Who we are:
Atlas Maior is a world music fusion project based in Austin, Texas. Our music is inspired by elements of Arab, Turkish, American Jazz, and Latin American traditions, and we compose music that pays homage to the stewards of those traditions and their cultural and geographic origins. The band takes its name from the “Atlas Maior”, the first world atlas published by Joan Bleau in Amsterdam in the 17th century.
What we are doing:
In September we are traveling to Istanbul, Turkey as a group to perform and learn about the diverse music traditions represented there. We will be playing concerts, taking lessons from Turkish traditional music masters, purchasing traditional hand-crafted instruments, and studying makam, or Turkish music theory.
Our Istanbul tour is part of a larger goal of recording a full-length album for release in late 2014. In our minds, there are 2 initial steps to this process:
This summer we are currently doing a series of improvisatory recording sessions at WOR Recording Studio in Austin, and will release a digital EP album "The WOR Sessions" (working title) from the session early next year. These sessions explore space, group communication and dynamics, listening, and creative expression without boundaries. We are including some guest collaborators on these sessions to explore these themes in hopes of developing new musical approaches and sounds. We are including a a pre-release digital download of this EP album as one of our project perks!
In Istanbul Atlas Maior will be performing concerts, studying with Turkish musicians from multiple disciplines and exploring the diversity of modern day Turkish music. While in Turkey we will also be acquiring new musical instruments to help facilitate the creation of a new album for release in late 2014.
There are several individuals, venues and organizations we have been in dialogue with about performance dates, music lessons, and support in Istanbul. Housing will be provided by The American Research Institute in Turkey Hostel. We are finalizing performance dates with venues including Babylon, Peyote, Roxy,The Jazz Cafe, and Balcony TV Istanbul. Finally, we have music lessons confirmed with a variety of 'ud, ney, saz, clarinet, and other traditional Turkish instrument master players.
Using the musical tools, knowledge, inspiration and experience of learning and performing together in Istanbul, Atlas Maior will be recording a new full-length album upon our return to the U.S. with a target release date of late 2014. Our Summer 2013 recording session (Step 1 above) will allow us to explore new ways of thinking musically, while our journey to Istanbul (Step 2 above) will provide us with new musical instruments and sonic directions, relationships and experiences with each other and Turkish performers and educators.
Why we need your help:
Group international travel has serious costs, we've created a budget below to show you what exactly your money will go towards. To-date this trip is not fully funded, and we need your help to accomplish our goals of performing and researching music while in Istanbul. If we can raise roughly $2,500 of the total project costs through Indiegogo, we'll be able to make this happen! If we don't reach our entire goal, the funds we do receive will go towards housing and meals while in Istanbul.
Istanbul Project Budget:
Travel and Lodging (plane tickets, Istanbul housing, meals): $4,170
Equipment & Supplies (musical instrument & sound equipment rental for performances, audio and video recording equipment rental): $700
Professional Services (music lessons in Istanbul, translator services, technical team graphic and video services, Indiegogo fees): $975
TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET: $5,845
We want our supporters to be a part of this journey, and we've put a lot of effort and consideration into perks for funding our campaign. We're including a variety of perks to say thank you, from a pre-release digital download of "The WOR Sessions" to a digital postcard video thank you message from Istanbul, to a private Atlas Maior show with Belly Dancers!
$1,000 in 1's - Atlas Maior EP (2011)
Perk Sample: Sample track from our autographed CD discography!
Perk Sample: pre-release digital download "The WOR Sessions" (pictured here)
Perk Sample: Private show with Atlas Maior + Belly Dance team
Perk Sample: For the big spender, hand-crafted Turkish 'ud
selected by our own Charlie Lockwood
How Else Can I Help? You Ask?:
We are so thrilled about the opportunities our Istanbul journey offers, we want you to help spread the word! Download our facebook banner and wall images and post them, along with the link to our Indiegogo campaign, to your personal or organization Facebook page. Letting your friends and colleagues know about our campaign will be a tremendous help to us!
Stay in Touch!
These are only some of the tantalizing perks Atlas Maior will offer for supporting our trip to Istanbul. Look for more to come by signing up on our mailing list, liking Atlas Maior on Facebook, and following us on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, SoundCloud and other social media outlets. Stay tuned for project updates.
As they might say in Turkey: Desteğiniz için teşekkür ederim!
(Thank you for your support!)
Some Risks & Challenges:
A project like this does have a few risks and challenges, but we want to ensure that if we are going to have a phenomenal trip, and if you support us you'll be a large part in making our journey complete.
Safety concerns due to political turmoil:
Recent protests and demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities have shaken the country and received international media attention. As American musicians traveling to Istanbul, we want to promote cross-cultural collaboration and the positive sharing of ideas through music. We have been in touch with several colleagues who are currently in Istanbul and report that the environment has cooled off and is relatively safe for foreign travelers. If tensions do rise while were are there, we will stay committed to our mission to learn and explore music, and be smart about staying out of harm's way.
While Atlas Maior is learning beginning Turkish, we are by no means fluent speakers. This has resulted in difficulty booking performance venues via email and telephone, but we've had some success and we are going to keep trying! Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city. Among the many musicians and institutions we've been in touch with, many do speak English. As researchers and performers of music and culture with much international travel experience, we are committed to learning Turkish and connecting with people through musical performance. We will be staying at the American Research Institute in Turkey for our first week, and will utilize the facility's translation assistance and community of scholars and researchers for help with communicating.
Venues unavailable for performances:
In part due to the recent political protests and the language barrier, some music venues have not been available to book music performances. We are confident our network of musicians and collaborators in Istanbul will help us secure more performances in the coming weeks. If we are unable to secure more performances, we have a contact list of venues that we will approach once we arrive, and would be excited to play any public performance, including coffee shops, cafes, and cultural or educational organization venues.
Perks-related potential delays:
We are committed to our perks delivery timelines, and have carefully budgeted the costs of involved with each perk. For "The WOR Sessions" pre-release digital album, production-end mixing and mastering delays do occur in the music business, but we are confident we will deliver this perk by the target date. We will make our sincerest efforts to stay in touch about the process and keep you informed about the status of all the project perks!