My name is Michael Harren. I'm a Brooklyn based composer, storyteller and performance artist and I've created this Kickstarter in support of an exciting extension of my successful solo show Tentative Armor. In this emotionally raw, yet darkly hilarious show, I combined piano, synthesizers, various electronics, and live musicians with storytelling to explore themes of spirituality, sexuality, and grief.
After two successful public readings of the show at Judson Memorial Church in 2013, I presented the show off-off broadway at Dixon Place in the Spring of 2014 under the direction of Adam Fitzgerald (The Awake, Methtacular!) where it played to a sold out crowd.
In each of the public performances of Tentative Armor, I accumulated quite a few out of pocket expenses. Honestly, I was happy to do so because it means so much to me to share this work. But for this project I'd like to try something a bit different, and that's where you come in. By pre-ordering the book and CD you will be helping me to create this work without creating a financial strain for myself in doing so. I have already booked studio time and musicians to start the recording process, but that is really only the beginning of the costs associated with this project.
So peruse the different levels of rewards, there's something there for everyone and please help out in any way you can. I've included some mock-ups from designers luke kurtis and John Ong below so you can get an idea about how things will look. Please note that we are very early on in this process so none of these examples are final! Thank you!
Brooklyn-based composer and performer Michael Harren combines elements of classical composition with experimental electronics and storytelling to create his hypnotic and boldly intimate work. Michael Harren tours as pianist with Sandra Bernhard, plays bass synth in ATTACK.WAV, is a regular member of The Secret City band, and has performed at Dixon Place, (le) poisson rouge, Joe’s Pub, Judson Memorial Church, Manhattan Theater Source, The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama, The Laurie Beechman Theater as well as numerous venues around the country.
The Tentative Armor album will contain the majority of the music from the show as well as the musical spoken word piece "Mango" and a new recording of the single "Go." My brilliant string players, Leah Coloff (cello), David Packer (viola), and Gabryel Smith (violin) will be joining me at Benny's Wash and Dry in late June. Bennett Paster will engineer the sessions. I am thrilled to be recording on his 1933 Steinway B piano! The album will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
Album Track Listing:
- When It Will Bloom
- Interlude I
- Go. (new recording)
- Interlude II
After the show, my friend and frequent collaborator luke kurtis approached me with his idea to create a book based on my show. I was thrilled and thought it the perfect companion for an album of recorded material from Tentative Armor. The full color, high quality book will bring words and visuals together with the music to recreate the immersive experience of the piece at Dixon Place. It will be published by bd-studios.com and will include a introduction by Adam Fitzgerald. The iBook (iPad and OS X Mavericks compatible only) is included with the rewards packages for backers at the $50 level or above. Backers at $75 or more will receive an autographed copy of the physical book. The book will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
My good friend Brody Polinsky came into my life when I returned to NYC after caring for my mom when she was ill and passed away in 2012. Brody and I became fast friends and his arrival in my life was one of those magical moments where the universe demonstrates the ebb and flow of people in our lives in a tangible way. It was perfect that he of all people designed the cover for the "Go." single, my dedication and goodbye to my mom. This t-shirt features Brody's design and is included in the reward package for backers at the $40 level and above.
Risks and challenges
Much of the work on this project is underway. Studio time and musicians are booked and designers luke kurtis and John Ong are already at work. I've given myself plenty of time for mixing, and creating new musical arrangements but in any project like this, unforeseen circumstances do arise. I feel confident that my experience and passion for this project will get me through any obstacles, and I will keep all backers posted with periodic reports as things progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)