Amber Lantern is Funded!
I'm extremely pleased to say that, as of this morning, Amber Lantern is fully funded. Everything I need to do to finish this album can now be achieved thanks to your generosity and support. You've made this experience incredible for me.
Nationally and globally, these last four weeks have been an unusually tumultuous time. Fundraising an artistic endeavor during the intensity of a general election seemed dicey to begin with, but the added weight of mass shootings, terrorist attacks, social unrest, and the confusion of Brexit constantly had me questioning the appropriateness of carrying on. I said as much in a Facebook post earlier today, and was promptly rebuked by a number of friends claiming that the need for art ought receive even an greater emphasis during troubled times. I have to say that I agree.
This past weekend I headed North with some friends to camp at Blissfest, one of Michigan's larger music festivals. It seemed like a good time to disconnect from the greater world and just enjoy the power and camaraderie of hearing a bunch of live music for a few days. I went as a fan and not a performer. On Saturday evening we wandered down to the main stage where Peter Yarrow was in the middle of his set. Although I tend to identify as more of a rock/pop guy, folk music has always been a big part of my life and Peter, Paul, & Mary's albums constitute some of the earliest memories I have of organized sound. I don't know if it was pent-up stress and anxiety or some straight conduit into a deep-rooted childhood place, but after about five minutes I found myself weeping merely at the tone of his voice. To my confusion, this continued for the rest of his set. Listening to this 78-year-old peaceful activist with the gentle voice sing "Blowin' In the Wind" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" gave me one of the most unexpectedly cathartic musical experiences of my adult life. Afterward, in my soul-scrubbed state, I told Kristie that it felt like it had just rained in my heart. I meant it in a pleasant way, like that clean post-storm feeling when the pavement is still steaming and everything smells deep and earthy.
Then, as if scheduled (which, technically, it was), this experience was followed by the thrilling, restorative power of a fiery, well-crafted rock set courtesy of Graham Parsons' Kalamazoo outfit, the Go Rounds. Emotional purification at the hands of a folk legend chased by a perfectly-honed rock combo recharged the spirit that I didn't realize was waning.
So yes, my friends were right. Art is important. In troubled times, in peaceful times, at all times. You've made it possible for me to fully realize a piece of art and I hope that, when you hear it, you too will find some connection.
You're the greatest. Thank you all!