Pacific Harp Project's 2nd Album

$2,670 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 15 months

Praised for their “engaging jazz…with scintillating plays of light and subtle colors” by DownBeat Magazine, Pacific Harp Project’s emergence on the jazz scene has surprised listeners with a unique sonic experience. By incorporating classical harp music into the realms of jazz, pop, and fusion, this groundbreaking group “leads the listener to the conclusion: The harp has been unchained” (AllAboutJazz.com).

PHP was founded in 2014 and released their eponymous debut album in December, 2015 with a sold-out concert. The album won the 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, and received positive reviews from DownBeat Magazine, Jazz Weekly, CD Hotlist, AllAboutJazz.com, The Aquarian Weekly, TheJazzPage.com, Midwest Record, LA Jazz Scene, Honolulu Star Advertiser, and ASX.com. PHP has performed throughout Hawaii at such venues as Blue Note Hawaii, Hawaii Theatre, Atherton Performing Arts Studio, Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Pacific Club, Orvis Auditorium, and Medici's Jazz Club.

PHP formed when Megan Bledsoe Ward, a classically-trained harpist, teamed up with acclaimed jazz musicians Noel Okimoto (vibraphone), Todd Yukumoto (saxophones), Jon Hawes (bass), and Allan Ward (drums). Bledsoe Ward wanted to approach jazz harp from a new perspective, leaning on her experience in classical performing, composing, and arranging. CD Hotlist notes: “When she ventures into the very dangerous territory of arranging classical pieces in a jazz style, she comes out the other side not just unscathed but triumphant.” The result is an innovative collaboration in which the musicians delight in working together and captivating audiences at each performance.

To continue our mission of unique innovation and collaboration, our next step is to record a second album. We will reach even more new audiences by including music from other cultures and disciplines. Our sophomore recording will feature collaborations with Kenny Endo (Taiko Master), Allen Won (Saxophonist), and Jamie Jordan (Vocalist). Each musician brings unique expertise to the group, ranging from traditional to contemporary styles, including jazz, classical, pop, and reggae. In our collaborative efforts, we are now producing a style of music which has previously never been recorded or performed.

This album will also be distributed digitally; it will therefore serve communities worldwide. We will use this recording to create educational material that will be available on our website for free. K-12 teachers will be able to access this material for use in the classroom to teach age-appropriate music concepts.

We will spend four days in July recording at Island Sound Studios with internationally-renowned audio engineer Milan Bertosa. Mr. Bertosa will also mix and master the album. We will then perform a CD release concert at Atherton Performing Arts Studio.

Campaign funds will be used for recording studio rental, audio engineering, mixing, mastering, and CD production.

We would be so grateful for your support of this campaign! I'm thrilled about our exciting new music and it would mean the world to me to be able to share it with you.

For more information about Pacific Harp Project, visit us on our website, our Facebook page , or our YouTube page .
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THANK YOU to all our amazing GoFundMe donors!! You made this project possible, and I am thrilled to share with you that the CDs are completed and set to be released next Friday, Feb. 15. On the release day, CDs, digital downloads, and album streaming will be available on all major music listening platforms: CD Baby, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

If you signed up for a reward including a hard copy of the album, you should have received it by now. If your reward included a digital download, the download cards have been sent out and will be active on Feb. 15.

If you haven't received your reward by next week, please let me know.

I'm so happy with how this project turned out, and I can't thank you enough for all your support and encouragement. I hope you enjoy the album!
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Hi All,

I wanted to update you on the album production. In short, everything is going great! We have finished the "mixing" process and now the album is getting "mastered." This is like adding icing to the cake - it will smooth out all the audio and ensure that the sound levels are consistent and playable on the radio.

After several months of editing, deleting, and rewriting, I finally finished the liner notes for the album. This might have been the hardest part for me!

We've been working with a design team to create the layout and artwork for the packaging, and I saw proofs of the design yesterday. It looks really great and is very close to being finalized.

Finally, we have set two important dates, so be sure to mark your calendars:

1. Friday, Dec. 21 will be our CD Pre-Release Concert at the Doris Duke Theatre in Honolulu. I'm THRILLED that we will have all our guest artists performing with us: Kenny Endo, Allen Won, and Jamie Jordan. It's not to be missed!

2. The official release date for the album will be Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

I'll send out pre-release albums for GoFundMe rewards next month. If you signed up for a T-Shirt or VIP concert tickets, I'll be in touch in the next couple weeks with details about those rewards.

THANK YOU ALL for your continued support of this project! I'm extremely proud of how the album is turning out, and it would not have been possible without you. THANK YOU and happy holidays!!

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We had an absolutely amazing experience recording our second album! We welcomed guest vocalist Jamie Jordan from NYC and taiko master Kenny Endo. They both add so much color, beauty, and creativity to our sound! Our audio engineer, Milan Bertosa, joined us from Las Vegas, and he makes the whole process run smoothly and efficiently. Plus he makes all the instruments sound just incredible with crystal-clear, warm tones. I'm still overwhelmed by how wonderful it was to work with such masters of their respective crafts. It was truly a collaborative effort. I can't wait to share this music with you!

The next step for the album will be for Milan to begin the mixing process. Guest saxophonist Allen Won will also record his feature pieces remotely from his studio in New Jersey. The mixing process will take several months of fine-tuning, but I'll continue to share updates as the project progresses.

We still have a ways to go, so please continue sharing this campaign fund-raiser with your friends and family. And most importantly, THANK YOU for supporting our project and for helping to make this happen! We couldn't do it without you!!
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We're just a week away from recording our album! We've been diligently preparing with weekly rehearsals, individual practice, tweaking musical details, and planning all the logistics of recording.

One important aspect of our preparation is to make sure our instruments are in peak condition. Allan has been testing out different drums and drum heads to ensure that his kit sounds exactly the way he wants it. I spent a couple days last week putting all new strings on the harp. The tone sounds much more resonant and pure now!

In case you've ever wondered how to change harp strings, here's a picture of my setup, including new strings, a tuning key, wire cutters (for the bass strings), nail clippers (for the nylon and gut strings in the upper registers), and the ever-important cup of green tea.

I also took a little time-lapse video as I replaced one string...just imagine doing this 47 times!

THANK YOU for all of your generous donations and encouragement in this endeavor. I could NOT be more excited for next week's recording, and we couldn't do it without you!!
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$2,670 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 15 months
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