In the Fall of 2010, while driving from Michigan to Chicago for Thanksgiving, I saw a lifeless deer lying against the divider. I boiled over and hot tears came and masked my face. I had recently read that in some cultures, the deer is a symbol of the feminine and maternal . The image made me think about the unconditional love a mother shows her children, even when her children sometimes transform that love into ignorance, pridefulness, selfishness, and even malice. I felt myself in a raw, new way, disoriented and imperfect.
As my heart grew heavier I grasped for something to balance me. My voice awoke and warmed me with a melody, and it morphed in to a phrase : "Could you be easier on your self?" I sang this phrase for a while, and my tightened chest opened up and the tears felt sweeter and no longer bitter and I somehow felt that deer's life had transformed into something just as wonderful and tangible.
That melodic phrase stayed with me for weeks, and eventually became the first song I would commit to recording and singing to other people. It is six Autumns later and I am still moved to tears when I consider the world I live in. But this Autumn is unique ; I have something to contribute from my own heart. That first song, and seven others, are all completed, and waiting to be released into the world . The name of the album is "Could U Be."
This album is my vessel of travel and my muse --to see, to celebrate, and to lay to rest, parts of myself I previously could never pinpoint, but could feel nonetheless, coming along with me every place , like a vague and persistent knot in my back. This album helped me lock my own eyes in times of transition and loss. It helped me stay real in moments of pridefulness and of self - denial .
This album has shown me the unique and intangible magic of night time , of journaling, of growing more vulnerable than ever, and of submitting and committing something I do not yet understand, but somehow feel called to attend to with all that I have and all I am lacking.
Most important is my belief that this music will allow me to share with you some of this mysterious, invigorating feminine power which inspired me to communicate about this quiet and still and sweet refuge i've only come to know throughout perfectly lonely and incomplete pursuit of self.
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Here is why I am doing a Kickstarter:
I invested in resources, in spaces, and in other creative humans to make this music beautiful and accessible and inviting. I am hoping to account for most of those costs, but not all. If I can get close to breaking even, that means I get to record more music and play more live shows and make more visual art as soon as possible.
After I finished demo-ing my songs, I rented Tyler Duncan's recording studio and engineering prowess for four days. Tyler did an incredible job capturing the music.
The band: Woody Goss on Keys, James Cornelison on Guitar , and Joe Dart on Bass . Aside from being some of my dearest friends, these musicians infuse magic, pure emotion, and wondrous imagination into any song they touch, and I am so grateful they agreed to work with me.
Mixing and Mastering
Tyler Duncan is the mixing engineer on this record . If you are curious to hear his work as a musician, producer, and mixing engineer, you can hear it here : https://soundcloud.com/tylerduncanmakesmusic/ I call Tyler the "Dark Lord," because his mastery, sensitivity, and almost psychic intuition create almost an eery, dark, Voldemort-like magic in the creative process (To the Potterheads: sry sry sry to name Him, but let's be honest -- dark magic is real and must be respected always ) .
All of this is to say, I want these songs to feel wonderful time and time again, and that requires the work of several incredible individuals.
Art, Design, Branding
If my music is to reach people, it requires gorgeous and distinct visual output. I worked with some awesome visual artists on this project.
John Hanson took the photos I am using to put a face to my music. You can see his work here : http://johnmarkhanson.com/
Mallika Roy & Tatiana Hofmans collaborated on the super-sweet Moonglo Graphic Art Print. They are amazing artists with wow-ing style and aesthetic sensibilities. I will be working on more graphics with Mallika and Tia, creating my own visual world, including an awesome set of art prints and clothing merchandise available online and at shows.
For now, I'm keeping this release digital. I am most interested in producing vinyl in the near future, but for the initial phase of the release , I chose to invest in the sound quality itself, rather than physical means of reproduction. Until Vinyl becomes more feasible, I will make the album available online via download and stream, as well as in physical form via download cards (maybe in the form of fortune cookies!)
The odds are, the touring artist is paying to play, or barely breaking even (this is where having merchandise can be helpful) . So, if I want to do live performances of this music, I'll need at least need to recoup most of the basic album investment. Merch is very helpful in that respect.
If I Exceed My Goal
I am not asking for support for future shows, photos, artwork, clothing, vinyl , or a follow- up record, but, just like any startup business, I need validation from the market in order to sustainably follow through with more of my vision.