The Dorothy Project
A ground-breaking album collaboration between electro-folk songwriter and 90-year-old poet.
“If you have failed and fallen as I have
And long to be forgiven
Walk out under the graphite sky”
~ by Dorothy Trogdon, from the poem ‘Under The Graphite Sky’
About This Project
Hello, my name is Sam Genders. I have been a musician since I was 15 and I’ve toured the world and played festivals such as Glastonbury, Latitude, Green Man, Haldern Pop and Iceland Airwaves with my various bands Tunng, The Accidental, Diagrams and Throws. Independent record label Full Time Hobby has released six of my albums, my songs have had regular airplay on BBC 6 Music, Xfm and more, and my previous band Tunng was once nominated in the UK BBC 2 Folk Awards for ‘Best Group’.
The last couple of years have taken me on an amazing journey during which I met an incredibly talented 90-year-old poet named Dorothy Trogdon, wrote an entire album’s worth of songs with her and then recorded that album with some of my all time favourite producers and musicians.
I’ve created this campaign to fulfil a life-long dream of setting up my own home-based record label so that I can self-release the album out into the world. Your generous contributions will make all of this possible:
~ designing beautiful artwork for the album
~ mastering and manufacturing the CDs and vinyl
~ making downloads available
~ distributing the album to record shops all over the world
~ promoting the album in all the right places to reach as many listeners as possible
Thank you in advance for your support!
The story so far…
This project has felt special to me from the very first time I read one of Dorothy’s poems and found myself turning it into a song in my mind. That poem was called ‘Mnemosyne’ and I loved its combination of mythological and scientific imagery along with a rich sense of human vulnerability and the precious nature of our minds, memories and fleeting lives.
I felt like a nervous kid when I emailed Dorothy to ask if she might help me write some songs and so excited when she agreed. Later on I was encouraged by how inspired people were by her involvement and I was enthused by their willingness to get involved and help make the album a reality.
Producers Mike Lindsay (Tunng, Farao, Low Roar, Speech Debelle) and Kristofer Harris (Smoke Fairies, Storybooks) offered their time, as did some brilliant instrumentalists – brass player Sam Ewens and violinist Danyal Dhondy as well as drummer Rob Wilks and singers Astra Forward and Tim Barr.
I even had a reply to a shot in the dark email I sent to world-renowned multi-instrumentalist / composer / arranger Kelly Pratt (Arcade Fire, St Vincent, David Byrne, Beirut) who agreed to record arrangements for the album.
My friend Marion, who first gave me Dorothy’s book and started this amazing journey, visited Dorothy where she lives on Orcas Island outside of Seattle, Washington State, and took my old dictaphone with her to make field recordings.
The icing on the cake was being awarded a £2,500 grant by the PRS for Music Foundation, which when added to my own savings meant I had enough to start making the album.
Towards the end of the recording process I had the privilege of visiting Dorothy for the first time. It was wonderful to meet her and spending time there gave me a real connection to the field recordings that appear on the record, such as the soft buzz of hummingbirds that feed throughout the day by Dorothy’s back door in view of the sea and nearby woodland.
This album exists because of the enthusiasm of the amazing and creative people involved. We’re all really happy with the finished result and we think people will love the record.
Our team and who we are…
My wife Sofia and I will be running this very exciting campaign from our house in Sheffield, England with a small team of friends. As you already know, I’m a musician and songwriter who has released 6 albums and toured many places around the world with the bands Tunng, The Accidental, Throws and Diagrams. I also work as a songwriter for other artists such as Liam Bailey, Ben Ottewell and more, and I run songwriting courses and teach kids guitar in primary schools.
Music, words, ideas and compassion are what most inspire me. I love science and nature.
Sofia co-founded the amazing End of the Road Festival which is held in the Dorset countryside in England each September. Her organisational skills, attention to detail and positivity are a big part of the reason the festival became so successful and she’ll be helping me run the campaign properly without me getting sidetracked by my childishly enthusiastic and sometimes confusingly random creative brain.
We have a great team of musician friends, colleagues and collaborators who are supporting this project. Thank you so much Marion McLaren, Mike Lindsay, Kristofer Harris, Kelly Pratt, Rob Wilks, Sam Ewens, Danyal Dhondy, Astra Forward, Tim Barr, Sophie Jane Mortimer, Leon Lockley, Matt Bagguley, Zoe Genders, Kate Hewett, Howard Monk, Suzie Kemner, Ian Smith, Jennifer Madeley, Tamara Gal-On, Ben Charles, Jess Roberts, Helen Mort, Niki Stevens, Guy Whittaker, Leonie Sloots, Sara Hill, Heather Hull, Mike Hull, Becky Matthews, Matt Austin, Rachel Mepsted, Jane Aspeling, Katy Blott, Lucy Jamieson and Paddy Fairlamb.
We also have a great team of music industry professionals who are on stand-by to support us with the actual album release as soon as we reach our goal, including David at Key Production, Mark at Republic of Music Distribution, Jesse Treece on artwork, James of Viaduct Promotions, Will of In House Press, Liv and Genevieve at One Beat PR, Brendan at Canvas Media PR (US), Jan at Affairs of the Heart (Germany), Justine at Boogie PR (France) and more.
What your contribution will fund
Mastering of the album – £1,000
Manufacturing of CDs, vinyl and promo copies – £3,500
Artwork + layout for manufacturing purposes – £1,500
Record label set-up, admin, accountant and AIM membership – £1,100
UK print and online press + radio for the album release campaign – £5,800
US + mainland Europe press and radio for the album release campaign – £7,500
Crowdfunding campaign management/support + Facebook advertising – £1,100
Postage & packaging for sending out albums – £2,500
Contingency – £500
Indiegogo commission + credit card fees – £2,500
Timeline – this is how we will make our goal a reality
Launch first single to press & radio + deliver download of single to all contributors
Set up record label + master the album
Create all artwork & files for the manufacturing process + set up distribution
Release second single to press & radio + order the CD & vinyl manufacturing
Receive all CDs and vinyl + sign and write personal messages
Deliver online webinar + send out all albums (incl. download) before public release
AND Release the album into the world!
Have the best THANK YOU PARTY ever!
How YOU can be a part of this
By supporting this project you’ll be making it possible for this music to go out into the world, professionally mastered with beautiful art and design.
You’ll be promoting a creatively driven project that major commercial record labels might not choose to support and you’ll be supporting Dorothy and myself in our work as writers. Dorothy’s words are intelligent, tender and thought provoking and it’s been a privilege to work with somebody with such talent and rich life experience.
I hope you’ll join us in our creative adventure and make this album release a reality:
Contribute – Each and every contribution is deeply appreciated and takes us closer to achieving our goal. No amount is too small!
Share – Every single share on social media takes us one step closer to our goal. Every person you tell about it! Every mailout to a mailing list in which The Dorothy Project is mentioned makes it more and more likely that this will happen.
Invite – Invite 20 friends to be part of this adventure on our Facebook event page. If every person who heard about this project went on to tell two other people we’d reach our goal today! Thank you 🙂
All perks will include a copy of the first single that will be yours to download in the next day or two (as soon as it’s ready)! We’re also offering signed copies of the album on CD or vinyl, and opportunities to connect more closely with me through my online talks, one-to-one Skype sessions and songwriting courses. And maybe we’ll have the pleasure of your delightful company at our ‘Thank You Party’?
A project like this succeeds because of the belief and support of generous people like you. If we can make this dream a reality – as we believe we can – it will be because of your decision to help make this project happen.
We would like to say a huge thank you for every contribution, every share and invite and every ounce of goodwill that you decide to offer. Every single contribution helps – no matter what size it is.
If you do get involved and if our paths cross sometime in the future, maybe at a festival, concert or reading, please come and say hello so we can shake your hand and say a personal thank you.
There is so much goodwill around this project and we’d love you to be a part of this creative adventure with us. Thank you.
Sam and Sofia