The Sound of the Crowd

As many of you will no doubt already know, making music can be an expensive business and in these times of austerity, cut backs and the general decline of the record industry, it has become ever harder to raise the money to produce a decent recording.

Yes, music can now be made on just about any PC, laptop, or phone using various apps and computer programs, but there is still no real substitute for a decent recording studio, a good mixing desk, a producer/engineer and then the mastering of a finished product.

All of that costs money, which is one thing usually in short supply, especially for unsigned acts, or those on the lower rungs of the musical ladder. But never fear, hope is at hand.

Crowdfunding is increasingly coming to the rescue and is helping many acts get their music recorded and released.

For the uninitiated this works by friends, family, fans, or anyone else for that matter, pledging money to a particular project, via a website. There is always a funding target to be met and a closing date for giving pledges. Pledgers are then given various levels of funding options, all of which usually come with their own ‘reward’.

Services such as Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/) and Pledge Music (http://www.pledgemusic.com/) are even being used now by local bands. For example, local rockers Hornet have used Pledge Music to help with the costs of recording their debut album and their upcoming EP.

Now two more local acts are turning to crowdfunding to raise funds for future projects.

First we have Edd Blakeley, who is probably best known for his work with The Tabs and his father, Garry Blakeley. But he is now turning his attention away from Folk and towards something more Classical/Orchestral, ‘The Rosetta Suite’.

As Edd explained to Pierless Music, “The Rosetta Suite will be a full length album of orchestral music inspired by the Rosetta comet mission success.

The resounding success of the Rosetta space mission and its emotional impact on the world was truly inspiring. So much so that I picked up my pen, and started writing some orchestral music.

Over the next 6 months, I’ll be finishing this orchestral album of between 30-50 minutes of music. Much of it is already written, and follows the story of the Rosetta mission, its characters, successes and setbacks; all of it painted in vivid orchestral colour.”

You can find out more and listen to the opening movement of the Suite here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1611410447/rosetta-an-orchestral-album

Pledging packages for ‘The Rosetta Suite’ run from just £2, right up to £1,000 which would give you a Producers credit on the finished album and much more besides.

Edd is looking to raise a total of £2,500 and the closing date for pledges is 9th, January 2015. He is nearly 50% there already!

This sounds like a great idea and a very interesting project too and if the opening movement is anything to go by, the full Suite will be well worth listening to.

The second funding campaign is from one of the more recent arrivals to the local musical community, Tom Williams.

Tom’s band, The Boat, are currently taking a break so Tom is intending to release a seven track mini album of more acoustic based songs written on his battered Martin guitar.

Tom explained some of the reasons behind this new project: “Two years ago, just as the band were starting to record Easy Fantastic, I bought a new guitar. At the time I had never bought such an expensive instrument before and it scared the spit out of me. It was a beautiful battered and bruised Martin acoustic from 1971, and as soon as I got it home songs started falling out of it.”

You can find out more and listen to demo’s on Tom’s Pledge Music page here:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tomwilliamsminialbum

Pledging packages run from £6, which will get you a digital download of the finshed album, right up to £200, which will give you the chance to write and produce a song with Tom himself. He’ll even bring his portable studio to your house to do so!

Tom has already raised 75% of his total and you still have 98 days left to pledge.

Crowdfunding is now being used by all sorts of different enterprises and it’s easy to see why. From a musical point of view one great aspect of all this is that fans of the various acts get to be involved with their favourite artists and help them release new music that might otherwise never see the light of day. It’s also one more way of reinforcing that personal bond between the artist and the fan, which can only be a good thing for all concerned.

Pierless Music wish both Edd and Tom all the best with their own projects and look forward to hearing the finished results.

Why not get involved yourself and help these two exciting new local music projects get off the ground?

‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’

As a part of the recent Battle Festival, there was a music based expert panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session. The theme being ‘How To Get Ahead As A Musician’.

We managed to get a recording of the event and have uploaded it to Pierless Music’s Soundcloud page. You can listen to that recording here:

The panel on the night were: Tim Rice-Oxley, songwriter and keyboard player with Keane – Tom Williams, songwriter and main man behind Tom Williams and The Boat – Anna Moulsen from Melting Vinyl promotions in Brighton and Melita Dennet, DJ on BBC Introducing The South. The panel was chaired by Andy Fyfe, a music journalist.

Many topics were covered during the discussion, including: how to get your music played on BBC radio, gigs, your fanbase, mailing lists, social media and how to use it effectively, your band as a small business and much more.

If you are in a band, or act and are trying to move ahead in the music business, this is well worth a listen as these people have been there and done what you’re now trying to do.

Hopefully it will give you some tips and ideas for the next stage of your musical career.