Wednesday, May 24, 2006

DC Improvisers Collective - and you

Dear friends and family,

I'd like to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last several years. My career as a composer and performing musician has come a long way and I owe you all a big heartfelt thanks.

I'd also like to share an opportunity with you, to join the Improv Arts Commissioning Club.

Last summer, I assembled a "Jonathan Matis Commissioning Club" to raise funds for my participation in the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium including composing a new work for the ensemble FIREWORKS. That effort was very successful, and really helped move my career forward.

This model of support is now being expanded. Daniel Burkholder and I have formed a nonprofit organization called Improv Arts, Inc., that provides a framework for supporting our new dance and music projects: our collaborative work as well as our individual projects.

We have received a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to support my latest endeavor: a studio recording of the DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC). This is an ensemble that I founded a few years ago, to serve as a laboratory for exploring free improvisation in music, as well as methods for developing structured improv pieces. DCIC has consistently provided a very challenging work environment where I'm pushed hard to keep up with a group of ridiculously talented musicians.

During the first week of June, DCIC: Ben Azzara (drums), Mike Sebastian (saxophones and bass clarinet) and myself, will be working at a local studio called Silver Sonya. This is a studio adjacent to / sharing the tracking room (the space where we actually play) with the legendary Inner Ear studio, a facility famous for recording many of the area's punk and hardcore bands (Fugazi, etc.). We will be working with Chad Clark (of the band Beauty Pill), who is a gifted artist and top-notch audio engineer. Needless to say, I'm very excited about this opportunity.

Our budget for the recording process and the associated marketing to record labels is $4,000. Thanks to the grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and several major gifts to the Improv Arts Commissioning Club, we are already halfway to our goal.

This is where you come in. By joining the club, you can play an active role in producing our new album, and support the creation of new, innovative music right here in the DC area.

All club members will receive an invitation to our pre-release launch party (date and location TBA). We'll have a chance to listen to the tracks and party like rock stars, even though it will be a few months until the business end of the commercial release is worked out.

Join the club at the $50 level, "The Fan Club," and receive a copy of the CD when it is released, along with the option to buy additional copies at cost, for sharing with friends and family.

Join the club at the $100 level, "The DCIC super-fans," and receive all of the above, plus a limited edition pre-release copy of the album (please don't leak it on the internet).

Join the club at the $250 level, "Recording Sponsors," and receive all of the above plus a credit in the liner notes as a project sponsor.

Join the club at the $500 level, "Executive Producer," and receive all of the above and a special Executive Producer credit on the CD.

or feel free to join the club at any amount you'd like.

With your help, I am confident that we can raise the additional $2,000 needed to complete the project, and produce a fabulous recording. You can join online using the links above, or mail your tax-deductible gift to:

Improv Arts, Inc.
6003 44th Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781

Thank you so much for all of your support - and I look forward to sharing the results of our recording project very soon. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or suggestions. I'm always happy to hear from you!

Jonathan Morris (Matis)

P.S. Please remember to check with your employer to see if matching gifts are available. I'm happy to help you with any paperwork that may require.

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