I just got home from running another Ragnar Relay race with my beloved Strong Hearts Vegan Power running team. I had a great time and will share a video on my YouTube channel about the weekend ASAP, but while I was out there I realized I haven’t properly explained what the hell is going on with me this summer and my tour. The short story is that I am doing a Summer tour of my solo theater piece, The Animal Show, but there will be a bunch more going on.
If you follow me on social media you have probably noticed a recent influx of cuddly animal photos. Specifically, photos of those animals who reside at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary. Perhaps you have been asking yourselfwhat I’m up to, or maybe you have been too overwhelmed with the desire to cuddle said cuddly animals to think about anything else. Either way, I have some news: starting September 1st, I will be the first ever Artist-in-Residence at Tamerlaine Farm!
I released the Tentative Armor album and book under a Creative Commons license because I really love the idea of people taking my work apart and putting it back together as they see fit. With that in mind, I decided to try something new. With help from Tenlegs Arts and Media Network I am releasing all of the stems for each track on the album and inviting people to create their own remixes. The final result will be professionally mastered and released for free under a Creative Commons license through my online shop.
If you’d like to participate, create a Tenlegs account (if you don’t have one already) and then stop by the Tentative Armor Project Page. There you’ll be able to listen to the album and decide which track you’d like to remix. Once I add you as a collaborator to the project, you’ll have access to download everything you’ll need from the various pages within the project. I’d love to have the finished remixes no later than February 15th. Continue reading →
Things are really moving along with the release of the Tentative Armor album and book, this is such overwhelming fun! Last week I was totally zombie-fied with everything that needed to happen, but now that things are in action and out of my hands, I am excited!
A big ol’ box of Tentative Armor book waiting patiently for 10-14-14
Thanks to luke kurtis‘ diligence, I already have a big box of Tentative Armor books. I uploaded all the mastered tracks to CDBaby, Bandcamp and OasisCD to get all of the digital distribution and physical CD production underway. The mastering took much longer than expected so I am going to be getting the CDs the day before the release. Unfortunately, that means that I’ll have to send books and CDs to Kickstarter backers after the release, but you’ve all got the download now, so hopefully that will tide you over. 🙂 I have learned so much about this process, the places where I should have allowed more time, the places where I should have planned on spending more money in order to have awesome-er people working on this.
Those of you who didn’t back the Kickstarter, you can pre-order the iBook here, and pre-order the book, cd and album download on my Bandcamp page. Note that pre-ordering the download will give you an immediate download of the track, “When It Will Bloom.”
I have a couple of new pieces I am working on for the release show at Dixon Place (tickets here!), which I am pretty excited about. A couple of new stories and maaaaaaybe another piano and string piece if I can get it all together in time.
So, yeah. It is all exciting and sort of unreal that I am suddenly creating all of this stuff and that all of you are cheering me on. Thank you!
I’m excited to announce that my new single, “Invocation,” will be released on August 26th! It’s the first track from my forthcoming album, Tentative Armor. The best description I can come up with for the track is that it is somewhere between Laurie Anderson and Dead Can Dance. I think it is pretty unique and I am really excited to share it. luke kurtis has created a breathtaking video to accompany the track which will be released the same day.
Looking forward, the album itself will be released on October 14th with a release concert and party at Dixon Place here in NYC. I’m looking forward to sharing all of this material with you all!
Craig WIlkins made this. Check out his band at once: thewheelworkers.com
I posted it all over the internets, but somehow I always seem to forget this little ol’ blog here. It funded. My kickstarter funded. I couldn’t believe it and it was honestly looking pretty bleak for a while there. This morning I noticed that on June 19th I posted on my Instagram that I had one day left and nearly $2000 left to raise before I met my goal. Not only did I hit the goal, but I surpassed it by $750! Nearly $2700 dollars raised in one day. 181 (or 183 depending on where you look) people contributed and pushed me over the goal. I can’t even…
So what this means to me as an artist is pretty revolutionary. In my life, anyway. In my last three performances of Tentative Armor and in the recording of the “Go.” single it actually cost me money. I pay musicians, recording studios, car services to get my gear to venues. It’s expensive and I just accepted that that was how it was. I really didn’t keep great track of how much I spent for the Dixon Place show, but here’s an estimate.
$400.00 Publicity (this includes the pittance I paid John Ong for designing the postcards)
$50.00 Van with gear to venue (my brother-in-law kindly payed for my trip home)
$40.00 Tickets I comped for industry people I wanted to see the show.
$200.00 to my director, Adam Fitzgerald. (Again, a pittance considering the amount of work he put into it.)
That’s a total of $1290 and Dixon Place gave me a stipend of $150* so thats $1140 out of pocket expenses to perform my show the way I wanted it to be. I should also note that videographer Blake Drummond and I have a kind of barter system going where we do work for each other and just let it balance out. Were it not for my relationship with him, that would have been at least another $300.00 expense. Come to think of it, Adam and I have a similar arrangement, but I felt things were weighing heavily in my favor so I threw a little cash his way.
My motivation for writing this all out like this is to really underscore how important it was to get that Kickstarter funding. This album is going to be my most expensive creative endeavor yet, and the fact that I am going into this thing knowing that it is not going to cost me anything is huge. After all is said and done, I will have some product left over – CDs, Books, and T-Shirts – so there is actually the potential for me to actually *gasp* make a profit off of this project.
All of that money talk is well and good but there is a deeper level of support happening here that I want to talk about too: your belief in me as an artist.
I had the idea for doing this show just over a year ago. Truly. For the first reading of it at Judson I was terrified and filled with self-doubt. I literally verbally said “shut-up” to those critical voices in my head on a daily basis. I was trying something brand new for me – performing this collection of stories I had written in my apartment alone. I didn’t really know if the material was good, if I was good at performing it or if anyone gave two shits about what I had to say. Here we are, just over a year later and 181 of you have said “Yes. We believe in you. Here’s some money. Do it.”
I don’t think there is a way to really express what that means to me, but I think you get the idea.
This past Sunday I spent the entire day in the studio recording piano, vocal, strings and oboe. It was such a relief to be free from worry about what the financial expense was really going to cost me. I also knew that there were at least 181 people who want to hear what I come up with in the studio. I didn’t have to worry that I was going to be spending money I couldn’t afford to be making a piece of art that no one was going to care about. You told me already that you care, and I can’t thank you enough.
I’ll continue to keep everyone posted on the progress here on the blog, and on my YouTube channel with periodic vlogs like the one I posted below. Comment. Share. Ask. Let me hear from you. It really means so much when this is a two way relationship.
Thank you tremendously for your support in whatever way you give it. Thank you.
*That $150 from Dixon Place might seem like a really small amount to pay an artist, so I want to add that they provided me with rehearsal space, publicity via their e-mail blast, the beautiful theater space and a tech director.
Walker Lukens invited me to remix a track for his Devoted Remixed project. He’s a great musician and friend so I was really excited to do this. Here’s the iTunes link, you should buy it and really, all of his music.
SXSWfm talked a little about Walker and my remix. You can check it out below, right around the 45:20 mark.