Hi Friends and Family,
I’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign to finance the mastering and vinyl pressing of one of my favorite self-released albums. You can read about my reasons for doing so below or go straight to the campaign here.
I have been recording and performing experimental music under the name Luciernaga (Firefly) since 2010. In that time, I have released a good number of cassettes, compact discs and a 7″ under the moniker. I have given my music away (for free) to short films, web series, as well as to listeners via my Bandcamp page, and I contributed music to and curated an experimental music compilation to benefit refugees from the Middle East which resulted in two generous donations to the International Rescue Committee.
This project also led to the birth of Fabrica Records, a passion project and effort to support other musicians by releasing their music on cassette, cd and vinyl. While I truly love the opportunities that Fabrica has given me to interact with and release music by artists whom I love and admire, as a “business” it has consistently been in the red. Experimental music, without a budget for promotional campaigns or high-profile PR, can easily become nearly invisible in a crowded scene. Thus, I cannot afford to release this LP on my own, which is why I’ve started this campaign to raise funds for its mastering and production. Whatever amount you donate, you will get something from me in return. Whether it’s digital or analog, I will likely include additional perks like extra downloads, extra copies of out-of-print material, concert posters and flyers, etc.
I recorded and released It Takes Strength To Be Gentle And Kind in 2018, during the second year of living under one of the most bigoted and mean-spirited White House administrations in my lifetime. As a brown man, and a first generation immigrant, this administration’s policies, pronouncements and actions (clearly intended to oppress, scare and demonize immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, LGBTQ+ people, and many others) are particularly insidious. They hit home, and they hit hard. The rhetoric and resulting performance of that rhetoric (by everyone from a right-wing media figure to a TSA agent) make one feel as though you are under siege, as if you were an outsider, rejected by the very place you call home. It is an administration bent on re-defining America as a white-christian-straight nation, something it never was and never will be. In this environment, it’s easy to fall into despair and allow hopelessness to take over. I know, because I’ve been there. But I have found that the best form of resistance, or act of self-defense, is to do my best to treat everyone I encounter with respect, and with kindness. This does not mean we should not continue to organize and work for a better world, nor cease to call out those who verbally, physically or psychologically assault us and other vulnerable human beings. We cannot afford to do that now. However, how we treat each other, on a day to day basis, matters far more and will have a much more long-lasting impact than any 4 or 8-year administration ever could. It takes strength to disarm bigotry with gentleness and kindness.
When I play/perform/music I find a moment in time to relax and meditate. While improvising on the guitar, on a shruti box, synthesizer or drum, I strive to let go. To let the body and mind act freely, without premeditation. The results are as real and honest as they can be. This is why I do very little editing and rarely do overdubs. Luciernaga music is me, and I am Luciernaga music.
To master this recording for vinyl, I hope to work with Timothy Stollenwerk. He has consistently brought forth new layers of sounds and tonalities when mastering recordings for cassette, vinyl and cd releases on Fabrica Records. I trust Tim completely to bring out the best of these very raw and lo-fi home recordings. To press the records, I will use Gotta Groove, a U.S.-based full-service record pressing plant that presses their records domestically.