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We are an American world music group traveling to Istanbul, Turkey to perform and study traditional and contemporary Turkish music. Help support our journey!
Atlas Maior
Austin, Texas
United States
3 Team Members

     campaign wall post


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:

   step 1

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

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!  

Download Our Campain Images:
Facebook Wall Post Image (Hi-Res)

Facebook Banner Image (Hi-Res)

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.

Sign up on our Mailing List!

Follow us:

Google +

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.

Language Barriers:
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!



Find This Campaign On
raised by 69 people in 23 days
126% funded
No time left
$2,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 4, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Exclusive Audio Video Content

    Exclusive, Unreleased Atlas Maior digital Audio and Video Content: This rewards package includes video from Atlas Maior's recent January 2013 performance on The Infynit Media Group's "Infynit Hour" TV appearance, edited by Dark Sage Studios and WAV quality audio of Atlas Maior's complete KVRX 91.7FM Austin In-Studio Live performance from March 2013.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $15USD
    The WOR Sessions Download

    Digital Download: Pre-Release of the upcoming Atlas Maior EP release: "The WOR Sessions” (working title) + digital artwork: The result of an improvisatory recording session at WOR Recording Studios throughout Summer 2013, this EP features several guest musicians and explores the sonic textures of instrumental improvisation. We'll continue to explore the ideas from these sessions during our performances in Istanbul! Get your download before the expected release date of Feb 2014.

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $25USD
    Atlas Maior Discography

    Two autographed Atlas Maior CDs: Four Shades (2012) and Atlas Maior EP (2011) + The WOR Sessions Digital Download. The band's current complete discography with autographed CDs, in your hands!

    30 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $50USD
    Digital Postcard from Istanbul

    Digital Postcard from Istanbul: A personal thank you message in the form of a digital postcard from Istanbul. Using our fancy HD video camera, we'll shoot a personal video thank you message from a stunning location and send it to you upon our return to the U.S. + The WOR Sessions digital download + The Exclusive Audio Video Content!

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $100USD
    Whole Shebang Content Package

    "Whole Shebang Package": The WOR Sessions" pre-release digital download + 11x17 autographed original artwork poster + your name listed on the album credits + The autographed Atlas Maior CDs + The Exclusive Audio Video Content. Donate at this level and receive Atlas Maior's complete create creative output to-date, and get your name on The WOR Sessions album credits!

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $300USD
    Atlas Maior Private Event

    Two-hour Atlas Maior concert at your home, private event, or place of business. Let us thank you for supporting our project by providing a showcase of incendiary global jazz. Within 25 mile radius of Austin, TX (Details of performance to be discussed and agreed upon by Atlas Maior and backer; Limit 2)

    1 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $500USD
    Original Song for your Project

    Recording of an original song for your project: We'll write and record a custom song for your film, podcast, video game, short play, etc. Such a tune will be inspired by the tools and experiences picked up during our journey to Istanbul, the scent of the Bosphorus, the might of the Aya Sofya, and the twisting, cobbled lanes of the Sultanahmet district. (Details to be agreed upon by us and backer; to our discretion; limited time offer! ) (Limit 3) + WOR Sessions Digital Download Pre-Release

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $600USD
    Atlas Maior w/ Belly Dancers!

    Two-hour Atlas Maior concert FEATURING BELLY DANCERS: Concert at your home, private event, or place of business featuring Atlas Maior and our lovely team of BELLY DANCERS! Let us transform your private event into an unforgettable evening, showcasing the dazzling movements of Austin's most talented belly dancers. (Within 25 mile radius of Austin, TX; Details of performance to be discussed and agreed upon by Atlas Maior and backer; Limit 2)

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $1,250USD
    Handcrafted Turkish 'ud

    Handcrafted Turkish 'ud, selected by our own Charlie Lockwood in Istanbul. Charlie will select a quality student model 'ud (short-necked fretless lute) for you from a well-respected Istanbul luthier ('ud craftsman), and ship it to the shipping address you provide. This is a unique opportunity to purchase a high-quality hand-crafted traditional Turkish 'ud, guaranteed quality and safe delivery. Details to be discussed and agreed upon by Atlas Maior and backer; ships only to U.S.; Limit 2.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
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