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What happens when the most creative musical minds collaborate with a string quartet to re-imagine the way your phone sounds? Read more

Chicago, IL Music
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on October 3, 2013.

What happens when the most creative musical minds collaborate with a string quartet to re-imagine the way your phone sounds?

Chicago, IL Music
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About this project

Default ringtones suck! Together with a roster of wickedly-talented composers from across the country, we’re about to change all that.

The scores are already being written, the recording studio is reserved and, rest assured, we own two violins, a viola and a cello. All we need is you

The Project

Our mission with the Mobile Miniatures project is to replace the tedious default ringtones and alarms on your mobile phone with a catalog of teeny-tiny performances of original contemporary music. Imagine waking up to the alluring melodies of David Lang, answering a call to the kinetic textures of Augusta Read Thomas or being alerted to a text message by the wry wit of Nico Muhly. 

40 brilliant composers have eagerly partnered with us, including: 

Mason Bates, Olga Bell, Seth Boustead, Nathan Davis, Nomi Epstein, Suzanne Farrin, Erin Gee, Luke Gullickson, Ted Hearne, Holly Herndon, Ben Hjertmann, Julia Holter, Dominic Johnson, Chris Jones, Jonathan Kirk, Morgan Krauss, David Lang, Jenna Lyle, Matt Marks, Mark Mellits, Nico Muhly, Marek Poliks, Collin J Rae, Shulamit Ran, Bernard Rands, Sarah J Ritch, Greg Saunier, David Skidmore, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Andrew Tham, Augusta Read Thomas, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Jen Wang, Liza White, Jay Alan Yim, and Katherine Young

Once we've received the scores, we'll workshop the pieces with the composers before heading into the recording studio to capture these micro-masterpieces and format them as ringtones, alarms and alerts. They will then be made available for purchase and download, either singly or as a set (like an album), to any device that supports custom ringtones and alerts. 

The ringtones will be sold on major digital music retailers (iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon) and on our own website.  We will offer the following formats: WAV, AAC, MP3, M4R, and AMR.  

Timeline

Assuming our funding drive is successful (hint hint), here's our timeline to complete the project:

  • October 2013: Finalize plans with composers and connect prize-winning donors with composers as appropriate.
  • November 15, 2013: Deadline for the composers' score submissions.
  • December 2013 - January 2014:  We rehearse the compositions and have workshop sessions with each composer to refine their piece.
  • January 27-29, 2014: Recording sessions at MINBAL recording studios in Chicago.
  • February, 2014: Mastering sessions and preparing for distribution of the ringtones.
  • March 1st, 2014: Deliver ringtones to Kickstarter donors
  • March 29th, 2014:  Release of tracks to the public with a release party/concert at Constellation Chicago.  The event will be open to the public and will feature a multimedia installation where audience members can hear the pieces, read up on each composer (and mingle with any of them who can attend), and purchase the tracks á la carte.  We will of course perform many of the miniatures live, and will have guest artists (TBA) there to perform the collaborative works with us.  

Budget

We have set our project budget at the bare minimum of what we need to complete it.  First and foremost, we have budgeted $4,000 for fees to composers.  (We are sure you'll agree that their time and creativity is certainly worth more than $100 apiece)

Another $2,000 will be needed for engineering, mastering, and distribution costs.  

We estimate spending $750 in advertising the ringtones to the wider public, and about $500 on administrative costs.  Kickstarter and Amazon will take the rest in processing fees.

If we do as we hope and raise far more than our target, we will be able to:  (1) pay ourselves something for all the time we will spend rehearsing, workshopping, and recording the music; (2) do more advertising to the public; and (3) pay each composer a more respectable fee.  

Where You Come In....Yes, You!

If you only have a few bucks to help make this happen, we'd love to have you as a partner. If you have lots of bucks to make this happen, we'd love to have you as a partner. If your name is Richard Branson...get your butt out of that submarine and let's do this thing, buddy! 

Spektral Quartet is a 501(c)3 organization, and all donations are tax-deductible (minus the monetary value of the prizes received). We will send you the appropriate documentation upon request.

Thanks for supporting Mobile Miniatures.  With your help, dull ringtones will be a thing of the past!

Austin, Aurelien, Doyle & Russ 

The Spektral Quartet

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge will be dealing with delays. We chose to work with these composers because they're all super-talented and creative. As you might imagine, super-talented and creative composers are in demand and will have other, larger projects on their plates.

We have worked in plenty of time to allow for any such delays, and we also have a dedicated project manager to keep all the communication organized and up-to-date. We believe these safeguards will keep us on track!

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    51 backers

    ***Hello, Goodbye***

    Download your choice of 10 miniatures in any offered format four weeks before official public release. Does not include exclusive tracks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    13 backers

    ***Rikki Don’t Lose That Number***

    Download your choice of 25 miniatures in any offered format four weeks before official public release. Does not include exclusive tracks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    16 backers

    ***How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore***

    Download all 40 miniatures, including 5 exclusive ringtones offered only with the full set, four weeks before official public release.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    6 backers Limited (19 left of 25)

    ***Pennsylvania 6-5000***

    You will receive two tickets with reserved seating for the March 29th release party in Chicago!

    Also, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    ***Telephone Hour***

    Be our honored guest, either in person or via Skype, at the workshop session with the quartet and a composer. (Limited to participating composers.)

    Also, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    ***Video Phone***

    Be our honored guest, either in person or via Skype, at any 3 workshop sessions with the quartet and composers. (Limited to participating composers.)

    Also, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    ***More Than Words*** Choose your favorite minute-long segment of music and the quartet will record it for you for the underscoring of your outgoing message. Also, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    ***Ring A Ding Ding*** Receive an autographed score of the miniature by the composer of your choice. (Limited to participating composers.) Also, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    ***Ill Communication*** Do you play a mean harpsichord, euphonium or didgeridoo? Join us in the studio and play with us on a signature ringtone! Not musically inclined? No problem. Choose a musician to play in your place! (Limited to participating composers.) Also, receive 2 tickets for reserved seating at our March 29th release party. And of course, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    ***867-5309*** Collaborate with a composer to give him or her a theme, idea, or launching point for the miniature. You get to be a muse! (Limited to participating composers.) Also, receive 2 tickets for reserved seating at our March 29th release party. And of course, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    ***I Just Called To Say I Love You*** The quartet will give a private performance in your Chicago-area home or workplace, and we’ll work with you to find just the right setlist for the occasion. (Note: Doyle makes excellent manhattans.) Also, receive 2 tickets for reserved seating at our March 29th release party. And of course, download the complete set of miniatures as described above.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (28 days)