Click here to listen to the unmastered versions of the first three songs on this album! If you enjoy them, please consider contributing to the project.
UPDATE: Due to receiving a larger-than-expected amount of high-level pledges, we're upgrading the poster prints to 11"x17" size!
UPDATE #2: We can now afford to offer professionally manufactured CDs of the album in addition to cassettes! Those who pledge $20 or more now have the choice between the exclusive cassette OR a glassmastered CD in a cardboard jacket with artwork screen printed by Lindsay!
[CDs will be an edition of 100, cassettes are limited to however many funders choose them. By pre-ordering your CD through this campaign, you'll receive a free download of the album as soon as it's released and we'll ship your CD before we even offer it to folks who weren't part of this fundraiser!]
The Short Version:
Hi, I am mandala eyes, an artist making my own unique style of experimental music out of my home studio. (My real name is Alex, you can call me that if you prefer!)
I'm in the final stages of recording and mixing an all-new full-length album, which I'm confident is my best work yet by far, but I need your help to finish it.
With your support, I'll be able to hire the wonderful Nick Zammuto (The Books, Zammuto) to do the final work of mastering this album, thereby bringing out as much clarity, balance, presence, and unity from the recordings as possible.
If you help me in this endeavor, I'll end up with a more professional and accessible album to share and present to the world, which will allow us all to enjoy this work of art to its fullest potential. It will also increase the likelihood that I'll gain enough support from listeners to earn back the investment I've put into my music and continue providing you with music far into the future.
The Long Version:
Let Our Minds Be Languageless, Let Our Bodies Be Verbose
by mandala eyes
4. A Bridge Across Forever
5. Going To Portland
6. To Remain Astonished By The World, And Yet Feel At Home In It
I've been working on this album for quite a while. Some of the writing was done as early as the beginning of this year, and I've been working fervently on the production, recording, and mixing for the past month or two. I've already put more thought, soul, work, and love into every stage of the process than I've put into any creative endeavor before. Whereas my previous albums were mostly pieced together out of a collection of disparate experiments, I'm building this one from the ground up as a single unified piece, from writing and pre-production all the way to the final mix tweaks. I believe the results show, and if you listen to the raw mixes of the first two tracks that I've linked to above, I think you'll agree that it already sounds much, much better than any of my previous albums.
But for this album to become a truly fine, finished work of art, it needs a little something more than I can give it by myself. It needs someone with fresh ears and a lot of experience to come in and make some sonic tweaks, to get it sounding as clear, balanced, and up-front as possible. Virtually every single professional recording you've ever heard has gone through a process called mastering, in which these qualities of clarity, balance, and presence are brought out in a group of songs in order to form them together as a unified, cohesive album. Because I've truly poured my heart and soul into these songs, I think they deserve a great professional mastering job, so that they can actually reach their fullest potential as recordings.
Nick Zammuto (The Books, Zammuto) is the perfect person for the job, having a history of creating recordings with an honest, warm, organic sound---exactly the characteristics I've been going for with this new music. He's also got a great ear for sound in general, and he can master my album. To pay him for his services, I need about $900. (The remaining $200 of my goal are to help cover the costs of producing and shipping all the perks you'll receive for your pledge.)
Up until now, I've financed my music making out of my own pocket. I've put a good amount of money into building up my studio equipment, and I've spent a lot of time practicing my skills at recording and playing music. The truth is, I just don't have the money to pay for this mastering job, and I don't want to leave this album short of reaching its full potential. This is why I need your support. With your pledge, we'll be able to take this music to its best possible state of existence, together, and if the goal is reached, we'll all be able to enjoy a work of art that is truly as good as it can be. In addition, having a more professional piece of music to share and present to people will give me a better chance at earning back some portion of the cash I've invested into my artistic endeavors, which means I'll be able to mitigate the costs of making music enough to be able to afford to continue doing it. If you'll be my listener, I'll be your musician, and we can keep this beautiful relationship of creation and love going for a long time to come.
Notes On Perks
While I'm really driven to make this album the best it can be, I'm equally excited to provide you all with wonderful perks in return for your pledges. So, my partner and collaborator Lindsay Watson and I are putting a ton of work and love into all the prizes, most of which are hand-made by ourselves. Here are some notes and details about a few of the prizes:
Free Download ($8 and above) These will be distributed through Bandcamp, which means you'll have your choice of high-quality file format including, but not limited to, 320 kbps mp3 and FLAC. If you don't know what that means, just rest assured that this download will sound really good! We'll send your download link the moment we get the final mastered album up on our site.
T-Shirts ($15) These are "midnight"-colored Alternative Apparel tees, which are unbelievably soft/comfy and manufactured in humane, safe factories around the world. Lindsay and I hand-screenprinted her original "mandala eye" design on each shirt in a silvery-white ink. We have varying amounts in varying sizes, so I've only allowed 10 for now, but once those are gone we'll contact those people and figure out what size shirts they need, and then post an updated version of the t-shirt perk that lists the sizes we still have available.
Exclusive Cassette Tape ($20) We are screenprinting the artwork for these tapes ourselves, by hand, from Lindsay's designs. They are cream/ivory colored tapes that I'm ordering blank and recording to myself using my own personal tape deck, so this is a very intimate item---imagine I'm making you a special mix tape, old school style, but instead of a mix of music, it's an entire cohesive album of my own design! (The Life cassettes available at $40 are also colored, have hand-screenprinted artwork, and are home-recorded.)We chose to make tapes because they're affordable for us and they're still an interesting physical format that imparts a unique character to the music, offering a different experience from the digital download. However, even if you don't have a tape player anymore or are too much an audiophile to bother with cassettes, the tapes come with a free download available in super-high-quality formats like FLAC, so you can have that pristine version for listening on your computer or iPod. Please note that we are only going to make enough tapes to give to the supporters who pledged $20 or more, meaning they will NOT be available after the campaign has ended! If you want one of these, you can only get it by pledging to this campaign. We will post pictures of the tapes as soon as we have some finished copies.
Poster Print ($30)
The poster we include for a $30 pledge is an art-quality print on heavy paper, not your standard flimsy/glossy bedroom poster! The prints were originally going to be 8.5"x11", but we've upgraded them now to 11"x17". They feature the album artwork and look like this:
Life Tapes ($40): This is a bundle that includes 4 cassette tapes: one copy of the new album (as described above), plus one copy of each of the three albums I released with my previous band, Life. These cassettes, just like the exclusive mandala eyes cassette, feature hand-made artwork designed and screen-printed by Lindsay, plus handwritten track listings, liner notes, title, and A/B side labels. These are limited to 20 hand-numbered copies, and we've just finished printing them, so here is what they look like:
Doodle For Youdle ($60): Lindsay and I will collaborate to create a piece of original art using a mixture of different media, probably including watercolor, gouache, pen, and/or graphite, on a 12"x12" piece of heavy bristol paper, and send that original artwork to you. If you're wondering what exactly "doodle art" is/means, here is a great example of a recent doodle collaboration Lindsay and I made together (Doodle For Youdles will be in a very similar style to this piece):
Other Ways You Can Help
If you enjoy and relate to this music, please share these songs and the link to this campaign page with everyone you know who might be interested. You can also follow mandala eyes on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or e-mail to stay updated on the project and all future goings-on, and to send us your thoughts and feelings!
You can also help by simply listening to the music and appreciating all the love and feeling and meaning Lindsay and I have poured into our artwork; it's all there for you, so if all you can do is listen and look and appreciate it in your own way, you're helping this art fulfill its ultimate purpose, and that is truly amazing. Thank you for everything.
You can find all official mandala eyes releases, available for free listening, on our Bandcamp-fueled website, mandalaeyes.com. There are additional, more experimental/demo recordings on the mandala eyes SoundCloud page.