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A MUSICAL JOURNEY made by walk/tell aka Jake Wachtel on 80 instruments from around the world. HELP ME REACH $10k!!!!!!!

wanderLOVE COUNTDOWN ExTrAvAgAnZA spectacular of WONDER: LIVE

Enjoy the show: it's the FINAL COUNTDOWN

  • Send me a message on FB, gmail, or here on kickstarter and I'll shout you out!
  • If you pledge now, or increase your pledge by 10 dollars, I'll play your request (Beatles and others)!
  • @8.30, I will improvise a song where I thank every backer by name
  • 9.15 wanderLOVE the Album kickstarter ends

I NEED YOUR HELP TO REACH MY GOAL OF $10,000.  BE A PART OF MAKING THIS HAPPEN—WE ARE SO CLOSE!

I am walk/tell (aka Jake Wachtel) and I've spent the past year recording my debut album wanderLOVE on 80 instruments from all around the world.  It is a project truly global in scope and I want my music to reach as many people as possible. 

Which is why I want the music to sound its absolute very best.

Which is why I'm super excited to collaborate with JAY PELLICI (Dodos, Deerhoof, Yann Tiersen, and many many others) to mix my album at legendary Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco.  Jay says "I'm excited to be working with Jake on his wanderLOVE project. The ever-changing instrumentation is a treat to the ears and a welcomed break from the usual instruments of guitar, bass, drums. The mixing will be daunting, but should be a load of fun, too!"

Which is why I need $10,000 (check out the expense breakdown @ update 5).

I am so thankful for your support, to allow me to pursue this dream, and I can't wait to share the music with you!

Check out this concert, where I play wanderLOVE songs on the ukulele!

WOW!  I am completely breathless  from how fast wanderLOVE met its initial goal of $3.5k—under 5 days!    As they say in Italian, French, Greek, and a bunch of other languages I've come across, "A THOUSAND THANK YOUS!"

Now a much bigger dream is totally within reach, and we are so close!

Know that every dollar will go directly to supporting wanderLOVE.  This project has been a real labor of LOVE, done on my own time and entirely funded on savings from when I was preschool teacher, so your support is hugely appreciated!  I'm so excited to take this forward with your help!!

Read on to get a much better sense of what I am trying to accomplish, and to find out who Robert "Butterbean" Love is!

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Why hello there!  So glad you could join me here on my kickstarter page.  What's that?  You have a couple of questions?  Sure, I'd be happy to answer them!

I'M GOING TO CUT RIGHT TO THE CHASE.  I SEE THAT YOU SURPASSED YOUR ORIGINAL GOAL, WHICH WAS SET SOLELY TO HIRE A SOUND ENGINEER. WOULD MORE MONEY BE USEFUL TO YOU, OR SHOULD I INSTEAD START HITTING YOU UP FOR CASH?

My cup runneth over with big plans for wanderLOVE. I just never really took them seriously till you showered this project with your LOVE and support. Now I've gotten serious, and I'm asking for $10,000 because this would allow me to produce a truly world class album. Everything I raise, and them some, is going to go straight into the world of wanderLOVE (I've been steadily pouring my savings from my year as a preschool teacher into this project). That said, if you want to borrow thirty dollars to buy your first ukulele AND you convince me that you will in turn teach 10 people how to play, then ask away! (wanderlovethealbum@gmail.com, subject line: SPREAD the UKE!)

RIGHT ON.  I'LL KEEP THROWING LARGE WADS OF DIGITAL MONEY AT WANDERLOVE.  UM, SO, WHAT IS WANDERLOVE?

What a wonderful inquiry to begin with.  Really sets the stage.  wanderLOVE is a musical journey, around the world in 80 instruments you may say, a celebration of the complexity and chaos and strange beauty of the human experience, in all its staggering diversity and intimate universalities.

THAT SOUNDS VERY BROAD.

Well, it deals with ambitious themes. But it's also an unguarded synthesis of a personal journey that took me all around the world, over the peaks and valleys of our physical planet as well as the vertiginous topographies of love. 

STILL KIND OF VAGUE.

It's an album of music, its got fourteen songs on it, I recorded it all myself.  Happy?

SO YOU ALREADY RECORDED IT.  WHY DO YOU NEED KICKSTARTER TO RAISE MONEY?

The short answer is, I want to

a) make it as good as possible

b) bring it to as many people as possible

AND THE TALL ANSWER, MR. TALL GUY?

Ha, a pun on my height.  Very funny.  Well, I've spent over a year recording in a DIY studio with as many instruments as I could get my hands on.  I would lay all the instruments on the ground around my swivel chair and start in on a song, sometimes with a large degree of structure in mind, sometimes just a feeling that I would chase through improvisation.  Hours would fly by in a flurry of grasping at different instruments, madly trying to get all the sounds out of my head and into the real world.  It was thrilling to discover this new style of making music, of convening into the same sonic space instruments from very disparate cultures, of the cumulative effect of piling so many sounds on top of one another. 

I aim to capture that joyously overwhelming feeling of showing up in a foreign land, trying to parse its rhythms and cadences, marveling at the randomness and the patterns that keep surfacing.  I want to make music that you can listen to a hundred times, and hear something new each time.  I want there to be apparent structure, and under that chaos, and under that, more structure, and further down more chaos, until you have a delicious mille feuille of chaos and structure.  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mille-feuille_002.JPG 

However, these sessions left me with a somewhat impenetrable wall of sound.  I spent a long time unpacking what I had recorded, then began the gargantuan task of mixing the sounds into something cohesive.  Mixing involves an artful application of many parameters to the music—adjusting the volume, the position in the stereo field, reverb, eq (selectively highlighting certain frequencies), compression (way too complicated for me to explain in parentheses, partly because I don't really understand it), and other stuff beyond my technical comprehension. 

After two months, I had a mix that I was pretty happy with, but while I excel at many things, like drawing ambigrams and eating tacos, I've come to understand that this is not my area of expertise.  I've talked to a lot of professional mixers now, and I am completely convinced that collaborating with someone who does this for a living will be hugely beneficial to my music, allowing the elements that make wanderLOVE special to best shine through, while retaining the feel and vision of a dude locked in a room with far too many instruments. 

Then there's mastering, which looks at the album as a whole, to ensure it's consistent and that tracks flow together (very important for me, as the whole album will run together as one song).

A typical view of a song project, this one with 170+ tracks.  Any wonder I'm having trouble mixing this myself?
A typical view of a song project, this one with 170+ tracks. Any wonder I'm having trouble mixing this myself?

HOLD UP.  THIS SEEMS A LITTLE RIDICULOUS.  170 TRACKS?!  IS THAT REALLY NECESSARY?  COULDN'T YOU DO, LIKE, TEN, AND CALL IT A DAY?  TEN'S A GOOD NUMBER RIGHT?

I agree that ten is a wonderful number.  It is the retired jersey number of Chicago Bulls small forward Robert "Butterbean" Love, whose name closely resembles the title of my album (robertLOVE, wanderLOVE, eh? EH?).  I can't say exactly why I first felt compelled to go down this maximalist path, but now that I'm here, I'm really excited about what's musically possible, and I can't imagine saying what I want to say with this album any other way.  I think it takes a little getting used to, with so much going on at once, but for me its kind of like finding your way in a foreign country.  First you learn that putting your thumb on your nose is offensive, then you learn how to ask for the bathroom, then you learn the names of all the local cheeses, and next thing you know, you're a native!

WHO IS GOING TO MIX IT?

When I started this project, I had no idea.  I thought I would be hitting up CheapoBargainMixers.com.  But your support has inspired me to dream big, and I am super excited to announce that I will be able to work with Jay Pellici (The Dodos, Deerhoof, Yann Tiersen) at the legendary Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco if I can get to 10k!  Jay is the man, he's worked on hundreds of awesome records, and he has specific experience on projects that involve tons and tons of instruments.  He's really going to bring this music to the next level.

DO YOU SOMETIMES WISH CARRIER PIGEONS WERE STILL IN WIDESPREAD USE?

Yes.

DO YOU REALLY PLAY 80 INSTRUMENTS?

I suppose it depends on how you define "play."  I spent a year as a preschool teacher, so I like to think of it in terms of "having a good time."  Although objectively speaking, I do "have a good time" with some instruments more than others (bagpipes are hard! and hard to practice without incurring the wrath of your neighbors.  I did not use them on this album).

SO IF YOU DIDN"T RECORD WITH BAGPIPES, WHAT DID YOU RECORD WITH?

uke-trombone-baritone uke-clarinet-tahitian uke-saxophone-flute-baglamas-recorder-charango-berber guitar-khene-aungkouch-ektara-oud-sueng-roneat- saw u-sitar-tro-accordion-violin-acoustic guitar-moroccon double flute-mandolin-piano guts-saz-electric guitar-bass-celtic harp-fretless bass-drum kit-conga-double bass-toy piano-bongos-whistling-xylophone-thon-marimba- ocean drum- trumpet-euphonium-panpipes-beer bottles-egg shaker-tambourine-djembe-finger cymbals-harmonica-vibraslap-banjolele-bells-rain stick-turkish chimes-shekere-autoharp-mbira-scacciapensieri-tablas-sousaphone-piccolo-cymbals-gong-mellophone-folding box-o-lele-miniature dombra-vintage metal clarinet- pots n pans-wood chimes-scottish tin whistle-bamboo flute-vocal chords-digeridoo

update—since I posted this original list, I've added 3 instruments to Track 11, Chefchaouen: a kazoo, a ram's horn (shofar, baby!), and this really cool percussive wood thing from Guatemala whose name is unknown to me

I ONLY COUNTED 79!

Did you not see my update?  I'm pretty sure that puts me at 82!

OH.  ALRIGHT THEN.  ALSO, I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE REWARDS.

Yes?

 I NOTICE YOU OFFER HOMEMADE MOUSTACHE WAX, WHICH YOU "PERFECTED WHILE LIVING IN A BOOKSTORE IN SANTORINI, WORKING ON [YOUR] DALI."  HOW DO I KNOW IT WILL WORK?

I SEE. 

(AWKWARD PAUSE). 

I would like to make a final case for your support. 

OKAY!

Working on wanderLOVE has been a dream for me, I feel so incredibly fortunate that events have conspired in my life to allow me to pursue this project.  And the process has been so intrinsically rewarding, and I've learned so much, that were the music to vanish from the face of the earth right now, I could look back on all that I've gained and be happy. 

The thing that makes traveling so addictive, so instructive, so fulfilling, is all the different people you meet, who share a little of their lives with you.  So many people have shared with me, in particular the two LOVES that inspired this album, Tamar and Diana, and for every one who has opened their heart along the way, I am eternally grateful.  I've been subconsciously collecting all these little pieces of LOVE as I've wandered the globe, and I've put it all back into this album.

This is why I want to take this forward, to share wanderLOVE with the world.  With your support, I believe I can take all this work I've done and shape it into something truly great, something that is different, and beautiful.  And then take this thing, this musical vision of global harmony, and share it all around the world.  The barriers to making a professional album long appeared insurmountable, but this crowd-funding paradigm is a real democratizer, a game changer.  And it's only with your support that I'll be able to realize this dream, to bring wanderLOVE to the world.  So tell all your friends, spread the LOVE far and wide, and safe travels!

YOU RECYCLED THOSE FINAL WORDS FROM YOUR VIDEO, DIDN'T YOU?

Yes.  But I think they have a nice ring to them.  If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at wanderlovethealbum@gmail.com!

WILL DO.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've already recorded the whole thing, so the bulk of the heavy lifting is done. And I've poured so much of myself, not to mention over a year's worth of work, into its creation that I couldn't imagine being any more motivated to do anything else. So I'm supremely confident that no matter what setbacks could arise, I'll have the will to push on, to see this through to the end. My mantra written on my bedroom door, that I look at every day when I awake: "Discipline and Faith."

However, if my fingers get eaten by a shark or a confused giraffe, then I will no longer be able to hand-knit bow-ties, or play Beatles tunes for you on the ukulele. That's a risk I guess we all have to live with.

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    15 backers

    ONE LOVE—EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM You'll get a secret link to a streaming version of the complete album the day before official release. Listen anytime. For kickstarter backers only!

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    69 backers

    WANDERLOVE—DIGITAL DOWNLOAD You'll get the whole album, professionally mixed and mastered, in digital format (14 songs! from Siem Reap to Palo Alto!) + digital copies of album art and lyrics

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    WANDERLOVE (+)—DIGITAL DOWNLOAD DELUXE you get the digital download of the whole shebang + digital art 'n' lyrics + a special BONUS EP of unreleased material I recorded while traveling, in many different countries, some of which you can hear italian birds whistling in the background! This EP will include a digital booklet with little stories to accompany each song, about where I was when the recording was made.

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    PHYSICAL LOVE Get a real CD you can hold in your hands! Throw it on your gramophone or cd player and have a blast! You'll also get the digital copy + internationally recorded bonus tracks + digital album art and lyrics

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    RAINBOW LOVE Here's your chance to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind wanderLOVE t-shirt, lovingly silk-screened and rainbow tie-dyed by Jake and his awesome landlord, Rob, who is something of a world authority on tie-dye. You'll also get the digital download deluxe!

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    4 backers Limited (36 left of 40)

    LOVE FROM AFAR I'll send you a thank you postcard from the next foreign land in which I find myself wandering, most likely India! It will relate a funny mistranslation or perhaps an exhaustive list of the street food I've eaten that day! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    JOURNAL LOVE Most of wanderLOVE came together in the pages of Jake's travel diary. You can get your own journal for the road, emblazoned with wanderLOVE art on the front + a special wanderLOVE pen—this reward is kickstarter only! And digital download deluxe.

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    2 backers

    ***NEW***LOVE COMBO You get a CD + a T-SHIRT + a choice between a signed wanderLOVE journal and pen OR a post card from India! Plus digital download deluxe. This is a NEW reward, and now comes as a part of all higher reward levels!

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    13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)

    FANCY LOVE I will hand knit a bow-tie for you (clip on of course!) and you'll be the old-timey toast of the town. I have literally dozens of minutes of experience making these things, so it's guaranteed to be astounding! You also get the digital download deluxe!

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    EXTRA FANCY LOVE You'll get a bow-tie hand-knit by yours truly PLUS a tin of my special recipe xtra-hold homebrewed moustache wax, which I perfected while living in a bookstore in Santorini, working on my Dali. Also, the digital download deluxe!

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    PERSONAL JOURNAL LOVE You get the special wanderLOVE journal and pen from JOURNAL LOVE + I will sign the inside cover of the journal and write, in the same barely legible scrawl that fills my travel diaries, the lyrics to "Adventure With You" (Track 10) + I'll scribble a unique quote from my favorite wandermeister, Jack Kerouac. Kickstarter exclusive collector's edition! Plus digital download deluxe, CD, and t-shirt.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    FANCY PANTS LOVE I will buy you a ridiculous pair of pants from my favorite thriftshop. I will then sew the word "LOVE" into the seat of the pants using red thread, just like in my song PURPLE PANTS! I'll do my best to find pants that fit you, but the number one priority will be awesomeness (at 6'8" I've learned that finding clothes that fit is overrated). Plus digital download deluxe.

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    7 backers Limited (8 left of 15)

    COVER LOVE Send me your favorite song and I'll uke-ify it, and record a real nice mp3 just for you! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    4 backers

    LOVE CREDIT If you pledge $100 or more, your name will appear in a special thank you section in the CD and digital art/lyrics book. This applies to all higher reward levels! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    LOVE OF LEARNING I'll give you an hour long ukulele lesson. We can go over basics, or songs you really want to learn, or pick from a bunch of my favorite Beatles tunes, or try out fijian style, or I'll show you how to play some songs from wanderLOVE! whatever you want. You need to be able to come to palo alto to redeem this one, or we can set it up over skype. I have a uke you can borrow at my place, or bring your own. Plus digital download deluxe.

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    HEALTHY LOVE I live in a co-op with a bunch of habitual kale-eaters. Come over on a weeknight for a large, family style vegetarian dinner cooked fresh with local, organic produce. Then we can go out to the garden and I'll tell you everything I know about compost (I am the house compost master!), and I'll make you a little box of whatever is growing at the moment. You must get yourself to Palo Alto for this one. Plus digital download deluxe, cd, t-shirt, journal and pen.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE I perfected my all-Beatles, all-ukulele act on street corners around the world during 14 months of travel. I'll play a fab (4) one-hour uke concert at your next special gathering. Simon & Garfunkel and Blink-182 requests will be entertained. You must live within a 50 mile radius of Palo Alto to collect this reward. Plus digital download deluxe!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    I'll SEND ALL MY LOVIN' TO YOU Like the above reward, I'll play a 1 hr Beatles ukulele concert for ya, no matter where you are in the world, by HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE INTERNET. And I'll broadcast it from the music studio where I recorded wanderLOVE, and we can video chat and you can make requests! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    DRAGON LOVE My little sister is the proud owner of a bearded dragon named Phaedrus. We'll hang out with "Phae-phae" at her place in SF, and you can put him on your head and take a photo(!) and then we'll walk over to nearby Cambodian restaurant Angkor Borei and I'll treat you to dinner. And I can tell you all about this one time in Cambodia, my pair of purple pants got a hole in them... plus digital download deluxe, and an exclusive song I wrote during the wanderLOVE sessions entitled "There Be Dragons". You must be able to come to San Francisco. Plus digital download deluxe, cd, t-shirt, journal and pen.

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    2 backers Limited (5 left of 7)

    TEACHER LOVE Jake will put on his pre-school teacher hat and come hang out with your little one + friend for an hour! He'll bring his ukulele and a couple other age appropriate world instruments for some hands-on fun and sing alongs! Plus digital download deluxe, cd, 2 children's wanderLOVE t-shirts, journal and pen. Must be within 50 miles of Palo Alto.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    LITTLE LOVE Commission a song on 3 instruments of your choosing from the list of what I got in the studio. Ever wonder what celtic harp, panpipes, and tablas sound like together? Now's your chance to find out! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    JAM LOVE Come jam in my studio in Palo Alto with me for 2 hrs. Bring up to five friends, and try out all the different instruments heard on wanderLOVE. I'll be happy to show you how to bow the tro, pluck the saz, and caress the sitar! Plus digital download deluxe.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    MEDIUM LOVE Commission a song on 10 instruments of your choosing from the list of what I got in the studio. It can be a cover (including a song you wrote!), or you can suggest a topic and I'll run with it. Plus digital download deluxe.

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    BIG LOVE Commission a song on 20 instruments of your choosing from the list of what I got in the studio. It can be a cover (including a song you wrote!), or you can suggest a topic and I'll run with it. Plus digital download deluxe, CD, t-shirt, signed journal & pen, and bow-tie.

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    CREATE LOVE Let's collaborate! Come hang out in my studio from 10-5 sometime and we'll cut a track together. This is an especially cool idea if you have a song that you've written, and would like to fill it out with more instruments. You must be able to come to Palo Alto. Plus digital download deluxe, CD, t-shirt, signed journal & pen, and bow-tie.

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    LOVE STORY I love it when musicians tell the stories behind their songs, so for this one, I'll play a 2 hr private concert of wanderLOVE with an emphasis on explaining the back story of each song. This will be a stripped down, ukulele only show, unless we hit the second two dream goals, in which case I will bring my loop pedal + instruments OR a full band, depending! Within 50 miles of Palo Alto, please. Or anywhere in the world, as long as you get me there and give me a place to stay and are cool with a uke only solo show! Plus digital download deluxe, CD, t-shirt, signed journal & pen, and bow-tie.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ENORMOUS LOVE Commission a song on all of the instruments I got in the studio (50+). It can be a cover (including a song you wrote!), or you can suggest a topic and I'll run with it. Then you can come over for dinner (see HEALTHY LOVE) and we'll listen to it in the studio on my fancy speakers! Plus digital download deluxe, cd, t-shirt, signed journal & pen, and bow-tie.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    WHOLE LOVE The Total Package! Exclusive to this reward level—Exec Producer Credit on the album, AND signed, framed reproduction of a PAGE FROM MY PRIVATE TRAVEL DIARY, chosen at random! You'll also get digital download deluxe + cd + t-shirt + a postcard from a foreign land + hand-knit bowtie + homemade mustache wax + love-pants + signed journal + a private concert + uke lesson + jam in the studio + dinner at my home or at Angkor Borei in SF + COMMISSION A SONG ON ALL THE INSTRUMENTS!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    BALD LOVE Yes, Dad, for 10k, I will cut my hair. I will even let YOU cut my hair.

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Funding period

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