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DRM-free Rock, Paper, Cynic album ft. the world’s geekiest songwriters playing broken telephone in mad music distribution experiment
DRM-free Rock, Paper, Cynic album ft. the world’s geekiest songwriters playing broken telephone in mad music distribution experiment
DRM-free Rock, Paper, Cynic album ft. the world’s geekiest songwriters playing broken telephone in mad music distribution experiment
253 backers pledged CA$ 11,381 to help bring this project to life.

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Borken Telephone: album/musical broken telephone experiment

CA$ 11,381

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Art not final. There will be a full set of 18!
Art not final. There will be a full set of 18!

What the heck is this project?

Borken Telephone is my first album of music about the history of miscommunication by way of geeky stuff like cryptography, video games, philosophy, and Dungeons & Dragons. It collects six years of my best songs performing as Rock, Paper, Cynic.

It's also a musical broken telephone experiment!

What the heck's a musical broken telephone?

I believe music is a universe language. I also believe language is universally confusing, ridiculous, and only as interesting as the mischief you can make with it! 

That's why I want to attempt a musical mad science experiment that will push the language of music to its limits, and give us the chance to have a shit-ton of fun in the process. Basically, I've lined up a team of incredible geek musicians who will be part of a gigantic game of musical telephone

Borken Telephone's title track is a simple 50-second song about a game of broken telephone gone horribly wrong. I'm going to send a demo of it to the 1st guest musician, who will listen to it ONLY ONCE and then write and record their own demo version of it based on what they remember and stuff they make up to fill in any blanks. Their version gets sent to the next musician, and so on.

We'll get to see it morph through lots of awesome artists and musical styles, including folk, alternative, rock, chiptunes, rap and more. I'll cover the last song in the chain as the last song on the album, closing the loop! 

All of the recordings are going to be made available for download by ANYONE who pledges the project. This mean every backer is getting 2 albums--one full of 12 original songs, including the first and last broken telephone tracks, and another broken telephone album of 13-17 songs in the sequence of broken telephone recordings. 

Who's all playing the game?

What are your songs about? 

Borken Telephone is going to be my first album recorded with real studio equipment and musicians, and produced by my friend and musical collaborator Tico Souza! It has 12 songs that are silly, sarcastic and sometimes even poignant. Imagine that you took all your weirdest hypotheticals and geeky "what ifs" that come up when you're daydreaming or talking with friends, and then tried bringing them to life in songs. That's what you're getting!

What if a bodiless AI had a huge crush on its creator but had no way of expressing itself? What if you performed a love song for the NSA by singing security watchwords near cameras and phones? What if a philosopher used epistemology to go on a zombie-slaying spree?

I don't have the answers, but I've got songs that have a lot of fun with the questions.

You should definitely acquaint yourself with my music and see if you like it! Here are three demo tunes you can download for free. They will all be on the album with a full friggin' band made up of longtime musicians Tico Souza, Andre Valerio, Hayden Farrar and Ian Wright and full mix/master treatment!

[DOWNLOAD ALL 3 FREE DEMOS]

And imagine The Doubleclicks were featured on a song about geeks falling in love and Kirby Krackle and Adam WarRock collaborated on a fake-protest song about Mario Kart violence? That's what I've got planned!

What are the rewards?

No matter which reward you back, you will get a free copy of Ryan Estrada's comic Broken Telephone and either digital or physical geek music collector cards! Note, the US prices listed are estimates based on the exchange rate at 2:00 am EST on August 21.

*Card art NOT final!
*Card art NOT final!

How about stretch goals?

$8,000 = Sarah Donner joins as broken telephone musician #13!

$8,500 = Kraken Not Stirred plays a wicked-awesome guitar solo on one of the tracks on the record.

$9,000 = Zach Sherwin joins as broken telephone musician #14!

$9,500 = Bonus EP! I'll be collaborating on a bonus EP with Ariamaki, a very generous backer who helped make this project possible in a major way! For this stretch goal he's agreed to make it available to all backers with pirate-level access!

$10,000 = MC Lars joins as broken telephone musician #15!

$10,500 = A haiku song! Haiku master Write With Lightning (aka James Stevenson) and I will co-write a song entirely in haiku and perform it for you! We'll make the recording available for download. It'll be GRAND!

$11,000 = MC Frontalot joins as broken telephone musician #16!

$12,000 = Alpha Riff joins as broken telephone musician #17!

Risks and challenges

I'm excited to announce that as of August 8, 95% of the core album is recorded, so most of what remains to work on is the broken telephone experiment game. Foruntately, this is my third Kickstarter and I have a lot of experience organizing projects with lots of contributors. I've also set a project timeline with a lot of buffer room to accommodate touring schedules.

For my last project, 365 backers helped me hit 272% of my goal for the world's first anti-self-help comic book and work with 40 guest artists, including Zach Weiner (Saturday morning breakfast Cereal) Abby Howard (Junior Scientist Power Hour), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Adventure Time) and Rob DenBleyker (Cyanide and Happiness) to make it a #1 Amazon bestselling collection of comics.

I have the experience to handle a project of this scope. I'm also working with Tico Souza, an incredible and dedicated producer and musician, to keep recording on schedule, and I've set the delivery deadline as March to give myself 3 months more than I actually need, just in case this project grows in ways I didn't initially expect.

As for the zanier rewards: over the coming updates I'll explain in more detail how they're going to be executed and how I chose them. I've had phone calls with PigeonGram carrier pigeon service to find out how they operate, what their limitations are and how many birds they can fly within a certain time-frame, and I'm really happy with the answers and the quality of care they provide for their birds.

If you do have any questions, though, just fire 'em my way!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 12 or more About $9

    THE ELECTRON EXPRESS: Get the MP3/FLAC download of the full album and all songs from the musical broken telephone experiment.

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    Pledge CA$ 22 or more About $17

    THE PIRATE MASTER'S AUDIO VAULT: Get share-able download access to MP3/FLACs of the full album and all songs from the musical broken telephone experiment + all demos/live versions to date + all 21 vault songs from the 2009-2013 home studio vault. You're welcome to share the download links with anyone you want like a friendly awesome pirate!

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    TO CD OR NOT TO CD: Get a CD with the complete album plus download access to MP3/FLACs of the musical broken telephone experiment.

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    COLLECTOR'S TRADING CARD USB: Get the album fully loaded on a re-usable 8GB USB drive the dimensions of a "Magic" The Gathering"-style trading card with full-color Rock, Paper, Cynic artwork on both sides and made of 100% recycled plastics and electronics. Plus MP3/FLAC download of the musical broken telephone experiment!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $38

    SIGNED CD/USB + PIRATE MASTER'S AUDIO VAULT: Get the album signed on CD or USB collector's card + MP3/FLAC downloads of the broken telephone experiment + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links with anyone you want like a friendly awesome pirate!

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $46

    SIGNED BOOK + SIGNED CD/USB + PIRATE MASTER'S AUDIO VAULT: Get my #1 Amazon bestseller The HMS Bad Idea signed with the album on a signed CD or USB collector's card + MP3/FLAC downloads of the broken telephone experiment + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links with anyone you want like a friendly awesome pirate!

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $58

    THE CARRIER PIGEON SIGNED LIMITED EDITION MINI-SCROLL + SIGNED CD/USB + PIRATE MASTER: A download code will be printed on a limited edition 0.75" x 7" mini-scroll with Kickstarter-exclusive artwork, signed by Peter and the birdmaster, and be carried in flight by a PigeonGram pigeon as a certified PigeonGram with an ID# and letter of authenticity. Also, you get a signed CD or USB + MP3/FLAC downloads + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links!

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $77

    MYSTERIOUS DESTINY AMULET + SIGNED CD/USB + PIRATE MASTER: I'll design a cipher, puzzle or riddle leading to a download page set inside a mysterious amulet you can leave with a child to mark its destiny or keep for yourself because to heck with babies! The amulet has a brass-framed headpiece with a glass cabochon dome cover on a nickel-free, lead-free alloy chain. Also a signed CD or USB + MP3/FLAC downloads + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links!

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    Pledge CA$ 125 or more About $96

    MAROONED MESSAGE/SKETCH IN BOTTLE + SIGNED CD/USB + PIRATE MASTER: I'll maroon myself on an island, drink a bottle of something, drunk-write you a message with a download code and sketch, seal it, set it in the water, retrieve it and mail it to you. Also a signed CD or USB + MP3/FLAC downloads + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links!

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    Pledge CA$ 175 or more About $135

    ENABLING THE COLLECTOR: Get the destiny amulet + signed message/sketch in bottle + carrier pigeon express + signed CD + signed USB + MP3/FLAC downloads + all demos/live versions + all 21 vault songs + you're welcome to share the download links!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About $192

    BE A ZOMBIE VOICE ON THE FINAL ALBUM + ENABLING THE COLLECTOR: Voice a zombie singing/grunting "Brrrrrraaaiins!" on the final version of The Philosophical Zombie Slayer and get the destiny amulet + signed message/sketch in bottle + carrier pigeon express + signed CD + signed USB + all digital content + pirate master sharing privileges!

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $770

    CUSTOM CAVE PAINTING + ZOMBIE VOICE + ENABLING THE COLLECTOR: Do you have a cave in need of painting? I will forge you a fake-Paleolithic cave painting with a download code hidden inside it! I can also do this on a wall or other surface! Also your zombie voice will be included on the the final album and you'll get the destiny amulet + signed message/sketch in bottle + carrier pigeon express + signed CD + signed USB + all digital content + pirate master sharing privileges! [NOTE: Contact me before pledging to figure out location! Thanks!]

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    Pledge CA$ 2,500 or more About $1,924

    CUSTOM ACOUSTIC-FOCUSED EP + CAVE PAINTING + ZOMBIE VOICE + ENABLING THE COLLECTOR: I'll compose a 5-song acoustic-focused EP based on your creative direction and our mutual collaboration! Also I will forge you a fake-Paleolithic wallpainting with a download code hidden inside it! Also your zombie voice will be included on the the final album and you'll get the destiny amulet + signed message/sketch in bottle + carrier pigeon express + signed CD + signed USB + all digital content + pirate master sharing privileges! [NOTE: Contact me before pledging to figure out location! Thanks!]

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Funding period

- (30 days)