For several years, people have been singing songs at Solstice, and some of those songs have been recorded, but always as a live performance which means the quality isn't as good and the musicians are recording-in-one-take-that-includes-all-mistakes.

So, I'm finally putting together a professional Solstice Album. I recorded an initial 12 songs for $8,000 (paying for musicians and studio time), recently recorded another few songs for $2,000. Ideally I'd like at least a bit more studio time to layer in some more vocal tracks so that 2/3 of the songs aren't just me singing.

The IndieGogo campaign is here. Since I've already spent a bunch of money, it's a flexible fund campaign (however much we raise, the album will still come out, and I'll get reimbursed or whatever people put it). But the more we raise the higher quality the songs will be end up being and the more likely I'll be to take on similar projects in the future.

If you choose the Early Access tier and I know who you are (in particular, I have your email), I'll send you a link to the google drive folder with the rough cuts as soon as I can, rather than waiting till after the IndieGogo wraps up.

The Songs

These are the songs that are already recorded and guaranteed to be in the album. Some of them have links to snippets so that you can hear what the instrumentation is like:

There will be bonus tracks available at higher tiers that include rough recordings of some of the off-beat silly songs or songs that get suggested by people on the "suggest a song" tier.

The bonus tracks will also include instrumental versions of most songs so that people can sing along karaoke style, or use the backing-track for their own Solstice events if their community doesn't have musicians.

Suggest a Bonus Song

Higher level tiers include "Suggest a Bonus Song" and "Costly Signal a Bonus Song". These do not guarantee a particular bonus song, because things are expensive and the world is complicated and the campaign might not even recover the money to pay the existing expenses.

However, if there is a lot of support for a particular song getting included I will do my best to at least get a rough recording of it done, and in general, I will prioritize the bonus songs that got Signaled Hardest.

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There are 5 days remaining! If you have friends you think might like the Solstice Album, it might be worth sending them a reminder. :)

Meanwhile, people have begun weighing in on what bonus songs they want. (You should have received an email if you donated enough to suggest a bonus song)

Currently, the bonus songs suggested (ranked by number of supporters)

1. Somebody Will (5 supporters, $265 donated)
2. Beautiful Tomorrow (4 supporters, $245)
3. Stopping in the Woods (3 supporters, $275)
4. Level Up (1 supporter, $400)
5. Little Echo (1 supporter, $50)
6. Fire in the Sky (1 supporter, $50)
7. Top of Clouds (1 supporter, $15)
8. Architects of Fate (1 supporter, $15)

For people's first choice, I assigned the full amount of their donation for purposes of totaling the financial support for the song. For second choices I assigned the total amount minus $35, representing the amount above the basic "all the things" funding level.

This was a bit ad hoc (if lots of people start submitting multiple requests and it comes down to the wire of what bonus songs to record, I may ask people more specifically for the rank-ordering of their songs).

The final decision on bonus songs will still depend on a number of factors – in particular on whether there are performers available who are willing to record a given a song. Some songs require a studio in order to do a good job with it, some songs are easier to get away with a living-room recording session.


What's the proper venue to object to the admin of the site spruiking for money for his other projects?

I'm sure it matters to you but I feel like you didn't consider the conflict of interest here in making your comments.

I'm okay with one top level post, but not okay with ongoing posting.

We chatted about it, and I don't see any reason why we would stop anyone else from doing the same on their personal blog (an example of this is some of the recent discussion for the russian HPMOR printing, or the MIRI fundraiser updates, the latter of which also had an update in the comments).

Organizational updates and comments are totally fine on your personal blog, and commenting on your own post with updates is also totally fine. Agree that multiple top-level posts would be bad, but don't see any problem with commenting. I generally think we as admins should lead by example, and I don't see any particular reason why more posts and comments like this would be bad for the site (as long as they stay off the frontpage section and are of interest to people in the community).

Happy to discuss this more over in meta if you want.

Will the lyrics be included with the digital download?

If you donate $15 you can get the lyric/songchart PDF. Otherwise, lyrics are available for all the songs on the internet but won't be directly included.

IndieGogo link is broken, and I can't find the right one using google.

Hopefully fixed now.