Do you have a piece of music languishing in a bottom drawer? You are rightly convinced of its merits, but do not have the financial means to get it performed?
When Harry Whalley, an Edinburgh based composer, found himself in this all too familiar predicament, instead of succumbing to bottom drawer desperation he launched his piece Entangled Music on Kickstarter, the website that aims to crowd-fund worthy projects. Digging around on the website I have discovered a whole host of other similar projects being funded in this manner: there is Meditation on ‘Haec Dies’ by Joseph Fear, a CD recording project of new music for solo piano on the theme ‘American Vernacular’, a series of vocal pieces by Daniel Knaggs, and many others. In fact, of all the creative categories on Kickstarter in 2012, music was the most successful, with a total of 5,067 receiving full funding.
The successful projects all seem to have something in common. They make reasonable financial demands and pledges can be as small as £1 (or $1 in the States). Harry, for example is asking for just £2,048. At the time of writing, with 13 days to go, he is already at £1,722. It is much the same with the other projects I have listed.
I find all this incredibly heartening. Who said that new music can’t survive in the marketplace? As such, perhaps it is time for all of us to pay Kickstarter a visit and start pledging towards whatever catches our eye. And also time for us all to show some self-belief, extract those masterpieces from their dusty dwelling-places and make appeals on behalf of our own music.