From Sam Rosenthal:
As I look back on 2017, I’m quite happy about the art I’ve created. The year included a number of different projects in different directions. That kept things interesting.
[ On the other hand, I think it was a horrible year in the real world as the fabric of society was slowly torn apart. You probably didn’t open this up for politics, so I’ll just say, “Hang in there, and vote on Nov 6 2018!” I’ll move on…. In relationships, I had an amazing year. Disagreements gave way to deeper understanding and capacity to love. ]
And music? I made a lot of music. 2017 began for me in the second half of December 2016, when the These fleeting moments 2-LP finally arrived from the pressing plant and I shipped them to the Kickstarter backers. At the end of January, I shipped the Blood on the snow maxi-CD to Kickstarter backers. In October, I shipped out my collaboration with Mark Seelig – Journey to Aktehi – to Kickstarter backers. You also received the Isotope solo-electronic download in August. In October, I recorded six new Thanatos tracks with Patrick (we plan to get together next year to record more, hopefully for a new album).
And during all of that, I was working on the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album. I am almost finished with my parts now. I’m still struggling with lyrics on the final track, but I expect to get a handle on that one soon enough. My vocalists are coming to Portland early next year to record. This month Walter recorded electric guitar for the final song, and Brian recorded his drums for one track.
And you know what makes all this possible?
You. You make all this possible!
I’m very aware and appreciative of your direct support that allows me to do this. While not yet paying my personal bills (releasing other artists on Projekt is how I make a living), the ability to fund my music comes from you. In three ways:
Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns fund the manufacturing of my releases (and with Aktehi it also paid a royalty to Mark, myself, and Oscar who illustrated the covers).
Patronage covers the day-to-day costs of paying musicians, studio time, plane tickets, gear upkeep, and occasionally part of the pressing costs (like the booklet in Remnants of a deeper purity). And yes, some goes to pay me for my time spent making art.
Royalties are the third, and smallest part of my income as an artist. This is from CD sales, digital sales & streaming.
One thing Patronage income does is allows me to free up my time to make art. I know there’s money coming in when I knock off from “the day job” to create. 2018 is the year I am downsizing Projekt’s release schedule in order to spend more time on my art (and hanging out and reading and thinking and planning). At Projekt, I am going to focus on the artists that still make sense in the current music industry. In the last few years, I tried something a step short of downsizing: Projekt released limited-edition CD of 300 on some acts as a way to keep them in the game. Even those aren’t making financial sense anymore. It’s time for the BIG CHANGE I have been thinking about and writing about on my Patreon page. It’s time to cut some things free. While it seems a bit risky, it also seems logical. The change frees up more time for art, and your support leads me to feeling ok about taking this plunge.
I wrote this note to myself a few moments ago:
My self-generated Oblique Strategy for the day, “Remove what is in the way.”
That was in reference to the song I’ve been trying to write lyrics for, but I think it also applies to life. What is in the way for me? Spending my brain space & money on other artist’s music. It is nothing about the quality of that music, or my friendship with the people making it. It has to do with time [applicable Bowie quote for this: “As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”] I would rather spend that time on my art, my collaboration with Pat, or something I haven’t even considered yet.
You must be asking yourself, what’s up with that Kitty at the top of this email?
That’s Rusty. She was at the vet. She likes to get into her little hidey-holes away from everyone. She should come out and join us in a special place I am building for people who enjoy what I create…
I’d like to talk about Patronage. Earlier this month, I suspended my page at Patreon as a result of their plan to launch user-injurious fees. They got wise and cancelled that idea, but I had already jumped ship and started the move to my patron page on Bandcamp. I am really happy that – so far – 37 supporters have joined me there. It looks like about 1/3 are new names that weren’t backing at Patreon, that’s very cool.
76 patrons haven’t cancelled their pledges at Patreon. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged. However, it would be cool if you come out and join me at Bandcamp.
I hope some of you reading this, who enjoy my music, and can afford to donate the equivalent of the cost of a cup of coffee once a month, will help give me the independence to make my art. What do you get? You immediately get 9 downloads at Bandcamp + 2 exclusive downloads, one of which is an instrumental mix of the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album in the works. You get membership to the Patron area, where you can comment on my posts and interact with other fans of my music (Hi Scott! Hi Kervin!). Plus you’ll get new albums, as I post them at Bandcamp.
Why not come on out and join us? Patronage starts at $3 a month. For $5 a month you get 2 extra downloads. For $10 a month you also get a hand-written lyric.
And to wrap up this year-end email, to thank you for your part in my musical year, take 50% off at the Blacktape bandcamp store. This discount expires the afternoon of 1-1-2018. Use code kitty18 when you check out.
I hope your 2018 is wonderful, and brings you everything you desire.
PS: my favorite social networking site is Instagram. I like that it’s about the visuals,
and not about words and politics. Follow me there to see what I’m seeing.
[ kitties, coffee & mercy. 🙂 ]