It’s that time again. After successfully funding Fiery Crash’s In Clover through Kickstarter earlier this year, the Nehemiah Foundation is ready to release our seventh sponsored album of music—Warbler’s sophomore record, Sea of Glass.
And we need your help. Here’s the Kickstarter video to get you started:[1. The Nehemiah Foundation made this video entirely in house, by the way. It’s the first time we’ve ever been able to do that, which is a very exciting development for us.]
Intrigued? You should check out the Sea of Glass Kickstarter page and read about the project and its rewards.
Do you want to hear more of the music from the album? Check out the two unmixed, unmastered tracks we just posted in our Kickstarter Update #1 (reposted here for your convenience):
Be the Beast
“Be the Beast,” the first track on the record, opens up Sea of Glass with a bang. It frames the problem: from corrupt politicians and Machiavellian bottom-liners all the way to the ugly root—a complicit populace. See, we don’t just feed the beast. We are the beast.
That finger-picking section at 1:28 just slays us every time.
After the first suite of political songs fades out, Sea of Glass transitions to address cultural and social issues. “Vacuum Aspirations” concerns abortion, especially its roots in racism and eugenics. The title is drawn from a procedure sometimes used for abortion (“vacuum aspiration”), where suction first dismembers an unborn baby and his or her womb effects and then removes them from a uterus. Of course, the title also has a double meaning. Abortion creates a personal and societal vacuum—is that vacuum what we truly aspire to achieve?
The tender beauty of the music is intentionally at odds with the grotesqueness of the lyrics. The music highlights the dissociation of sensibility inherent in the euphemisms (e.g., pro-choice, fetus, “therapeutic” abortion) we use to talk about cutting short the lives of unborn babies. The music becomes a beautiful euphemism packaging a harsh truth.
Sea of Glass is a Kickstarter Staff Pick!
Did you notice that Sea of Glass is a staff pick on Kickstarter? There’s no way to pay for that. Somebody at Kickstarter voluntarily marked this project as noteworthy. Because they liked it. So we must be doing something right.
What Can You Do to Help?
As you probably already know, if we don’t raise every cent of $6,100 by 11:59 pm, June 30, 2015, this project gets nothing.
Many people look at $6,100, and they think, “Why are you asking me for help? I don’t have $6,000 laying around. I can’t help.”
The beauty of Kickstarter is that you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting! You may not have $6,000 laying around (I don’t either, believe me…), but we could all almost certainly spare $10 or $20 for a good cause. That may not seem like much, but that really goes a long way to getting this thing fully funded. There’s a reason they call this crowd-funding. Get just a few more of your friends to pre-order the CD, and we’re set!
But perhaps you don’t have a dime to spare. We understand completely. You can be happy to know that, if you are reading this, you can still help in a big way! Just share this Kickstarter campaign with your friends, family, fans, and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to include a short comment with your post, since people are much more likely to engage with your shared post if they see how you’ve been engaging with it. You can copy the link right here:
Now paste that into your status, write a little note, and repeat as necessary. It’s that easy.
We have about 13 days left now to raise a little more than $3,000. Anything you can do to help this new art make its way into the world is much appreciated!
Why Does the Nehemiah Foundation Use Kickstarter?
You might be wondering why the NFfCR uses Kickstarter to fund the final stages of our artistic projects. That’s a good question!
There are a few reasons. First, Kickstarter provides a reliable, secure, structured place for potential patrons to help support projects they care about. It also allows artists to reward their fans with unique interactions and one-of-a-kind rewards. This fosters community and accountability, and it allows patrons to take a more direct role in supporting the art and/or artists they care about.
But the most important reason the Nehemiah Foundation uses crowd-funding is because we think the patron model for supporting art promotes more excellent, more free, more edifying art. We have seen how the prevailing contemporary mass-market distribution model corrupts, debases, and overly constricts “Christian art,” how it puts undue financial burdens on artists, and how it does not adequately serve the large variety of tastes that exist within the Church. If we are going to change the arts being made for the Church, we have to change the way art for the Church is funded and supported. We think Kickstarter is one way to do that.
Isn’t Pledging to a Kickstarter Just a Donation?
Not exactly. Supporting a Kickstarter campaign has some of the earmarks of giving a donation in the sense that your participation and your level of involvement are entirely voluntary. It is also the case that without your support on Kickstarter, we would not be able to complete our projects.
But pledging on Kickstarter is also quite different from a donation. We think Kickstarter is a sort of hybrid between donation and pre-order. For instance, we might offer CD packages for $20 and digital downloads for $10. That’s nearly the same price you would pay at a store for a commercial release. If you are planning on supporting an album eventually by buying it after it comes out, it makes sense to support it early through Kickstarter, especially since its release just might depend on your support.
Furthermore, you only pay your pledge if the project is successfully funded. So you are basically guaranteed to get whatever reward you selected. And you know exactly what your pledge is going toward. Which is not something you can always say about donations (I’m looking at you Red Cross).
In closing, the Nehemiah Foundation thinks the best way to address the current limitations in the Church’s art is to support excellent art when we find it whether or not it is marketable. Crowd-funding is a huge part of that. It allows us to connect currently marginalized Christian artists with the like-minded patrons who will free them to pursue whatever artistic vision God gives. We hope you are or will become one of those patrons. We believe you are not just part of the audience. You are part of the art.