Thank you so much for your support, your kind words, your network branches, and your love of music. I am inspired and honored beyond words.
As we are so close to the goal, I thought I would post some incentives for continued support. The initial funding goal was the bare minimum for this project. There are aspects of the project that could use additional funding beyond this total. This includes:
- Paying documentation staff (Michael Erlewine) for video work, both on the Kickstarter and during the recording session
- Upgrading equipment for best possible sound (new strings, cello mic, etc.)
- Having funds to do a small CD release tour
So, if we reach $7500... I will release the old time live session EP to all backers! As an additional reward those of you that already selected this option, we will send you exclusive "making of" footage from this session. The reason I want to create this EP is to capture the feel of sitting with friends, playing tunes, laughing, and sharing space. It will be raw and true to what an old time session is, in my experience. Adding this exclusive video component will actually bring you into the session, to see the instruments and watch our interactions.
Here's The Deal:
After years of backing other musicians on their projects, I have decided to take the wheel and create my own album of primarily traditional music.
The first step of this process, after song selection, was to track some demos. To give myself the time and space to do this, I applied for the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design (ISLAND) Hill House Artist Residency Program. I was accepted and spent two glorious weeks of December, 2013, in a cabin in the woods with Chris Bathgate, John Hanson, and Michael Erlewine tracking demos, planning this album, creating a Kickstarter video, philosophizing, playing euchre, and cooking some excellent chicken.
Traditional music has been a huge part of my life, starting with attending my first Wheatland Music Festival at age 11 months. My father, Bruce Ling, encouraged the performance bug by taking me to folk festivals around the state and introducing me to many full-time musicians who were making a living from their art. I began performing with his old time band, Hawks and Owls, at age 14. Most recently, I have been performing and recording with the Grand Rapids, MI, based indie folk project, Strawberry Heritage. I was also added as an Earthwork Musician in 2013.
All of these musical experiences have pushed me to create something of my own, to reflect on my influences and my larger traditional music community, and to explore what I am trying to say in the world of traditional music. The best way that I see to do this with old time music is to take what I know and love and to push it by utilizing modern technologies and highlighting undervalued instruments, like the cello, clawhammer banjo, and percussive dance.
In addition to the full length album, we will be creating a short old time live session EP as a group. This will help capture what it feels like to sit in a living room with dear friends late into the night, sharing music and space.
I'm honored to have such a stellar group of musicians joining me on this album. Each artist brings with them a unique perspective on traditional music. I feel that these ideas will blend together to create something interesting and beautiful.
Micah Ling- cello, lead vocals, banjo
Chris Bathgate- piano, auxiliary percussion
Samantha Cooper- fiddle
Laurel Premo- fiddle
Michael Beauchamp- guitar
Becky Hill- feet
Eli Strauss- banjo
Michael Erlewine- mandolin
Nic Gareiss- feet, bouzouki
Tyler Duncan- flute, boudhran
and we can all sing!
Produced by Chris Bathgate, Micah Ling, and John Hanson
Recorded at the Heart Center Studio in Big Rapids, MI
Now comes the harder part. The cast is assembled, the studio time is booked, the demos are sent out, the schedule is made, and the plan has formed. We are just lacking the funds.
Where Your Dollars Go:
Creating/pressing/printing albums and digital download cards
Musicians' travel, food, and recording time costs
Sound engineering- tracking, mixing, and mastering
Incentive creation supplies
Kickstarter and Amazon fees
For me, this album is about creating something that is a reflection of my own experience. The funds will all go directly into supporting the album. It is not about profit for me, but about having the money to sustain this wonderful group of musicians and collaborators for the duration of the recording process.
Credits:Video produced, edited, and filmed by Michael Erlewine, with additional footage and assistance by John Hanson.
Filmed at the Hill House Artist Residency in Mancelona, MI, and on Leslie Street in Lansing, MI
Song: Willow Garden, featuring Micah Ling, Michael Erlewine (mandolin), and John Hanson (guitar)
Dance Clip: Coleman's March, featuring Becky Hill and Micah Ling
Risks and challenges
As with any recording project, there are many components that must come together to create a finished whole.
We will go into the studio at the beginning of March and hopefully complete recording in a timely manner. There are always possibilities of gear mishaps, difficult musical arrangements, personal injury, or scheduling conflicts creating challenges to the carefully-crafted vision.
The production of the physical CDs is mostly a waiting game. Once the design is complete and album is mastered, the album will be sent away for reproduction. Hopefully, the organizations that I am working with will be communicative and timely.
We will all do our best to get creative and work through any problems that arise and keep you updated should anything unforeseen happen.
We are artists. We will adapt. We will prevail.
- (31 days)