So, yesterday, I launched a crowd funding initiative to pay for a run of physical albums for Em. Having them all made up in advance means that every single sale of the album can go straight to charity, which, in this case, is CoramBAAF, who deal with issues relating to adoption. As Em tells the tale of a forced adoption in the mid 1960s, it felt appropriate to work with that particular organisation.
Anyway, we set what I thought would be the rather difficult target of £1500. Some years ago, Nathan and I tried to do the same thing with an EP of songs which we released for the Kaleidoscope Trust. Our target was lower, but it took us four weeks and a lot of hassling to reach. All of those panicky thoughts ravaged my brain as I hit send on the crowd funding site this time round. “What if no one donates?” “What if everyone hates me for going to them, cap in hand?” I became determined not to obsessively check the total, and got on with my day, pretending it wasn’t all going on in the background.
I am somewhat staggered to report that we reached our target in just 24 hours! In fact we were told that the campaign was “trending”, whatever that means in crowd funding circles. A large amount of thanks has to go to Nathan’s podcast followers and fans of all things knitty, who were responsible for a massive spike of donations during the night. Most of Nathan’s people are Stateside, so this explains why their activity was all apparently nocturnal.
We suggested various different levels of donation. £15 pre-ordered a copy of the album, £25 bought the album and a set of downloads of backing tracks and £40, our highest donation, included physical copies of my other albums. I was therefore stunned when people started putting £50 in. And then £100 from Philippa, Michael, Peter Smalley from NMPAT, and Nathan’s wonderful sister Sam. And then, early this morning, Lisa chipped £200 in, saying “I hate seeing your talent and spirit squashed by something so crass (but necessary) as money...” I am so so grateful to everyone. And thrilled at the outcome.
I am entirely in love with the album. It has been stupendously mastered by Denis at Skye Mastering, who actually mastered all of those great musical theatre albums in the 1980s like Cats and Phantom. He wrote to me, saying, “I hope you don’t mind me telling you this, but Em reminded me of those albums.” “Mind?”, I said, “I’m thrilled!”
Of course, if you still wish to donate or pre-order, we’re now at the stage where everything beyond the amount we needed will go direct to the charity. It’s rather exciting to think that I’ll be able to give CoramBAAF a donation before CDs have official gone on sale.
And if you want to read about the charity, here’s their website:
I’m a happy and very relieved man, as I really didn’t know how I was going to afford to get those CDs made.
So now starts the lengthy process of working out what needs to be said in the album blurb. I actually want to keep the CDs very simple: probably in black and white in a classic, probably matt, cardboard sleeve, so it looks like one of the photos my Mum has from that period of time. I think this approach will lend it a classy, vintage quality.
If you fancy making a donation, or preordering, you still can, and please do. All the information you need (and a lovely little video of Ruby Ablett singing) can be found by going to:
Love you all.