Mignarda Duo Live
"Your concert was revelatory in several ways, especially as it challenged our ears and hearts to enter a realm difficult to access these days, where subtlety and elegance trump flash and flamboyance, and content, rather than effect, is primary."
Mignarda is working to capture the essence of our live performances: transcendent sound in an inspiring space.
We're raising funds to produce three live recordings in 2014 — to share, as much as possible, and with minimal technological interference, the transformative power of experiencing this music in some of our favorite spaces.
The music on these three recordings was selected in response to requests by our international listening audience. We think of the resulting recordings as our legacy to future generations of listeners and musicians — an example of the marriage of scholarship and interpretive artistry.
$9,000 may seem an audacious figure in the current economic environment. But we ask our supporters to consider this fascinating economic reality check: If each of the over 90,000 visitors to one of our videos over the past year had left behind ten cents — one thin dime — we could have already met this goal.
Three Live Albums in 2014
Mignarda is celebrating our tenth year as a duo, touching the hearts of countless listeners with expressive music of an earlier age, featuring the intimate combination of voice and lute.
Over the past ten years, we have researched, rehearsed, and performed a large and diverse repertory of historical music. We have published 12 editions of our work and recorded nine CDs. Our commitment to the music is reflected in a body of work: real music that touches real people in a meaningful way — as revealed in the quotes reproduced throughout this text.
“After a sharing of such depth, precision and tenderness, it seems barbaric to clap, to talk. As with my preference not to talk after Compline, to just slip into the great silence in awe, I floated away from your music-making.”
Mignarda is an entirely artist-owned and operated enterprise. Unlike most performers and recording artists, we carry out our work without the support of state, academic or institutional grants. We do not benefit from organizational connections, recording contracts, or artist representation. We ourselves carry out all aspects of the production, from research to audio engineering, mastering and design of our CDs, to typesetting, photography, design and printing of our music publications and promotional materials.
We are immensely grateful for the steadfast support of our audiences. As our worldwide audience grows, our ongoing commitment is strengthened, and we are moved to expand our available recordings by capturing the essence of our live performances to share with those in remote corners of the globe. In response to requests for more, we have at the tips of our tongues and fingers three full-length concert performances we would like to record and make available.
“Donna, I love your expressive, plaintive quality - and such intelligence shines behind every word and sentiment.”
- Anthony Rooley, Director, Consort of Musicke; Professor, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis & Orpheus Institute, Ghent
Although recorded music has become widely available at lower costs, that doesn't mean it costs less to produce the recordings. We are committed to making these three recordings live and on location in a wonderful space and with minimal technological interference, connecting worldwide listeners as closely as possible with the live concert experience. This approach requires even more work on our part but we are committed to giving our listeners the highest possible level of humanity inherent in the music we inhabit.
We are asking for your support in this endeavor through this IndieGogo campaign.
"Support Our Tropes"
We have taken as our emblem the medieval conceit of tropes, plainsong embellished through sensitive ornamentation, heightening the intensity of the texts and the melodies.
The three projectsMagnum Mysterium
Magnum Mysterium is Mignarda's second recording of music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, as we share a gift of even more evocative historical music we have been performing in concert since the release of our popular CD, Duo Seraphim.
Doulce Mémoire is both a celebration of Mignarda's first ten years and an opportunity for us to revisit the early French airs de cour that we first performed as a duo, and includes more of this sensitively melodic and rhythmically subtle repertoire we have since added to concert programs.
Adoro Te: Latin Chant Hymns & Marian Antiphons
Adoro Te is a meditative and mesmerizing program of chant hymns and Marian antiphons, frequently heard interspersed in our sacred concerts and performances of liturgical music. Based on the overwhelming feedback from our listeners worldwide, we offer this unique recording of solo chant enchantingly sung by Donna Stewart.
“I have always admired Stewart's beautiful voice but I thought she surpassed herself in this repertoire which obviously means a great deal to her. She captures the intense religious fervour of the music simply by letting the words speak for themselves.”
What do we need?
We have been recognized by fans and peers as productive, diligent and hard-working artists who can and do make the most of our resources. We have a long track record of producing projects lauded for quality and creativity, including nine CD releases and a successfully completed and delivered Kickstarter campaign. In response to ever-increasing costs, we have streamlined our process even further and we approach the new project with artistic enthusiasm and professional confidence.We are asking for funding to produce three separate live recordings of our concert repertoire, slated for completion in 2014. We are asking our supporters for the barest minimum allocation of $3000 per project to record, produce, design, manufacture and distribute both physical CDs and digital albums. This goal is entirely achievable based on our experience producing our previous nine recordings—our first of which was selected as 2009 JPF Best Classical Vocal Solo Album. We are amply prepared to embark on all three projects now.
With full funding, the project will move along rapidly, as we have the music rehearsed and ready, the recording venue confirmed, and the equipment in place. We're ready to go. But if we do not meet our goal for all three, we will concentrate on the project our fans identify as the most important choice, and finish the others as time and funds allow.
Why do we bother?We're here to tell you that knowledge of historical music is essential to retaining our humanity. Stories are told in song. Polyphonic music fosters non-verbal communication and interdependent creativity. Musical-mathematical understanding lends a framework of logic and an interpretive cultural guide to an otherwise chaotic world. If we lose these things, we don't merely step over outmoded styles and unfashionable associations: We lose skill-based emblems of cultural achievements that are forsaken for insubstantial jingles, drum machines, faked images and electronic noises.
"I've heard you guys in concert many times, but the intimacy of a recorded performance...was unparalleled. I was transfixed by the clarity and musicality of the lute...and of course Donna's voice was absolutely beautiful. I can see why your CDs are being met with critical acclaim. I was enraptured."
How else can you contribute?
We'd be grateful for any support you can offer. $5 can make a difference - that's how crowdsourcing works!
But even if you don't have money to contribute to our campaign, you can still help in many ways. You know people we don't know. Spread the word to your friends and relatives about our music and about our campaign. Share our promotional video: tweet about us, talk us up on Facebook, or even (!) in person.
One of our favorite ways to share our music is through house concerts. Invite us to perform for your friends. If you've got the friends but not the house, borrow someone else's house! And of course, you can attend our concerts and talk to us face-to-face and learn more about what we do and why.
We appreciate whatever support you can lend, now and beyond this campaign. By investing in the music, you become more than just a listener: you become a patron who actively facilitates the creation of something meaningful to you.