* * * SECRET AFTER-PARTY UPDATE (July 2012) * * *
Hello new visitors visiting after the fundraiser has ended! :) I've had some emails recently from folks who were sad they "missed the party", and wondered if they could still somehow donate to recieve my songs, pre-order the album, etc... and the answer is, absolutely! Unforeseen costs and the fact that we didn't hit the goal mean I can certainly use further donations from anyone who wishes to be so kind. And the 'perks' will be the same as you see on this page (to the right). So if you're sad you missed the party, don't be. Email me about the "secret after-party" (thebrooke13 at gmail dot com). I appreciate your support and desire to be a part of the album (currently in progress), and look forward to hearing from you! :)
* * * POST-FUNDRAISER UPDATE (June 2012) * * *
I just want to say THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH for your contributions to my 1st Album fund! You have helped make my dream come true, and helped bring something new and unique to the world in the form of music. You've also helped set in motion a greater dream of mine - the possibility to one day be making enough of a living at music that i can quit my day job and be at home with my little boy all the time, AND make music, as my job! This is just the beginning. Thank you, my heroes.
**** Heads up! 50% of any funds raised beyond the $7,700 goal, will be donated to the Sturge-Weber Foundation. The other 50% of extra funds will go towards things like extra childcare for Merlin (extra time to make the album that much better, and/or finish it that much sooner), promotion, licensing costs for any new covers, and I could go on... but you get the idea. I won't be going on any personal shopping sprees with your money, is I guess what I'm saying. :)
Who is The Brooke?
Hi! I'm Brooke (Thomas, or you may know me as The Brooke, from The YouTubes). I'm an alien (legal alien) living in Montana, originally from Vancouver, BC (Canada, homeland of many funny comedians and cool indie bands)...
I am a singer of songs, a player of instruments, a maker of art, and most especially a proud mom to a darling little 3-year-old boy (Merlin), and proud lady to his amazing dad (Larry). Please enjoy this picture of them headbutt-face-kissing...
You may wonder why you've been summoned here, and the answer is, I need your help! And by help, I mostly (but not entirely) mean money (for babysitting for Merlin, and a few studio things). But, and this is an important point, in return, you get rewards! That's right. Rewards...
Album you say?
I want to make an album! I've wanted to make an album for years now. I have a soul bursting with songs, possibly some quite lovely (maybe even great) songs, and they need out! I have recorded over 60 songseeds (secret improv idea recordings) and they have been crying out inside my brain, "Broooooke... finish us and share us with the world, in album format... or we will haunt you for millenia, and be extremely annoying about it. kind of like we're being right now... only worse."
It's admittedly weird, them talking to me like that (The Brooke needs help in more ways than one) but anyhow, to quiet the voices, and because I really really want to, and because a lot of other people seem to really want me to... I have to make an album. Now! Well, this Year.
In the year of 2007, before Larry and Merlin graced my life with their amazingness, I spent most of my days singing and playing guitar, and making YouTube videos of myself doing those things.
They were simple little lo-fi cover songs, done for fun, and in simple enjoyment of this newfangled thing called 'Youtube'... but to my genuine surprise, the response to these was (and continues to be) overwhelmingly positive. People wanted me to make more, and do originals.
Well, this was a new challenge, but a creative, good one. So, after some early struggles, I started playing at songwriting (instead of working at it, you see) by way of strange word experiments and daily 30-minute non-stop improv sessions (recordings which I later distilled down to the songseeds).
The songwriting technique I used, which was a breakthrough for me and which I can't wait to pick up where I left off, is called improvitaping and I recommend it to everyone. (I wrote this rather long blog post about it back then, when I first discovered and decided to try it).
So to get to the point, I feel like these recordings possess a life of their own, something special that I can't even take credit for, and collectively they form the beginnings of what (I hope, soon) will be a lovely first album for your ears and hearts to enjoy.
More Backstory (if you want it)
During this musically creative time (and also much to thank for it), I was falling madly in love with a fellow named Larry. It started with a chance meeting (if you believe in chance) at a greyhound bus station in Chicago, and an amazing 4-hour bus trip where, at one point we ID'd each other, because neither of us could believe we had the same birthday (we do, 3 years apart to the day). But the timing just wasn't right, and for a while we had to part ways...
And that began our long-distance romance, a time of longing and innocent idealistic love, and the inspiration behind all of the music I made.
Finally, in 2008, the fates brought us back together... and not long after that (I won't go into the details), the fates made us pregnant!
The joys and challenges of this subsequent period in our lives were intense and all-consuming. Our beautiful son Merlin was born with a rare condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome, with no known cause and no known cure, and many complications and special needs involved. There were things we needed to do, learn and become, that took everything we had. So the songs, the youtubes, the album, had to go on the backburner, and that was the right thing. I just didn't plan on my hiatus from music turning into a four year hiatus.
But the album never left my mind. The voices have been haunting me the whole time. And now, finally, we have come to a very good place in our lives and it has room for music again, and the creative urges are bursting forth with all the energy of spring!
Where You Come In
So, we're ready to create! There are just two essential things missing... time and money. We need money to set up a little home studio, and to pay a babysitter for our little Merlin man so we'll have the time we need to write, record, mix and master this album this year (before the winter solstice, apocalypse, second coming of the aliens, or the election of one of those psychos for president.. in which case we'll have to flee to Canada and hide in the woods somewhere, and then recording will be difficult)...
What We Need
By my calculations, we will need to raise at least $7,700 to cover the most basic costs and make the album sound all enchanting the way we want it to (we want it to sound all enchanting).
I believe in transparency (it exists! I swear!), so here's a breakdown of the costs:
- Babysitting (a caregiver qualified to handle seizures & special needs) = $20/hr x at least 12 hrs/week x 4 = $960/month x 4+ months = $4,000+
- iMac computer (the studio) - $1,600
- Studio Projects B3 condenser mic = $160
- Logic Pro (audio editing software) = $200
- Midi keyboard (for piano/organ/synth sounds) = $200+
- Guitar (mine is cracking.. its days are numbered) = $500...(?) used/new
- Mastering = ($100+ per track x7 tracks) = $700+
- CD Baby fees to get my songs on itunes, amazon, etc. = $40
- Web hosting (1 year) = $100
- And (I forgot to even factor this in) IndieGoGo's cut = $500+
What's In It For You
But guess what! This isn't just one of those fundraisers where I beg you for money and you give me some on faith, and just hope something cool maybe comes out of it in the end. Hells no. With this fundraiser, I give you rewards!
I've been asked often why I don't make my cover songs available on iTunes or the like, and the short answer is, licensing costs. But, while I can't necessarily sell them to you, I can certainly give them to you as a thank you gift for your kind donation to my current project. :)
Not that that's the only reward! There are a bunch of them, over there on that list to the right (actually you kind of have to scroll up a ways). At the conclusion of this fundraiser (or sooner if possible) I will begin fulfilling all the rewards I've promised. Some will take longer than others, but the MP3 rewards I can send pretty much anytime I receive a donation (once they're ready). So I'd say this is pretty cool all around.
Other Ways You Can Participate
Whether or not you're able to throw money at me, You can be of tremendous help as an evangelist! Any support, whether spreading the word, or even just good suggestions for ways to improve my fundraising efforts (I've never done this before if you couldn't tell), let me know, so I can send you some music too! (Just have patience with my response-time, as I don't yet have the luxury of a babysitter, remember?)... :)
Email: thebrooke13 @ gmail . com
Lastly but not by any means leastly, THANK YOU SO MUCH from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to share of your good fortune, and for wanting to be a part of the making of this album. I could not do it without you.