Posts Tagged ‘The Dark Mountain Project’

An Introduction to Dark Mountain

April 17, 2014

I can recommend Dark Mountain, an anthology of essays, prose, poetry and art from The Dark Mountain Project.

Over Christmas, I read most of Dark Mountain 4.

The last couple of days, Dark Mountain 5 was published.

Rather than order Dark Mountain 5, and keep having to use their website to order each volume afresh, which is a pain in the neck, I have taken out a subscription, which had the added bonus of letting me order Dark Mountain 5 at a discount. I could have ordered two volumes at an even greater discount, but it only gave a choice of Volume 4 or Volume 5.

Dark Mountain was an annual publication, the funds raised for each volume raised through crowd funding. To put it on a more secure footing, it is now funded through subscription, with two volumes a year.

The books are not available as e-books. This is a mistake. E-books reach a far wider audience, the reader may not have the pleasure of a real book, but at least they will not be denied the pleasure of the contents. I suggest publish on leanpub, set a low minimum price, with the option to pay more.

There are zero marginal costs with e-books, therefore set the price less than a dollar, with the option to pay more. This would mark a move towards the collaborative commons, the gift economy.

Dark Mountain is a collaborative venture. Contributors do not get paid, in return, they receive a copy of Dark Mountain to which they have contributed.

The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers in search of new stories for troubled times. We promote and curate writing, art, music and culture rooted in place, time and nature.

Note: Haunting music in the video is by Evi Vine.

From the Mourning of the World

December 2, 2013
From the Mourning of the World

From the Mourning of the World

I love the album artwork.

I tend not to like compilation albums, even when by the same artist. If several artists, it is best seen as a sampler.

I though make an exception for From the Mourning of the World, an eclectic mix put together by Marmeduke Dando for The Dark Mountain Project. I can see I am going to have to follow up each and every one of the artists on this album.

At £10, From the Mourning of the World, is though way overpriced, and as a sampler, even more so. This is not even for a CD, it is for a digital download.

When I see street musicians selling CDs at £10, I tell them no, sell for £5.

At Staycation Live, both Staycation Live 2012 and Staycation 2013, nearly everyone was selling at £5.

For a fiver you will take a chance, at a tenner, you will think twice.

If it is a sampler, then why no links for the various artists?

The Sonic Arcana was inspired by a tarot card set, with links to the contributors.

Dark Mountain Project tried crowd sourcing to raise the money for From the Mourning of the World. Crowd sourcing is great if you have the fan base and the means to reach beyond that fan base. If not, you will fail.

Dark Mountain Project used IndieGogo, which I have never heard of. Again no links. They failed to reach their target, raising only £3,000 of the requested £5,000. This was to fund their limited edition 400 copies vinyl release of From the Mourning of the World.

Why no CD? I can see Dark Mountain wish to make it a quality hand-crafted limited edition, hence the LP format, but it does not have to be in a jewel case.

The figures do not stack up. Let us assume limited release of 500 (the crowd-source fundraiser says 500) and set aside digital downloads. £5,000 works out at £10 per album.

But at least they have released on bandcamp.

The crowd source fund raiser says download CD quality for £10. Bandcamp enables FLAC downloads. I would expect much better than CD quality. I would expect studio, master tape, quality.

A classic case of how not to.

The FingerPainting Sessions, Vol I and Vol II digital downloads a fiver each, or buy as double CD album for £12.

Hope & Social give their music away, at least they do for digital downloads. For CDs, pay what you think it is worth, minimum price based on production cost. And guess what? They are making more money, and having more fun, than when they followed the conventional model of being on a corporate record label.

Check out Cotton Wool and Knotted Wood. That there is a low or free price or pay what you think it is worth, does not mean people pay that low price, or take for nothing, they will generally pay more.

I came across From the Mourning of the World via Transition Free Press, serendipity in discovery, and ironically learnt more about the album, the cover artist and a couple of the artists, than I did from the album on bandcamp!

The amazing cover art, which I’d love as an original painting, is by artist Rima Staines.

The compilation put together by singer-songwriter Marmeduke Dando, whose own song, From the Mourning of the World, or at least his performance of, is not included on the album.

From their IndieGogo crowdsourcing, information obtained from Transition Free Press, I found details and links for all the contributors.

The Dark Mountain Project is a network of writers, artists and thinkers in search of new stories for troubled times. We promote and curate writing, art, music and culture rooted in place, time and nature.

The Dark Mountain Project began with a Manifesto in 2009.