel or your desk at the end of the day. So join me and let's finish this record!
This Kickstarter is All About the Music.
- Get the Music -- pre-order Standing Stones as a digital download, a CD, or a Special Edition CD with fancy packaging, and get it with autographs or doodles or thank you notes from my typewriter! You can also pick up my existing music at a discount, to keep or share. If we reach $55k, you'll be able to get it on vinyl! (Details at http://mariancall.com/purchase/fundraiser/)
- Get the Poetry -- my songs are all about the words, and I wrote nearly 60 full pages of poetry to unearth the lines in this album. I'll be writing out song lyrics by hand, in my very nice calligraphy (details). You can also pick up the Apocrypha, a limited print zine I'm making to go with the album -- the Apocrypha is a chapbook, a small collection of extra poetry, prose, and research that will illuminate the songs on the record (details). It will not be sharpied and photocopied like my last zine, it will be pretty and fancy and autographed. The work that went into this album is deeply rooted and broad-branching, and I'd love to show you more of the structure and inspiration.
- Make New Music -- I'm undertaking a project called the Jazz Jukebox to fund this record. I'm offering custom cover songs -- any song you like -- and I'll be recording them with a jazz combo, all at once, on a recording trip or two this winter. I'm also offering a couple original song commissions! If this interests you, definitely read the details.
- Name the Band -- Just for fun! My amazing rhythm section for this record has never existed before, and one of you (or a group of you) can name the backing band! Yes, it will be the official real band name printed in the album liner notes. (Details)
- Throw a Concert -- If you're patient and on my tour route it's easy to have a Marian Call concert in your town. But if you want to be absolutely sure you see a show up close in the next year, you can buy a house concert with the full band nearly anywhere in the world! No really, I'll travel, even internationally, for a single show for you. Lots of details on this one.
All the rewards and stretch goals in this fundraiser are simply about the music. There will be no new reward tiers announced later in the campaign, and no extra items to purchase on checkout. If we get to stretch goals (yay!), every stretch goal will be available to every backer.
If you have extra questions or requests, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk! Want to know more about the budget and the funding? I wrote about it at http://mariancall.com/kickstarter-math-is-weird/.
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This record is brought to you by...
Standing Stones is a big bold step for me artistically. I have things to say and I'm bursting to say them! These songs are all about bones and stones and stories. I'm writing about the stories we tell ourselves (true and false), the stories that become our lives, the stories we all have in common, the recurring characters and themes in our narrative, and how we can change the narrative:
"Beggar, banker, king and pawn, / we're only bones with stories on. / We wake, we witness, and we're gone, / we're only bones with stories on"
"And I was born for this, I was born for this, / I've been ready all my life / to chance on some enchanted secret door / to a kingdom new and wild, / to my wonder as a child, / and now here you are -- / each of us around the flames, / a universe that knows itself by name."
"We were here, yes, we were here / say the spirals and the runes. / We made beauty, it made sense / sometimes in our better moments. / We were wild and we were wrong, / and this is how our portrait's drawn / so sculpt and sketch and sign your own, / All we leave are standing stones."
These songs take place in deserts and prairies and kitchens and cathedrals and ruins, and most of all around bonfires late at night and early into the morning -- the spaces where we confront ourselves and listen to each other.
A short list of Other Art that inspired this art:
- Re-reading favorite children's books like The Little Prince, The Phantom Tollbooth, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Rumo, Chronicles of Narnia, and Wizard of Earthsea
- The Sandman Book Club, which some of you guys were a part of last year
- The graphic novel series Unwritten and vol. I-XII of Fables
- Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown
- Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods
- The short film "Meshes of the Afternoon" by Maya Deren
- The computer game Don't Starve and the tabletop game Agricola
- The Middle Ages text The Book of Hours, one of the most widely owned and read texts in a corner of Europe at one time. Yeah, I was a Medieval and Renaissance literature nerd in college. Hildegard von Bingen is pretty boss.
Many, MANY thanks to the Donors' Circle for seeing me through last winter and giving me time to stay home and write this project!
Now I need to make it through one more winter, 2015-16, with time enough to *not* tour a little so I can focus on finishing this work.
I will not promise a delivery date for the new record at this time (I've made eight albums and I know all about that mistake) but my target is the first half of 2016 if all goes well. The more we raise above the goal, the more I can *just work on the record.* If we just barely meet our goal, I'll have to spend a lot of time touring, fundraising, and recording smaller projects to make ends meet, which will be lots of fun as always -- though it will slow up production.
But the music will be made. This is music I MUST make. I will release Standing Stones once is it undoubtedly completely awesome. And it will exist thanks to you guys. Let's do this.
Risks and challenges
Making a studio record properly is a long, difficult, and expensive process. I only undertake it every 2-3 years. But it's a process I'm familiar with, so I am going in equipped and experienced, with eyes wide open and good people on my team.
There are always risks like having to re-record songs, losing session data, illness, rescheduling travel, blizzards and earthquakes and volcanoes and locusts* -- and running out of studio time with the musician you need, which is the worst. Re-recording or rescheduling recording is the largest added expense and the largest cause of delays.
Thankfully I've been making records long enough that I anticipate some re-recording, and it's built into the budget.
I've already absorbed a lot of the initial expenses myself, I have a lot of skin in the game. The rhythm section is the most challenging and expensive portion of the record, and it's already completed. (And the data is backed up!)
I've also done a large Kickstarter before, and it was an intense growing experience. I learned an awful lot the last time around about budgeting, the cost of rewards, and which goodies and stretch goals to offer. My prices and margins are much smarter this time, and I have better accounted for the true cost and time it will take to fulfill rewards. I'm grateful to have some experience under my belt, and I feel very good about this project.
*No really, I have encountered all four of these on my travels. The blizzard was definitely the most dangerous but hitting a lot of locusts with your car is super gross.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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