I’ve commissioned this lovely piece of artwork from Arkady Rose:
All new supporters at my Patreon page during the month of November will get a copy of this in postcard format (unless you don’t give me your address, obviously). Further, patrons at the $5 level will be sent a new postcard quarterly, and at $10 and $15 will be sent multiple copies — one with a message for you, and one or more to send on to others. If you’re in the UK, the postcards should arrive in time for you to send them on to someone else for Christmas, if you’re quick.
So, why are you doing this?
I’ve had some big changes in the last few months. I’ve taken a one-year sabbatical from my work at St Andrew’s Leytonstone, and given up other paying work in London. I’ve started a PhD in contemporary sacred choral composition at the University of Aberdeen, studying with Professor Paul Mealor. I’m continuing to live in London, but visiting Aberdeen as often as I can.
Unsurprisingly, giving up my regular paid employment in favour of something that costs money (tuition fees and travel are the big ones) has led to finances that are rather stretched. More patrons are the most effective way for me to improve that situation while continuing to do what I love: writing great music that is free for anyone to download and sing.
I’m already a patron — do I get a postcard?
Probably! Have a look at the re-vamped reward levels, you may find you’ve already pledged an amount suitable for postcards, in which case you’ll get this one. But I can’t send you anything if I don’t have your address, so make sure your pledge includes that.
What is Patreon, anyway?
Patreon is a crowdfunding platform where you pledge to support people who are creating something of value to the wider community, but which may be difficult to sell through traditional channels. You can pledge any amount you like — my lowest suggested pledge is USD $3 but there are people who pledge USD $1 — for each new choral work I produce, and you can also cap your contributions on a monthly basis. I usually finish about one new work per month, but some months it’s two and some I don’t manage to put anything online at all.
Why is this better than just buying your music?
First of all, I don’t have a traditional publisher! None of the ones I’ve approached so far were happy for me to put my music online for free, and I’m not willing to budge on that. But also, if you support me at Patreon I get about 90% of what you pay: 5% goes to Patreon, and about another 5% on various banking fees. That’s better than anything I’d get with printed sheet music, and in turn that enables to keep sharing my music with anyone who wants it.
So what’s in it for me?
There’s nothing like the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you’re supporting someone who is trying to do some good in the world, and I hope that’s your primary motivation. But this isn’t just about postcards: supporters at Patreon also get access to my patron-only feed, where I post works in progress and talk about them, and there are other reward levels too, from postcards to getting printed music sent to you in the post to commissioning new works.
If you’re already a supporter, thank you so much. It really does make a difference! If not, and you’d like to contribute, please head over to my Patreon page and check it out — or share this post with people you think might be interested.