Feb 02

A huge unimportant detail (& free music)

From Sam Rosenthal:

A huge unimportant detail

At the time of this writing, fifty people have joined Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Patreon campaign. What a great first week! Get involved to make week #2 even more successful.

Patreon is a crowdfunding site for “empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work.” It’s an opportunity to directly support the creation of my art, and in return you get access to exclusive music.

Last week I added these tracks to the patron-area:
* “Please don’t go (mix 10),” the new track from the Patreon video (with Grace Young on viola)
* Two early mixes from 1992’s DAT #5: “passion drained” & “on broken shells 3”


Even a $2-a-month pledge helps. It goes towards expenses such as paying Grace a salary for dropping by my studio to record. For less per month than what you pay for a cup of coffee, your contribution joins with other backers’ contributions to help me reach my goal of freedom to work on music.

Getting back to art.

Most of my time is occupied running Projekt Records. I was about to add, “It’s my day job,” but the fact is that I’m often at it all day and still here working on Projekt at 9pm. I’m sure you’d much rather I was writing and recording new music? Yeah? So would I. The problem is it’s not like the old days when I could take time off work and invest hundreds of hours in a Black Tape For A Blue Girl album with reasonable expectations of thousands of copies selling and income coming in to cover my expenses. Nope, these days people really love their free music; but the miniscule income from Spotify and youTube is not a viable way to try to earn a living.

With four succesful Kickstarters completed, I’m quite excited by crowdfunding; it’s a brilliant method for financing creativity. Late last year, I studied various sites, searching for one that conceived crowdfunding as I imagined it. I didn’t want another one-month-campaign to make a physical object. That leaves too many people out and feels like it rushes through the fun part!

I have two main goals: ongoing funding for my music and immersing you in the process of developing new work. Patreon does this. It’s designed to facilitate your direct support of the music.  With your pledges, I will spend less time at the job and more time creating new and exclusive tracks I share directly with you.

“Now hold on a second, Sam,” I imagine some of you saying. “Why all this talk about money? Shouldn’t it just be about the art?”

As Iggy Pop recently said, “To tell you the truth, when it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail. It just happens to be a huge unimportant detail.”

Those hours and days in the studio take away from time I could be working at Projekt. You understand what I’m saying here! The phone company and the gas company don’t take payment in the form of high fives and a Mp3 of new songs! : )

I’m thrilled that some of you have already backed me on Patreon.

And understand that it’s not just about the income; crowdfunding is also rewarding on a personal level. I love that I get to know people who are deeply into my music. Last week, I met graphic artist Antony Johnston. I’d love to share something he wrote:

The music you made with BlackTape, especially in the ‘classic’ Chaos / Garden / Remnants era, has been part of the soundtrack to my life for the past 20 years. As a creator myself, I know how hard the current climate can be, so it’s my pleasure to support the Patreon campaign. The new music excerpt ‘Please Don’t Go’ is lovely — more of that, please! Reminds me of dark nights, driving home from those early Whitby goth weekends in the late ’90s…” – Antony Johnston (writer of Umbral, Spooked, and Dead Space)

I want to make more of that sort of music: music that can be the soundtrack to the next 20 years of your life!

Your recurring monthly contribution of $2, $5, $10 or more will make it possible.

Antony joined my Patreon campaign; so did Tristan, Marcos, Draven, Julia, Rob, Tori, Bill and a bunch of other amazing people. In fact, we reached the first Milestone Goal of $300 and now we’re headed towards the $500 Milestone Goal: a two-hour livestream mixing session, where you can watch me in the studio, with a view of my monitor, as I mix and process the music.

I’m thinking about the creation, the connection, and the challenge of seeing this through and succeeding. It’s incredibly sweet to know people are stepping up with pledges to support my work. You can make a difference in tackling this huge unimportant detail: the manner in which artists earn money.

Please pledge here. Thanks for that.


PS: Back to the topic of free music, here are two name-your-price albums for you to enjoy. The Collection is a ‘best-of’ from Blacktape, while Fifty Shades of Grey is an imaginary Projekt-themed soundtrack for the upcoming film.

PSS: At last! I’m famous!!! (file under: “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!”): https://www.google.com/maps/@37.790399,-122.422213,3a,75y,124.32h,83.6t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1siAPMvFgx0jhuqBacQxFnjA!2e0



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