Hey there, thank you for stopping by! This is my very first Kickstarter and I'm thrilled that you're taking a look at my project. I hope you'll help me achieve this dream of making my own solo album!
UPDATE! The campaign has reached my initial goal AND, incredibly, gone on to the first THREE stretch goal, and thanks to all of you I am really truly MAKING THIS ALBUM! I've got just one more STRETCH GOAL... read on for more!
WHO AM I?
I'm Sunnie Larsen, a violinist and vocalist from Seattle. I studied as a classical musician since I was a child, but in the early 00's I started to expand my genre repertoire into other things. In 2003 I began playing with folk rock group Bone Poets Orchestra and in 2009 I joined filk band Vixy & Tony. I also specialize in instrumental improvisational music with Ronnda Cadle and Ménage à Trio (with Betsy Tinney and Geli Wuerzner or Alexander James Adams).
I've shared stages with and/or recorded for Molly Lewis, Heather Dale, Dr. Mary Crowell, Leslie Hudson, The Doubleclicks, Marian Call, The PDX Broadsides, Urban Tapestry, The Faithful Sidekicks, The Blibbering Humdingers, and many others--bringing audiences joy with my music is one of my favorite things in the world!
(What is filk music? My tl;dr would call it "often-folk music, usually written about something you are a fan of, sometimes parody of existing songs but often original tunes" but do also check out that Wikipedia link if you're curious about more in-depth explanation.)
WHAT I'M MAKING
I've been a backup musician on 5-string violin and vocals for the last 15 years and have had a grand time doing that, but over the last few years I've started working on my own songs as a soloist and not just a support person. I finally have enough in my catalog of songs that I could put together a cohesive album, and I decided the time was right!
I'm a giant space nerd, so much of the song content will be about space in one form or another. My album will contain parodies, covers, and originals, in fourteen songs:
- Babylon Dreams (a parody of "Dream a Little Dream" by Mama Cass)
- Baker Street (a parody of "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty)
- Downton (a parody of "Downtown" by Petula Clark)
- Homecoming (a cover of the song by Urban Tapestry)
- Inner Light (a parody of "Skye Boat Song" by Bear McCreary)
- Jewel in the Night (a cover of the song by Cmdr. Chris and Dave Hadfield)
- Love Like You (a cover of the Steven Universe song by Rebecca Sugar)
- Ophelia (a parody of "Cecilia" by Simon & Garfunkel)
- Space Girl (a cover of the song by Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl)
- The Last Page (a cover of the song by Brooke Abbey)
- The Space Between Notes (original instrumental with gundo)
- The Wreck of the Martian Observer (a parody of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot)
- an Irish fiddle set (traditional)
- an original instrumental improv (with Betsy Tinney)
Want to hear a preview of the kind of amazing things you'll get with this album?
(pre-release version of "The Wreck of the Martian Observer")
I selected Jeff Bohnhoff of Mystic Fig Studio to engineer and produce my album. Jeff is a master in both performing and recording, and after recording with him on albums for both Mary Crowell and Char MacKay I knew I wanted to work with him on my solo project.
I spent a week at Jeff's in December 2018, so the majority of the recording is already complete! We have some final parts from other musicians still to add, and then the mixing and the mastering and the duplication, but we're currently on track to have the album released sometime this spring.
WHY DO I NEED YOUR HELP?
Recording an album is a huge undertaking, and I won't be able to do it without your help. Your pledge will help cover all the album expenses, such as recording, duplication & distribution, the artwork & layout, and the rewards:
I have some really fun rewards for you, at all different levels! A few highlights:
At ALL Levels: At Conflikt this year, I created an improv track with Eric Distad of The Faithful Sidekicks on guitar. It's an off-the-cuff creation straight from our brains to the recorder and won't be professionally mixed, but everyone who backs the campaign will receive an mp3 of this track!
At $25: You'll get four convention badge ribbons that I had made related to the album, including one exclusively for the backers. I have a few different designs; final selection for the reward will be voted on by backers!
UPDATE: We unlocked the third stretch goal, which means that everyone who pledged at the $25 level AND UP will receive a custom sticker made from art that was created for the album! I'll be consulting you, my backers, for which designs you want me to create as stickers.
At $40: My chord and lyric book is going to be a COLORING book! I've enlisted my good friend Jela Schmidt to draw an illustration to accompany each song, and I'll be adding Zentangle-style doodles to each of her drawings. The pictures are adorable! The paper these will be printed on is great for crayons and colored pencils. (Some of the illustrations below, from left to right: Jewel in the Night, Homecoming, Martian Observer, and Space Girl)
UPDATE: The coloring book is currently only included at this $40 level, the $250 Full-Length Instrumental pack level, the (already gone!) $400 ALL THE THINGS level, and the $600 ALL THE THINGS + HOUSE CONCERT level, so if you want one of these and it isn't on the level where you backed you can add $15 to your pledge to get it!
At $60: I'll Zentangle/doodle a custom 5x7 greeting card made of 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. You can color or paint the card or leave it black and white. The card can be framed for display or you can send it to a special someone! If you're not familiar with Zentangle, it's a meditative abstract doodling style. Some of my previous work:
At $75: Jela is doing other artwork for this campaign besides the coloring book--she'll also be creating original 4"x4" acrylic paintings inspired by the album!
NEW REWARD LEVEL ADDED! At $80: You will receive a handmade, custom ceramic cup thrown by local ceramics artist Andrea Wolf of FireWolf Studios. The cup will hold approx 8oz, though as with all handmade items, the exact size and volume may vary slightly, and will be glazed in deep black and brilliant blue nebula clouds, along with your signed CD, the coloring book, and badge ribbons.
(NOTE: If you like the pledge level you're at but want one of these cups, you can add $40 to your pledge to get it! )
At $100: Your signed copy of the album will be accompanied by a hardcover hand-bound sketchbook covered in fabric with a music OR space pattern (your choice, after the campaign ends).
At $150: I'll create a short (1 minute) instrumental improvised song, just for you, and send you the mp3! I may make up the song entirely on my own, or enlist the help of one of my fellow musicians who loves improv like I do.
At $250: I'll create a full-length (at least 3 minutes) instrumental improvised song, just for you, and send you the mp3!
HIGH-LEVEL BIDS: At the $400 level, you'll get one of all the rewards, including the short original improvised song! At the $600 level, you'll also be able to arrange your very own Sunnie house concert! (Travel & lodging cost for me and at least one other musician will be additional if the event is more than 60 miles outside of Seattle. Please contact me via Kickstarter message before pledging to work out the details!)
Thank you, SO MUCH, to all of you! I could not do this without you. Your support means the world to me!
Thank you also to my beloved bandmates Vixy, Tony, and Betsy, for all their encouragement; to my sweeties for their unending support; to Jela for the wonderful artwork; to Eric for the extra music; to Andrea for the assistance with rewards; to my backing musicians Jeff, Maya, Tony, Vixy, Betsy, gundo, Mary, Marcos, Margaret, Brenda, and Chris for adding their incredible talents to these songs; and to Beckett Gladney for designing my CD artwork and layout.
And ENORMOUS thank yous to Laser Malena-Webber, Dr. Jessica F. Hebert, and Julie Wotzko for their absolutely invaluable help with my campaign.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarter, and I'm doing my best to get things done right!
The majority of my music is recorded and ready for mixing, mastering, and printing. I'm working with experienced producers and musicians who have done this before, getting lots of advice and help with my project to assure the campaign fulfillment goes smoothly.
Health and personal emergencies are always a possibility, but there should be plenty of room within my planned schedule to mitigate those issues. With the help of this amazing community behind me I feel good about my ability to get the album and rewards into your hands on time!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)