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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


On Being Overwhelmed

Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

November 22, 1999

Hello Friends,

1

Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar has been a tremendous success. After less than five years, we have interviewed 115 guests (some more than once), created 235 two-hour programs and several special eight-hour programs, hosted the groundbreaking cybercast from Amsterdam, hosted six in-studio concerts including a thee-hour opera with ensemble of 40, and helped establish an on-line mentoring program in composition. Our award-winning website has 4,000 documents and over 500 hours of archived audio. Our site has welcomed more than 122,000 unique visitors to view composer pages, resource pages, essays and other features.

2

K&D is expensive. Aside from 20 or more hours each week, Kalvos & Damian has cost its hosts about $30,000. Of that amount, less than $5,000 has been raised from contributors, and the debt is now a hurt. Earning money to cover K&D expenses has cut into our ability to compose. The K&D show was to be our contribution to our composer colleagues. We enjoy it. We don't want to stop doing it, or even reduce our presence. But we have reached one of those nexus points. We are overwhelmed.

3

K&D demands time. David Gunn (the "Damian" of K&D) listens to and chooses music, writes a weekly essay, creates the phenomenal Best of the Bazaar sound collages (46 stunning six-minute creations so far), clips and mixes our show IDs, and edits each composer interview into coherent form for placement on the individual web pages. And, of course, he co-hosts and co-engineers the show. And I (the "Kalvos") also listen to and choose music, co-host and co-engineer the show, handle guest scheduling and visitor support, obtain clearances and fend off legal challenges, and maintain every file and document on the main website and its mirror.

4

K&D demands cash. We have purchased computer goods and services specifically for K&D (scanner, printer, disk drives, sound cards, editing software, domain registration, etc.), purchased audio equipment (four DAT machines, more than 1,000 DAT tapes, 2,000 cassettes, 500 CDRs, and other supplies), incur ordinary weekly travel expenses (a 50-mile round-trip for each of us), and pay all the costs for our interview tours. We accommodate visiting composers with meals and housing, convert their recordings into broadcastable form, and record their concerts. Indeed, about one in ten compositions you can hear nowhere but on K&D.

5

K&D has plans for 2000-2001. We have another New York interview tour on January 3-5, and plan tours of Montréal and San Francisco. We hope to cybercast the 25th anniversary Gimik Ensemble concerts from six European cities. We have begun an Asian composers interview project. We'd like to do an on-line mentoring series again. And in just 18 months, we plan to produce the K&D "Ought-One" (or "Aught-One", if you like!) Festival, bringing together many of our guest composers for a week-long event during the beautiful Vermont summer. A major project upcoming is the transcription of all our interviews (120 archived and another 20 being recorded within a month) for posting on K&D. This is part of our K&D website accessibility initiative, as well as a way of preserving the interviews and including them in a fin-de-siècle book on composers.

6

We are not good hustlers or grant writers. Though we've applied for many, not a single grant has been received. In the digital stone age when we pioneered clips in RealAudio 1.0, no agency knew what the Web was, much less how audio got there or got listened to. Now, with huge audio sites like mp3.com and grant mills like NPR, on-line music is everywhere. Dot-coms flourish and well-connected dot-orgs shovel in donations. We look insignificant in this digital gold rush -- and we probably look foolish for not cashing in with everyone else! Maybe we were, because now we have to ask for your help.

7

Here is what we need: Help and money. Help with scheduling interviews and concerts, gathering clearances, and obtaining contributions of consumables. And money. If each of our guests could raise $100 for us (for U.S. contributors, K&D is a project of the 501c3 tax-exempt Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble), that would get us enough money to cover expenses and get our transcription project underway. We're not asking you to contribute (unless, of course, you can afford to), but to raise it for us -- ask a friend or an employer or a record company that publishes your CDs. We can't take advertising -- neither at the Goddard College website nor at the kalvos.org mirror -- but we will accept sponsorship in the amount of at least $100 for each show and announce the name of the sponsoring individual or business. We are negotiating with a distributor to put clickable links on our playlists so visitors can buy your CDs, for which we get a small commission.

8

Pass along our request for help. Please read our Kalvos & Damian Newsletter and download a copy of our Report to Contributors for last year and the Report Supplement. With those in hand, please help us raise $10,000 to open the door to our 2000-2001 projects. You can make pledges via email to Contact Form and send the contributions by postal mail to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, Kalvos & Damian, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield VT 05663 USA. Make all checks payable to "VCME/K&D". (For contributors outside North America who cannot draw on a U.S bank, please contact us and we'll provide a way to receive the gift.)

Many thanks to everyone for your support,

Dennis