Archive: » 2017 » July

Propelled past the goal, your part in the new paradigm of my art

  • July 31, 2017

Journey to AktehiPledge at Kickstarter

In the three days since my last email, 75 people pledged Journey to Aktehi, my collaboration with Mark Seelig. 199 amazing backers pushed us past the $7000 goal, assisting in the release of this album.

There are 33 hours to go, Aktehi is still gathering support.

Visit the Kickstarter page to pledge/preorder your copy; watch the video to hear some of the music, and follow the link to a Bandcamp preview of the first track. Aktehi is an album of hallucinogenic ethno-organic-electronic music, centered around Mark’s Bansuri flute and chant vocals, with a subtle layer of my electronics & processing.

We’re in a new paradigm in the music industry. Or perhaps better to say: For my own music, I am working within one of a number of new paradigms, each with their own set of rules. Crowdfunding works when artists ask their audience for support to help a project succeed. It’s definitely more ask-y, more direct, more blatant than the old music industry.

In my role as a creator, I am honestly saying that I need your help to release my albums. That’s my reality. Making art costs money, from the investment in studio gear, to the time spent making the music (instead of doing something else for income), to the manufacturing of the various parts of the release (CD, cassette, t-shirt, poster, etc). It all costs money. With sales decimated “at stores,” my albums have become limited and collectible releases for a small group of dedicated people who believe there is worth in what I create.

I think some people mistake the ask for saying, “Whine, whine, I deserve your money because I make music!” That’s not it. If nobody liked or listened to what I create, I wouldn’t feel entitled to getting paid. I understand there’s an exchange going on here: people appreciate the work, and some of them want to chip in to cover the costs of making it. Others want to listen for free on Spotify or youTube or torrents. That’s part of the new reality. I accept that, I understand that.

But I gotta tell you, I find it really cool when I see a $10 or $70 pledge from a first-time backer. Not just first time supporting my music, but first time to Kickstarter. That makes me smile because it tells me, “Here’s another person with the desire to contribute to music and art.” I love seeing that! And then there’s the person who has backed 786 campaigns, and I’m blown away as I think, “I wish I could be so dedicated to art that I searched out 786 things I cared about enough to subsidize!” Both types are amazing. And of course, the people returning to support a seond or third of my Kickstarters: you are the core that propels my album to the goal.

Years ago, I used to write a lot on this elist and Facebook about the devastating effect of torrents and illegal downloads on creators; the need for artists to be paid for our work. There’s no way to put all the cats back into the bag on that one. However, the possibilities for compensation for creation has morphed and evolved. Artists are uncovering and exploring the new paradigms of what it takes to fund their creations.

I like this new model

On Sunday morning I wrote to Mark, “Aktehi is a great album, a great collaboration! And people like it enough to make it happen. I find crowdfunding more rewarding than the old way we released albums. I feel love & appreciation.”

Back in the 80s when I reached my audience via my paper mail-order catalog, I received hand-written letters-in-the-mail from fans of Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Fast forward to the 90s: the CD and big-distribution-era; I no longer heard from the people who listened to my music. CDs sold at Best Buy or Tower or a cool local shop, but we weren’t in touch. Now with crowdfunding, I communicate with the people who like my work. Some people are still with me after all these years (Hi, Erik!), and there are people who have joined along the way. It’s a great mix of people who care about art and are fortunate enough to have some money to spare to donate to projects they believe in.

Thanks for your support, I appreciate it! You really are helping out here! My Kickstarter campaign ends in about 33 hours. Check it out, pledge if you like what you hear.

Thank you all so very much.
Sam

Maybe I was wrong to want to get paid.

  • July 28, 2017

Journey to Aktehi – Pledge at Kickstarter

Are we going to make it?

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. Our project needs to reach the $7000 goal, or none of the backers are charged, and I’ve raised nothing. Not a penny goes towards creating the Journey to Aktehi CD / Cassette / Shirt.

The stakes are high this weekend!

We’re currently 68% of the way to the goal, 124 backers have pledged $4796. That means the campaign needs to raise $551 a day, for the next four days to make it.

Maybe I was overzealous? Maybe it was a mistake on my part to include a royalty payment to Mark and myself within the budget this time?

After doing eight crowd-funding campaigns, I thought it would be a cool idea to finally get paid for the work I do, creating art. That’s the thing: the budgets for my past Kickstarters have been for the manufacturing costs. The budgets never included a payment for the band or for me.

I thought this time, it would be a sweet idea to get paid. 

124 of you have pledged your support because you appreciate what I create. And that feels good. I know I write it often, but I **do** like knowing that when I take a day off work (Projekt) to create music, not only are there people that appreciate the music, but there are also people willing to put some of their money into the project to make it happen.

I know that in 2017, most people don’t pay for music and support art. My Pateron patrons have been very cool about helping me make work, and my Kickstarter backers have been very cool as well. But are there enough of you out there…. ?

To pull in that final $2201, I need 220 more backers at the $10 DIGITAL level, or 88 more backers at the $24 CD level, or 49 backers at the $45 CD & POSTER level, or 31 more backers at the $70 ALL THE PHYSICAL THINGS level….

It seems doable to me.

Remember that every pledge of $10 or more immediately gets a download of my Isotope album. It’s a 90-minute dronescape excerpted for the background of “Meditation on the Skeleton.”

I am really happy with the Journey to Aktehi album I created with Mark. I love the sound, the mood, the experience. I wish it didn’t have to be all about me asking for money. Alas, that’s the reality of the underground music business in 2017!

I hope we make the goal, but I must admit that this is a nail-biter!

Pledge at Kickstarter

thanks, Sam

A review: Mark Seelig ~ Sam Rosenthal

  • July 22, 2017

Journey To Aktehi: Reflections by Matt of MusicTap

This album by Seelig & Rosenthal is alarmingly beautiful and unreal. As if the musicians have been given notes by something we don’t see in the physical realm.  (Help fund the album at Kickstarter)

Every time I listen to ambient music, I let it take me to unknown crossroads within my mind. For me, there are no signs, only unlit pathways no matter how overgrown they may be. I willingly go in trust to those places because they hold wonders. And stories.

With this set of music, I’ve gone to a place that is very hypnotic. I’ve passed by here before but never stepped foot in it. There’s a sense of not being physical, whereas before I’ve generally felt that I’m physically walking or flying somewhere. Strangely, I feel like there’s an orchestra of souls musically wrapping around a central point. I loved being one of those souls attracted to the psychic scent of awareness. Sounds weird, psychic scent, but it’s a drawing of myself toward the blend of spirituality that is swirling like a majesty of clouds. Thick, enveloping smoke of clouds. I felt more than the wisp of those clouds. They were my protective covering.

In “Meditation of the skeleton” I felt a strong sense of life and formation. The wrap of life, with no sense of time (which is important to me, not to have a sense of time), was a rush to the center of my self. I know we’re more than flesh and bone. I know that we’re not accidental. Doesn’t matter how we got here, but there’s a sense of intent and unknown purpose.

Rosenthal’s collaboration with Seelig blends a strange union with that which is electric, with that which is fashioned by nature. Mixed with unworldly chant, that blend feels like a restorative gateway. A return to what we once were. And should be now. We’re far too embroiled in the business of living that we’ve forgotten how to merge with those other souls. 

Journey To Aktehi is more than music. It’s more than brilliant compositions. It’s more than a map. It’s the actual doorway to resolve. To peace. And that’s worth a lot. Especially to me.

– Matt




CD in 6-panel DVD-sized Digipak,
with illustrations by Oscar Herrera.

This album is being supported by people like you, at our campaign on Kickstarter.


Journey to Aktehi Kickstarter. 51%-to-goal, need your support

  • July 18, 2017
Journey to Aktehi Kickstarter. 51%-to-goal, need your support

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/samrosenthal/journey-to-aktehi-cd-cassette-mark-seelig-sam-rose?ref=asg0aw for my collaboration with Mark Seelig is 51%-to-the-goal with 14 days to go. Aktehi is an album of trippy, hallucinogenic ethno-organic-electronic music. I was going for an altered-state-of-consciousness feel: a psychedelic trip with the flute and chants of the shamanic main character leading you on a journey of sound. 

I’ve recently added two new pledge levels. One includes a poster of the album cover and the other is for a phone call with Mark (he’s a therapist, consultant, psychologist. Chat about any issue, including life from the shamanic perspective, tribal culture, or playing the Bansuri flute.) 

The most popular pledge level is the $20 early bird CD, followed by the $70 “All the physical things” tier with the CD, Cassette; T-shirt (your name inside the CD). I appreciate everyone’s help in getting towards the goal to make this album possible. The campaign only funds if we reach $7000; every pledge is helpful!

Simultaneous to running the Kickstarter campaign, I am working on music for the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album. My synth gave me some songwriting advice on Sunday. I posted details in a public post at my Patreon page. You can listen to the drone and read some reminiscing about Remnants of a deeper purity. 

Watch the video on the Aktehi campaign page, and please pledge if you can.
Thanks.
      – Sam