What is Beyond Libra?
Beyond Libra is an album of original music in various genres that pays stylistic homage to Japanese anime from the 1990s-2000s. Written and produced by award-winning game musician Wilbert Roget (composer for titles such as Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dead Island 2 and others), Beyond Libra brings together musicians and vocalists from all over the world for a diverse collection of both vocal and instrumental tracks.
As a composer for games, I’ve always been influenced by classic Japanese anime and video game scores, with musicians like Yoko Kanno and Jo Hisaishi being some of my biggest inspirations. I’ve always wanted to write music for animation, and so 8 years ago, I embarked on an ambitious album project: I’d write an entire soundtrack for a show that existed only in my imagination, with commissioned artwork to accompany the music and an interplanetary adventure story to bind it all together.
Beyond Libra is a very diverse soundtrack, with songs ranging from j-pop to orchestral, dulcet small ensemble works, and uplifting afrobeat. There is no single "sound" for the album as a whole, but instead, a great variety of genres support the characters' adventure across several planets and civilizations.
Beyond Libra features songs performed by live orchestra, three different live choirs (including a Nigerian vocal ensemble and a Slavic women’s chorus), small chamber ensembles, and a wonderful array of vocal soloists including Jillian Aversa (Halo, Soul Calibur 5, VideoGamesLive), Offiong Bassey (featured on NPR Radio and The Boston Globe), Raj Ramayya (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain) and others, with lyrics in five different languages. It boasts a ~45minute runtime, with 13 tracks total. We also have evocative character designs by Keiiii, and a gorgeous environmental piece by Star Wars artist Stephen Chang, which help bring the music to life in listeners’ imaginations.
This massive collaboration is almost ready for release, but I need your help to make this a reality. Now that the music is recorded, I’m seeking funding for the final mastering engineer costs, album design and layout, and CD manufacturing expenses so that I can finally share our work with the world!
Here's a brief montage of just a few of the tracks from Beyond Libra. Please note that these are in-progress, "unmastered" versions:
1) Momentum Flux
2) First Flight
3) Ebenebe Ga Egbu (ft. Offiong Bassey, Brandon Bush, and Nnenna Ukwu)
4) Tyger, Tyger (ft. The Philadelphia Boys Choir)
5) Space Drifter (ft. Brandon Bush)
6) Ryo's Flashback (ft. Gabriel Krotkov)
7) Little Butterfly
8) 8th and Broadway (ft. Brandon Bush)
9) Best Friends (ft. Raj Ramayya)
10) Waiting (ft. Simon Pyles)
11) The Final Showdown (ft. The Yale Slavic Chorus)
13) L'Infini (ft. Jillian Aversa)
Running time: ~45 minutes
Opening Titles Video
Check out the full video of our opening titles track, “Momentum Flux”, with artwork by Keiiii and Stephen Chang, and animation by Jose Felix!
As well as Alex Atanasiu (cello), Dren McDonald (guitar), Juan Medrano (guitar), and Daniel Swearengin (percussion)
Here’s a breakdown of the elements needed to make Beyond Libra a reality:
CDBaby 6-panel wallet CD 100 copies, with digital distribution, UPC code, shrinkwrapping - $638.61
Album design typesetting - $100
Mastering engineer - $500
Shipping and Kickstarter fees buffer - $261.39
This brings our total to $1500.
Where Do Additional Funds Go If Our Goal Is Exceeded?
In the very fortunate event that this project exceeds its initial $1500 goal, I have a few tiers of options that would improve the quality of this release even further:
$2500+ Mixing pass on vocal pop tracks by our engineer
$2800+ Increase # of physical CDs to 200
$TBD+ One additional track recorded with live orchestra
$TBD+ Two additional tracks recorded with live orchestra
More Fun Stuff!
In addition to writing original music in these anime-influenced styles, I’m also passionate about performing music from these timeless scores. Here are a few videos of me playing some of my favorite pieces:
Risks and challenges
Now that the music is fully recorded, there is very little risk remaining to be concerned about in terms of the music itself – the only remaining production task is the album’s mastering, which I estimate will take approximately two weeks. I’m keeping the manufacturing and publishing costs down to an absolute minimum so that I can make sure this album finally sees the light of day, now 8 years in production. Similarly, I’ve built in a few buffers into our budget to make sure that we can handle any unexpected costs that might arise. Our target release date is mid-December, with mastering estimated at about two weeks and the CDBaby manufacturing process taking about 10 days or so.
Should we be fortunate enough to generate enough extra funds to warrant more live orchestral recordings, I have plans in place already for how we can put together a small session at relatively low cost. The timing may change however, and should we arrive at this tier I will be open about the adapted scheduling. The same goes for our “vocal pop mixing-pass” tier, as again that relies on an external engineer’s schedule and may add two weeks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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