What’s Up With the Balkan Rock Opera?

15 Oct

Some of you care! I had no idea. Well, here’s the deal:

I spent the first half of this year writing a 90 minute rock opera meant to be played by an actual 6 piece band (drums, bass, guitar, keys, accordion and fiddle. Ethnic instruments can also be added) and sung by 4 singers. A couple people i know here in the Balkans thought they might be able to snag some financing so i let them give it a try.

After completing the initial composition and full demo i took a pause and put it down even thought i knew there were some rough patches. It was a good time to take a break on it and see how the financing went. I turned my attention to the weird west cabaret which is currently my consuming obsession, but which is likely to be finished in a month as soon as the singers complete their work.

The financing went nowhere. That isnt going to happen. A little bit ago i stuck the thing in my car stereo and gave it a listen. I discovered that 2/3 of it is totally awesome and 1/3 of it blows. Not bad, i know how to fix it.

To hire the musicians and singers i need to record it i would need 6,000 euros. 8,000 is ideal but it can be done for 6k. I cannot finance it myself since… i’m a musician. Everything that comes in is used to keep my family alive and happy and i have no savings whatsoever. Thus the only way it’s going to happen is through a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

To be bluntly honest, i don’t believe that i can raise 6,000 euros in a kickstarter campaign. Just speaking practically i dont actually think i can do it. Left without options however i have no choice but to attempt it. I have never personally run a kickstarter. I would be wise to find someone who has succesfully run a few and take their advice. You know anyone?

After i release the Cabaret which is all i am consumed with at the moment, i swear to you i am going to make this a freaking great album or die trying, i will turn my attention back to the rock opera. It will likely be titled Hajduk and Janissary. I will start a campaign and see how far i can get. I will fix the sucky 1/3. I will hire 6 musicians… you must understand balkan musicians make less than any other musicina on earth. It’s horrifying. I’ve seen 30 something year old seasoned professionals making 5 bucks a gig. I am going to use that kickstarter money to pay them what they’re worth. 

Anyway, if i can raise enough i will hite the musicians and singers, rehearse them for a couple weeks then send them into a studio to record the songs. We will record live. In other words, instead of everyone laying down their tracks separately, they will enter the studio well rehearsed and play the songs all together. Then i’ll bring in the singers. It is theoretically possible to do the entire recording in a week, but we will plan on a bit more. No more than 2 weeks though. While i will oversee the entire process i will not play or perform on the album.

And then we will have a 90 minute rock opera. Hopefully. In theory. We shall see.


Posted by on October 15, 2016 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “What’s Up With the Balkan Rock Opera?

  1. J

    October 16, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Hey… best of luck with the kickstarter/indiegogo/whatever. Probably would be best to set it with a low goal (or fund regardless of whether or not the goal is hit, if the platform allows that), though I know I’ll at least try to get whatever word out I can if/when that happens.

    It really does suck how little musicians get paid, between both low-costing albums, the increased use of streaming (which favors big artists over small artists because of the weighting of their payouts), and how greedy labels are, for the artists who use them. I don’t know what the solution is – though I’ve certainly seen crowdfunding do some good stuff, between Devin Townsend’s “Casualties of Cool’, Richard Campbell’s stage performance of “Frankenstein”, the Mechanisms’ albums, and the new music videos by Johnny Hollow and Psyche Corp.

    Probably one key thing if you do one is to try to cross-promote. You’ve mentioned things like “The Bifrost Incident” here, which is how I found out about it and wound up pledging US$100. If you mention stuff like that, other artists might reciprocate such promotion (and if I actually get my blog up before such a thing, I’d mention it there, though that would likely have a miniscule following).

    Another thought: If you have the whole thing done as demos with guide vocals, you could perhaps release that (for $10, or as a pledge reward), and put that funding towards recording the full version.

    Regardless, in whatever you do: Best of luck!

  2. James Gibson

    October 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    J raises a good point – The Mechanisms just successfully crowdfunded their fourth album, might be worth getting in touch with them? I occasionally speak with their lead singer, should I ask?

  3. paulms

    October 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Ben Below contacted me and offered to give any advice or answer any questions i might have, which i will definitely be taking him up on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: