About this project
A gigantic planetary-sized thank you for your incredible support! I appreciate everyone who pledged to make MONOLITH a success. If you missed out on my Kickstarter project, go to the Projekt Website to see if there are any unpledged copies available. You can also visit Bandcamp to grab one of the free Black Tape For A Blue Girl download albums. You can join the email list to learn about the newest albums I'm working on. I also have a Patreon page for ongoing support of my work. I appreciate your dedication and interest in my music. Thanks! Sam
L'odissea nello spazio di Sam Rosenthal
Italy's OndaRock posted an interview in both Italian and English. I'm pleased with how it turned out, I discuss MONOLITH, creating music, how things have changed for artists in the last decade, and being motivated by your support. I think it's a very honest interview that's an insightful read.
Hi, this is Sam from Black Tape For A Blue Girl and As Lonely As Dave Bowman. I'm asking for your support of the physical edition of MONOLITH, my new CD of electronic space music. This 73-minute album will exist as a 300-piece limited edition audio CD packaged in a DVD-sized digipak, with no follow-up standard edition.
Of the 300 copies of MONOLITH, as many as 100 of these will be in the über-limited plexibox edition. (I will make an extra 25 for myself, my friends, and future sales.)
Unlike my work in Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Dave Bowman is full-on electronic music: droning space, wordless drift with long suspended passages. Covering Bowman's journey to the Monolith near Jupiter, the album touches the edges of isolation and glacial solitude, with a discernible warm human core. MONOLITH's epic expanses, asteroid flybys, serene ambient moments, vast open textures, and warmer hues of sparse remoteness are barren, yet without leaving the listener abandoned. Think of it as drone insulation rather than drone isolation.
I tried something unique with this Kickstarter campaign. I decided to give away a free download of MONOLITH at the same time as I raised funds for the physical CD. You can get your download at Bandcamp right now and hopefully you'll come back here to donate. Maybe you'll give three dollars or more to support my time and energy creating this music.
I would appreciate that!
While you could name-your-price when you download at Bandcamp, it would be better if you pledge here at Kickstarter.
1 - You get all the MONOLITH email updates right in your in box.
2 - You get MONOLITH (ADDENDUM), a 37-minute download of additional tracks. That's 110 minutes of music for three dollars.
And perhaps after checking out the music, you'll want to pledge one of the limited edition physical versions. Check out the premium levels to the right for your options.
Whatever you contribute, you're supporting art -- and that's super-cool of you!
It's a very weird time in the music industry. Musicians are experimenting with new ways to fund our work. I believe artists should be fairly compensated for their creations; I also would like people to hear what I create. I am wondering if giving the music away will lead to more people hearing MONOLITH and liking it enough to donate and/or pre-purchase the physical edition here at Kickstarter?
One ongoing problem in the music business is that obscure music doesn't get heard. Telling people about an album isn't as satisfying to you as hearing the music. But as opposed to putting MONOLITH up on Spotify and having no interaction with you, a campaign like this is much more personal and connected. I'm getting to meet you, email with you, and we are working on this project together.
It will be very cool if this works out. Who knows, right? I'm trusting in the generosity of all of you to make this happen.
I am optimistic!
(5/3/15 update: Now I know! This concept worked. MONOLITH was funded after only 13 days!)
Please share this project with your friends. http://kck.st/1aWKvCr
Dave Bowman explores the outer reaches of sound.
As Lonely As Dave Bowman is named after the astronaut in Kubrick/Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. MONOLITH is a soundtrack for the final four months of Dave's journey to Jupiter. The pieces thematically track his isolation beginning with the failure of the AK-35 unit radio antennae, skimming near the moons of Jupiter, navigating his Pod above the Jupiter Monolith, the dark channel of lights, and his enlightenment in the brightly-lit hotel suite [I've excised Dave's conflict with HAL from this telling of the story.] There are no words or narration on the CD; I'm just sharing the inspiration for the tracks.
The plexiglass box is open on top, and the DVD-sized-digipak slips in. It will be the same size, shape and weight as the POD plexibox (above). Rather than blue, MONOLITH's box will be a translucent smoky-greyish color with a slight bronze tint. It is 1/8" thick plexi fabricated right here in Portland, Oregon, by http://www.appliedplasticsmachining.com/
When I released POD in 2007, I only made 35 plexiboxes available; they sold out within a few days. This time, there's going to be up to 100 available. The $3000 goal is enough to manufacture the first 50. As more pledges come in, I can scale up to 100.
I have a Patreon page for my music. Patreon is a crowdfunding site built for "empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work." This is where dedicated fans of my music sign on to provide ongoing support on a monthly basis to assist me in following my muse. In exchange, they get unreleased (and possibly never-to-be-released) music and other goodies every month.
If it wasn't for my Patreon patrons, MONOLITH would not have been recorded. Thank you so much to everyone over there!
Why should I get on board here at Kickstarter?
This release will only fund if we hit the $3000 goal. Getting involved at any pledge level increases the chance this CD will be manufactured. (5/3/15: The CD funded. Join us with a pledge if you'd like to get one of the soon-to-be-rare physical copies.)
What are you spending the money on?
- Manufacturing CD in DVD-sized digipak: $836
- Manufacturing 50 plexiboxes: $974
- Bubble envelopes + cardboard packing material: $75
- Labor to package and prepare for post office: ~$350
- USA postage: ~$200
- Graphic design & creating the music: ∞
- Buffer for unexpected expenses: 10%
- Kickstarter: 8 - 10% fee
I hope you join us here to pledge the MONOLITH CD. Thanks so much. - Sam
Risks and challenges
I've run four Kickstarters, all of which successfully funded with all premiums fulfilled. I'm experienced at following through on my projects. I've run the Projekt label and webstore for 33 years; I know all about boxing things up and getting the box into the mail. I have decades of history meeting budgets on over 315 releases including complex limited editions; my 2013 Kickstarter for the REMNANTS OF A DEEPER PURITY 2-LP vinyl release involved five different manufacturers.
MONOLITH is recorded, the cover design is complete, and I've already paid to have the album mastered.
I plan to use Projekt's regular pressing plant in New Jersey (Discmakers) for the CD & digipak; they have a 4 week turn-around.
I've priced out the plexibox with Applied Plastics, a fabricator here in Portland. They say they can make the boxes in two weeks. I visited their facility; they make displays for the local supermarket chain and know what they're doing with this kind of design (Dan used a vernier caliper to match the size of POD down to the micro-what-have-you!)
I'm expecting to have everything in hand ahead of schedule. Just in case there's a delay, I've included buffer time. I hope you have MONOLITH sooner than July 15.
Of course, I have no control over the mail or foreign delivery. Spring is usually a good time for the mail service; my fingers are crossed.
I don't see any major challenges to getting this done. Let's do it! : )Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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