Pre-order now to support the writing & recording of Adam Levy’s ‘Lower 48’ suite. Your pledge floats the music. #lower48


From Adam Levy:

adam-levyWhen I was 12 years old, I discovered my stepfather’s Sony tape deck—which was part of his home-stereo system at the time. This thing fascinated me. I’d already been having fun recording songs and skits on a portable Panasonic recorder, but the Sony was a wholly different creature. Not only did the 1/4″ reel-to-reel tape format sound vastly better than the Panasonic’s cassettes—the Sony had sound-on-sound capabilities. That meant that I could record myself playing and singing, rewind, then and add a second layer of music and/or voice. This was, to me, as thrilling as if a miniature Abbey Road Studios had magically appeared in our living room.

You might expect that my early forays into home recording would’ve led me to further experimentation on Tascam Portastudios and the like, but that’s not what happened. I never upgraded from the Sony, and when I moved away from home at 19, that was the end of my home-recording career. Before long, I was making enough money to afford the luxury of renting time in actual studios, and that spoiled me. I liked working on really good equipment, with experienced engineers, and that’s the route I chose when I started recording and releasing records of my own, beginning with ‘Buttermilk Channel’ in 2001.

Lately, though, I’ve become interested in home recording once again. I’ve got Logic recording software on my laptop. I’ve got a few different kinds of mics and a really good Apogee interface. My Los Angeles apartment isn’t exactly sound-proof, but it’s quiet enough for tracking vocals and guitars. To my own surprise, I’m a pretty good engineer. But here’s the thing: I want to get better. Much better. If my experience as a musician has taught me anything, it’s that best way to improve at something is through practice. Not mindless practice, but reflective. Do the thing for awhile. Listen. Are we getting somewhere? If not, why not? Recalibrate. Practice some more. Listen. And so on.

My strong desire to practice engineering has led me to want to record a new album—at home, on my own. And that’s what this crowd-funding campaign is for. I’m asking friends, fans, and family to pre-order the album (to be called ‘Lower 48’). By pre-ordering, you’ll be giving me an incredible opportunity to focus big chunks of time on this process—essentially, paying me a stipend while I toil.

I’m imagining ‘Lower 48’ as a suite. There will be exactly 48 minutes of sound, including songs with words, instrumental pieces, and other good stuff. ‘Lower 48’ will be available as a digital download only—no CDs—and it will be exclusively for supporters of this project, never released publicly. I’ll start the writing process from scratch once my PledgeMusic campaign is successfully funded.

As I did a few years ago with my crowd-funding campaign for ‘The Heart Collector,’ I’m offering incentive gifts at every level of support. You could have a recording of me reading a chapter of your favorite book. You could get a year’s worth of postcards from me, sent from locations near and far. You could own the very Shure SM7B microphone I’ll be using to track all my vocals for this project. (As I type this, the mic still brand new, in the box.) Of course, you can choose to receive no gift at all and just enjoy the music and the warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get form supporting me in this project.

I’ll be running this pre-order campaign for 60 days. I hope to reach my modest funding goal by then. Any pledged funds in excess of my my goal will be used to upgrade my recording rig. (A mic preamp, for example, would be a great addition. So would a sound baffle or two.)

I’m looking forward to getting into the real work—writing and recording this new music—as soon as possible. I plan to release ‘Lower 48’ on 27 November 2014, my 48th birthday.

Thanks very much for your support.

Pre-order now to support the writing & recording of Adam Levy’s ‘Lower 48’ suite. Your pledge floats the music. #lower48