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Let me sing you to sleep with over 25 wordless lullabies written by living composers. Consider this your new music bedtime routine.
Let me sing you to sleep with over 25 wordless lullabies written by living composers. Consider this your new music bedtime routine.
154 backers pledged $6,536 to help bring this project to life.

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$6,536

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Shaya sets the wheels in motion.
Shaya sets the wheels in motion.

 

              

Shaya tweeted, "On my list of fantasy commissioning projects: wordless lullabies for the sleepless, sung by @mezzoihnen." 

Who Am I?

Hi, I'm Megan Ihnen, a classical singer on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music. I sing new songs written by composers who are writing in a current style of classical music. Want to hear an example? Check out Mara Gibson's piece "One Voice" for voice (me!) and viola (the incomparable Michael Hall) here. Or, perhaps you'd like "Otherwise" for voice and cello by Christian B. Carey.

You can find out more about my take on the world of new music and arts entrepreneurship at the Sybaritic Singer. I take every opportunity I can to talk about new music and classical music around the country. For example, I relish the opportunity to write for The Des Moines Register, I Care If You Listen, and more. As a musician and arts entrepreneur, I am dedicated to powerful musical performances, high-level digital communications, patron experience services, and education. While so many in the classical music world are competing for ever-shrinking pieces of the pie, I actively seek to create opportunities and brainstorm strategies to change the way things have been done to better support the entire field and not just a select few.

How Did This Project Come About?

If you don't know Shaya Lyon yet, she is a one-woman powerhouse when it comes to building a sense of local and global community. As a former software product manager and news editor, she has been using her product lead, UX designer, writer, artist and organizing information super powers for good in the world of new and classical music. She is the creator and Executive Director behind The Live Music Project which is a community calendar for classical and contemporary classical music in Seattle. It builds visibility for local orchestras and ensembles while connecting new and returning listeners with live musical experiences. She is also the impetus behind Musochat which is a weekly conversation about new music on Twitter that began in July 2015. New Music Box wrote about it, and SoundNotion recorded us discussing it on their podcast, as did The Portfolio Composer.

Shaya is a friend I made originally via Twitter who has become one of my favorite people. Our friendship is a true testament to the power of digital platforms. We met initially because she happened to be in San Francisco while I was there for New Music Gathering the preeminent annual three-day conference dedicated to the performance, production, promotion, support and creation of new concert music. Whenever Shaya says, "have you ever thought about..." my ears prick up and my imagination goes into overdrive immediately.

Mentioning on Twitter that she has been dealing with insomnia recently, she tweeted about a fantasy commissioning project of "wordless lullabies for the sleepless" sung by me. I thought that was a pretty sweet idea. I'd love to do something like that. So, I quote tweeted her suggestions with, "Composers, can we make this happen?" and received an overwhelming response of people who were interested. That told me that this was a project that was ripe for the happening.

Composer Daniel Felsenfeld, who has written for everyone from Jay-Z with Alicia Keys and Nas to Chorus of Trinity Wall Street to ETHEL, replied back right away with, "I am the proud father of an amazing girl, so it stands to reason that I ought to be writing a lullaby, having improvised so many. And I'll do anything for the amazingly gifted Megan Ihnen, so this is all falling into place..."

Let's be honest...

Raise your hand

  • if you can't take listening to Enya one more time during a massage.
  • if you wish you had something more musically satisfying to play for your children at bedtime.
  • if you want to up your bedtime routine to Arianna Huffington status...
  • if the chime-y, chant-y part of your yoga/meditation tracks are getting a little too repetitive.
  • if you'd like to remind your friends that new classical music is a vast field with lots of different sounds being written all of the time.

Who Am I Commissioning?

I cannot believe the number of interested composers who are already on board for this project! We have composers from all across the United States and abroad. Check them out:

Rachael Forsyth

"As a new mum I'm reminded of the importance of music in our upbringing and especially early childhood. Lullabies don't need words because they are infused with things that don't need words to portray them. Love. Safety. Belonging. Home." - R. Forsyth

Julia Seeholzer

Clive Whitburn

"Being from the UK, it's really good to collaborate with people from America, and get my music heard in the USA. Furthermore, seeing how a number of different composers respond to the same brief will be really fascinating." - C. Whitburn 

Tony Manfredonia

"I love this project's emphasis on the evocative nature of the voice itself, removing the imposition of lyrics entirely. When working with vocalists, a lot of time goes into the text and having it appropriately placed in the body. With wordless lullabies, however, the voice strictly becomes a conduit for timbre, melody, and ultimately, expression." - T. Manfredonia

Ryan Keebaugh

Daniel Felsenfeld

David Howell

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me as a vocal writer who usually writes text to focus purely on melody and texture." - D. Howell

Andrew Rodriguez

Cassandra Venaglia

Michelle McQuade Dewhirst

Chris Hutchings

Jen Wang

Thomas Dempster

"The twilight chill that unfurls off the heat of the day and coils up around your ankles; the suede midnight that embraces you, cool at first but immediately known; the weightlessness of the yearning for being sleep-drunk: that's what this project says to me, and that's what I hope I communicate with my humble contribution to it, all without saying a word." - T. Dempster

Christian Gentry

"I am interested in composing works that have a set of difficult limitations without hindering the open-ended process of creation. There is so much to explore with the human voice without the semantic and syntactic limitations of words. Also, the idea of a lullaby signifies so many possibilities and limitations." - C. Gentry

Arthur Breur

Reilly Spitzfaden

Lee Hartman

David Solomons

"If a melody contains its own unspoken harmonies, if a melody can be sung without accompaniment for that very reason, then it has its own genuineness." - D. Solomons

Michael Oberhauser

D. Edward Davis

"A lot of my recent work is concerned with the notion of intimacy. I often consider the intimacy that exists between the musicians onstage, between the composer and musicians, and between musicians and audience in my pieces. A lullaby—particularly a self-lullaby, designed to relax one’s own body and mind—is a perfect opportunity for me to explore a totally new kind of intimacy. I hope to contribute a work that is equal parts sensuous and conceptual." - D. Edward Davis

Jay Derderian

"The voice is arguably the most intimate instrument there is, and singing unburdened by the semantics of text further amplifies this intimacy. This intimacy, coupled by the warmth and fire of a sunset at dusk, the emergence of stars in a blue-velvet sky over a sleepy landscape, and the heaviness of your eyelids as you rest your head to sleep are just a few of the images and moods I'm hoping to capture for this wonderful project by and for wonderful people." - J. Derderian

Kathryn Rose 

"I've been thinking about lullabies recently, and when I saw a tweet about a wordless one I wrote a draft right away... I'm really looking forward to developing it further and hearing the finished version!" - K. Rose

Scott Blasco

Scott Unrein

Griffin Candey

"This very individual project really scratches an itch for me -- it's pretty darn rare that one writes a piece for a vocalist without the benefit of a text. While I love approaching texts and digging into their many layers, writing a vocalise covers entirely different territory -- it allows one to focus solely on the voice, its limits, its timbres, its expressive capabilities. With a vocalist like Megan at the helm, this project is sure to kick up a wealth of beautiful, thoughtful, memorable pieces -- I can't wait to see the finished set!" - G. Candey

Ian Power

***

I am hoping to spread the power of commissioning with lots of people. Wordless Lullabies can be an excellent way to share new music with new and veteran audiences and create a bridge into our corner of the musical world. 

Check Out All of These Rewards!

We've got some really neat rewards lined up for you. Music, more music, and a little bit of fun!

Everything from a Celebration Song that names every single Kickstarter backer to a private concert in your living room! We've got a reward level that is calling out to your specific interests.

I Need You

To make this a reality though, we really need your support. This is an ambitious project. An ambitious project always increases financial needs. Wordless Lullabies for the Sleepless is a project that takes time, commitment, and resources. Each lullaby takes weeks, sometimes months of planning, composing, recording, and editing. It is incredibly important to me to pay each composer involved in this project. The bulk of the Kickstarter funds are commissioning funds. I pride myself on efficiency, but all of the elements of this project will take a full community and not just one singer on a mission. Will you please join me on my mission?

Risks and challenges

There are a lot of moving parts to this project! I have already started negotiating with over 25 composers to get their scores by June 10th, 2017. I will then record the project over the summer months. Understandably, I cannot plan for all of their life events over time so we may flexible there.

I have made preparations to deal with any delays in an efficient manner. I also have a project management plan in place to keep all the communication organized and up-to-date. These safeguards will keep us all on track!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Celebration Song

    I'll sing the name of every Kickstarter backer in a live video made after the campaign as a big thank you to everyone who makes this project possible.

    Includes:
    • Celebration Song
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    Digital Liner Notes

    You'll be listed as a backer in the digital album liner notes!

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    Thank You Note

    I'll write you a personal thank you note. Wouldn't you like a non-bill in your mailbox?

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital Album

    You'll get a downloadable recording of all of the lullabies to lull you to the best sleep you've had in quite a while.

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    • Digital Album
    • Celebration Song
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Namesake Nightcaps

    Let me create a nightcap named after you! You can designate alcohol/non-alcohol ingredients and tell all of your friends the new drink named after you!

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    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Lullaby Ringtones

    We will reward you with a batch of ringtones from some of our lullaby composers just for you. They’ll give all your calls the perfect tone!

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    • Thank You Card
    • Digital Album
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Lullaby PDF Collection (5)

    Sing along with me! Would you like the sheet music for these lullabies? This reward level gives you pdf downloads for five of the lullabies in the recording.

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    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Lullaby PDF Collection (15)

    Sing along with me! Would you like the sheet music for these lullabies? This reward level gives you pdf downloads for fifteen of the lullabies in the recording.

    Includes:
    • Digital Album
    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Lullaby PDF Collection (All)

    Sing along with me! Would you like the sheet music for these lullabies? This reward level gives you pdf downloads for all of the lullabies in the recording.

    Includes:
    • Digital Album
    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Dedicate a Lullaby

    Would you like to dedicate one of the lullabies to someone special you know? Here you go!

    Includes:
    • Celebration Song
    • Digital Album
    • Lullaby Dedication
    • Thank You Card
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Autographed Scores

    Receive an autographed score of the lullaby by the composer of your choice. (Limited to participating composers.)

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    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
    • Digital Album
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Handwritten Scores

    Receive a handwritten score of the lullaby by the composer of your choice. This could be an excellent art piece as well. (Limited to participating composers.)

    Includes:
    • Celebration Song
    • Thank You Card
    • Digital Album
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Skype Lullabies

    Let's plan a half-hour Skype lesson/conversation regarding this project. I could sing you the lullabies over Skype! Or, we could talk about your upcoming music projects. Need a music business BFF? I got your back.

    Includes:
    • Digital Album
    • Celebration Song
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Personalized Lullaby Recordings

    Want me to personalize the lullaby for your favorite little someone? I'll make a recording just for them with a short bedtime story, a personalized bedtime message, and a lullaby of your choosing.

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    • Thank You Card
    • Digital Album
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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Mini-Commissions

    Along with the digital album you'll receive a 1-2 min mini commission for solo instrument by one of the participating lullabies composers.

    Includes:
    • Celebration Song
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    In-House Lullabies

    Let's do a house concert! Your house, apartment, or the Elk's Lodge down the street? Let's make it happen.

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    • Thank You Card
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Funding period

- (7 days)