The Donors’ Circle
The Donors’ Circle
Note: this has been updated to reflect new information about the Donors’ Circle. The Donors’ Circle began in 2009 and has helped to produce the majority of my music since then, with and without Kickstarter! Are you in the Donors’ Circle and hunting for your benefits? They’re right here.
I think of the Donors’ Circle as my very own Zombie Cheerleaders — they keep me encouraged, keep me rolling, and keep me independent, and they own part of my music in a very real sense. I’m accountable to them to keep the art coming, and to keep it real and honest and meaningful.
I’m inviting those of you who are interested to join the Donors’ Circle if you want to be more involved in how I create my art. Donors first jumped in to fund my album Something Fierce in 2009, and through their support I was able to make it an unhurried, carefully wrought labor of love.
The Donors’ Circle is still open to members, and it will still have all kinds of perks and exclusive benefits. While I toured my new album not a lot was happening there; now that I am entering a recording-and-writing phase, the Donors’ Circle will get to hear what I am working on before everyone else. I still need the support of fans on a long-term basis, and my Donors are still the best. Lots of new music is in the future!
Memberships start at $200 (Silver), $500 (Gold), and $1000 (Mithril), and some have gone above and beyond. You can pay in monthly installments if you like, and you’ll get full Donors’ Circle access once you’re halfway through your subscription or at $200 (whichever comes first). *Note: any specialty item or auction you buy during a fundraiser (including Kickstarter) will count towards the purchase of a share if you wish. If you feel you’ve already contributed enough but haven’t been contacted by us to join, feel free to pester us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up!*
My most recent donor-funded project is titled Something Fierce after a line from the song “Dear Mister Darcy.” I worked on songs for this album for over two years, because I wanted it to be a completely stellar piece of work. I needed to take a long time in production, too, perfecting it and making sure it was just right (after flogging myself through a year of speed-production in 2008). When Something Fierce was completed, I had something I was proud to present to any media outlet, any radio station, any promotional company on the planet. And I only had that kind of freedom — particularly the freedom of time — thanks to the Donors’ Circle. Music costs money to make, and it takes time. Once I had both of those things, I set out to make something amazing, and I hope I succeeded.
After five years in this business, I’m ready to graduate from Do-It-Yourself production to Do-It-Right production with my new work. And I think that Do-It-Right means doing it in community, doing it together. I only like doing music in community. I want you to be a part of that community.
At the moment the perks of being in the Donors’ Circle include access to a massive back catalog of experimental tracks, cover songs, and unreleased songs. If you join, here are some of the benefits:
- A membership in the project’s Google group, which will be updated with frequent audio uploads and photos when I am in the recording studio. (Subject to you signing a non-disclosure agreement, as a formality)
- Thanks in the liner notes of physical printed works or online works, depending on the release
- Complimentary copies of new CD’s and albums, plus chances to buy out-of-stock special posters and other fundraiser specials
- Bonus tracks, alternative mixes, and sometimes audio blooper reels from the recording booth
- Access to production photos and video that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see, plus full streaming concerts not available generally online
- If you’re so skilled and so inclined, the opportunity to send me clean audio clips of found sounds to use in my work. We did this for “Good Morning Moon,” and you can hear Donors’ Circle members and their families on the final recording!
- An invitation to live webcasts and Google+ hangouts from time to time
- Any other perks I can dream up!
I want to give you an awful lot for being a part of this next project. I want to give you everything I can think of. But ultimately, art is something you invest in because you want it to exist, not because you want a return on your cash. I think art is worth it, and I know a lot of you do, too. Without the Donors’ Circle, I won’t be able to continue doing what I do — like so many other artists today are realizing, this seems to be the way forward. And I think I like it, because it makes us a community. I could become a soulless marketing mogul, or I could waste time fighting piracy, but I’d rather just create. Soon I’ll be completely self-sustaining, but that time is not quite here yet. Until then, I’m counting on my community. And you know I’ll be there for you when you need me, too, any way I can. Just turn your stereo on.
How do I join the Donors’ Circle? E-mail me at email@example.com! Or you can send money via Paypal directly to that e-mail address with a note that it’s for the Donors’ Circle. If you prefer to send a check or create a subscription, e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll work out an arrangement. You should receive confirmation or thanks from me within a couple of days, along with a list of benefits. (Sorry the thank you note is not always immediate; I’m on the road and access/time are sometimes spotty.)
**Details: – If you are already part of the Donors’ Circle and you have not contributed $200 or above, don’t worry. You got the early bird discount. Remember, purchases of specialty items listed above (including auction items) can count toward your subscription. Being in the Donors’ Circle doesn’t mean you get to tell me what to do. But no one has tried that yet, so I’m not too worried about it.
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