Hello world, Robbie
Ellis here. For the last six years, I've been writing and
performing comedy songs. Now I want to produce a proper studio
You may know me as a composer, as
director for theatre/improv/sketch, or as a classical music
broadcaster. You may know me from Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin
or Chicago. You probably know that I have a unique point of view on
I express that through comedy songs of
strange subject matter, including root vegetables,
literature, cycling, classical music, drinking, not drinking, being
a New Zealander in the US surrounded by bad coffee, and love.
For my first NZ visit in 2 years, I've booked time at Orange Studios in
Christchurch and Ellamy
Studios in Auckland. I've lined up some fantastic players
Audain and Sarah
McCracken. Now I just need to pay for all this.
The goal of this campaign is NZ$9,000 (approx. US$6,800). After
success fees, that'll just about cover studio time for recording
and mixing, and professional fees for session musicians on winds,
brass, strings, guitar and drums.
I'm contributing plenty of money myself, not to mention a
million little jobs that a producer does. As well as arranging all
the music, I'll be singing; playing piano, bass guitar and double
bass; doing A LOT of the donkey-work of editing the takes together.
I'll have square eyes by the end of it, I'm sure.
I want an album I'll be proud of, and one you'll be proud of
too. Please give generously, and when it comes out on Spotify you
can pay nothing to stream it guilt-free. Thank you.
- Hey Chicagoland! Come to MCL Chicago on Sunday
September 10 at 8pm. I'll perform songs from this upcoming
album, and there'll also be musical theatre, musical sketch, and
guest artists. Tickets are $25 in advance from this webpage
ATTENTION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
- If you donate NZ$50.00 here, that'll be close to US$38.00.
- If you donate NZ$100.00, that'll be roughly US$76.00.
- If you donate NZ$1000.00, I will love you for all
Caveat: exchange rates go up and down, your bank may charge an
international transaction fee, I can't help that sorry, check with
your credit card provider because some charge fees and some
Album fully tracked.
4 MONTHS AGO
Hello world! An update on my album.
After eight days in the studio - 1 at Ellamy Studios in Auckland, 7 at Orange Studios in Christchurch - my album is 100%* tracked. I have preliminary mixes of all 15 songs, although some need some fine tweaks with editing.
Right now I am forgetting about the album for 2.5 weeks while my lovely girlfriend (happy birthday, Jen) is in New Zealand for the first time and I'm showing her around. Greetings from Arrowtown by the way. I'm going to forget about the album entirely before re-embarking on edits once I'm back in Chicago.
In alphabetical order, my songs are:
- An Icelandic Psychedelic Rock Song About Poland
- Bike Lane
- Book Club
- Dry July
- Flat White
- Flying Monkeys
- How Many Legs
- I Am a Cat
- Love is a Four-Letter Word
- Root Vegetable Opera
- Symphony No 1 in Eb
- Ukulele Comedy Song
- Where I'm From
Dry July took the longest to track... possibly 10-11 hours all up? Ukulele Comedy Song took 25 minutes.
I so far credit the following people (in order):
- Louis Bernstone (tracking engineer)
- Jono Sawyer (drums)
- Michael Bell (tracking engineer)
- Robbie Ellis (bass guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals, double bass, ukulele, percussion)
- Sarah McCracken (violin)
- Jiwon Lee (violin)
- Pippa Mills (viola)
- Naomi Hnat (cello)
- Yvette Audain (clarinet & alto saxophone)
- Kira Josephson, Charlotte Elsie Crone, Brendon Bennetts, Kris Finnerty, Michael Bell (crowd vocals)
- Anthony Ferner (flute, piccolo & alto flute)
- Thomas Eves (trumpets)
- Chris Petch (trombone)
- Matt Griffo (tracking engineer & crowd vocals)
- Zach Stinnett (crowd vocals)
- Thom O'Connor (mix & tracking engineer)
- Tom Harris (accordion)
- Jennifer Stuart (whistling)
Timeline from here: not releasing anything until the new year. Let's be realistic. Maybe February? I hope!
Personal thanks at 450 syllables per second.
6 MONTHS AGO
One last crowdfunding video upon my campaign success - this is a personal thank you to every donor in the style of the Animaniacs. Also there's some Tchaikovsky and I retire the bad violin once and for all.
Spot your name in the video!
All session musicians are booked, the music's almost all arranged, and tracking starts on October 3. 10 days until I fly out!
6 MONTHS AGO
Oh hi! If you’re reading this on Boosted’s website, you can see I reached my donation target - and with 32 hours to spare! To the 111 of you who donated, thank you. Thank you, merci, danke, gracias. Wow.
While I’m overjoyed because I can now pay my players and studios, I am still covering other expenses out of my own pocket. For example:
- Mastering! This costs $70+GST per track - so that’ll be nearly $1000 total.
- Artwork! I’m guessing this’ll be three figures? Haven’t actually got a quote from any designer but I’m budgeting $400-$500.
- CD manufacture! I know it’s 2017, but some music consumers still prefer physical media. An initial run of 300 CDs will set me back around $1500.
Put it this way, I'm not going to say no to more money.
There are still benefits to donating by the way: if I get your email address, you’ll get a digital preview copy of the album before everyone else, plus I’ll feature your name in an Animaniacs-style list song of all donors.
For now, I’ll leave you with 98.7 WFMT’s traditional sound of fundraising success, performed by my hometown orchestra:
And thank you!
The final pitch!
6 MONTHS AGO
Hello wonderful donors! With just 64 hours to go, I'm so so so close. I've made one final video addressing the Who, the What and the Why of my album:
Thank you to those who have donated already, but would you do one more favour? Tell a friend. Tell two friends. Tell your jokester friend. Tell the one with the dryest sense of humour. Tell the wryest. The wriest? The most wry. Tell the dry, the wry, tell Stephen Fry. (Do any of you legitimately know Stephen Fry?)
Only 13 days until I fly out of Chicago, and only 21 days until my first day of album tracking. I really must finish all that arranging.
Bad Violin Vol. 2
6 MONTHS AGO
Hello world! Some of you asked for more bad violin playing. Not enough of you asked for no more bad violin playing. Below, I attempt the Sibelius Violin Concerto (abridged).
Please, tell your friends about #RobbieMakesAnAlbum - I should have made it a hashtag from the beginning. Share this project page and get that funding:
Enjoy [sic] the video. 9 days to go!
6 MONTHS AGO
Thank you for all your support again - it's almost the halfway
point of the crowdfunding campaign, and almost halfway to the
$9,000 goal for Robbie Makes an Album.
In true chain letter style, please pass this message on to 10
friends or you will be cursed with bad luck in love for a
To underline the importance of paying professional players to
get the best result possible, I made a video of my own violin
playing. Which of Vivaldi's Four Seasons sounds the worst? Ever
wanted to hear The Lark Ascending plummet to earth? Hear me put the
"no" in Pachelbel's Canon, and... well... "enjoy" the video.
Also, if you're in Chicago, don't forget to book for my album
fundraiser on Sunday September 10. Presales are cheaper than door
sales, just saying. Book here:
Okay thanks everyone!
Thanks to the first 50 donors!
6 MONTHS AGO
Hello world! Just over one week in, and nearly at 30% funded. Thank you for all your support. Tell you what: how about you tell a friend or two about this? Or all of your friends. That works too.
In the video below, I thank each one of my first 50 donors individually in the style of the Animaniacs. It only took me 12 takes. Enjoy my video and tell all your friends that you were mentioned in song!
Also, you can book right now for my fundraiser gig at MCL Chicago on Sunday September 10. More details here: http://www.mclchicago.com/robbie-ellis.html
Enjoy the video!