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A Solidarity Project
A compilation album featuring songs by various artists of different musical styles, each one affected by the cancellations of concerts due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The idea behind the project was to generate awareness of the urgent economic situation in which many artists find themselves since the spread of the coronavirus, and to offer the public a way to support some of them.
With love from Barcelona. ?
Below is a list of the incredible artists who participated in the compilation – from Grammy nominees to winners of the European Blues Challenge, from soul singers to rock artists, from summer festival favorites to artists fresh off their tours of Mexico and South America. Click on their names, below, to check out their websites.
Los Mambo Jambo Arkestra
A Contra Blues
Alma de Boquerón
Amor en los Tiempos de Cuarentena (“Love in a Time of Quarantine”) was born.
“We have to keep going at this time of global crisis. I love the community of musicians that we have in Barcelona, and I wanted to support it. I wanted them to know that they’re not alone, and I want them to survive to keep making music,” said Glass Mountain Records founder Tori Sparks in an interview with Radio4.
These are people who play in benefit concerts, who support their communities, and now they need some love right back. We believed that if you, our friends and our fans, had the opportunity to actively support the people who make the music that you love, you would – and you did.
This idea was turned into a reality via the crowdfunding platform Verkami. You received collection of awesome tunes in exchange : a truly limited-edition album that is not available in stores, online, or on streaming platforms.
Music is always a part of the fabric of our lives, but now more than ever we depend on it to lift us up in these difficult, uncertain times. Some of us are in quarantine or sheltering in place, unable to leave our homes. Some of us are just worried about the future. In the midst of all this darkness, musicians around the world are offering a little happiness and a little hope – hundreds of free concerts in streaming! Online music festivals! You can enjoy hundreds of thousands of their songs, also for free, via YouTube or Spotify playlists. That’s just awesome.
And while the musicians love that you’re enjoying the music, and they’re happy to help make this global emergency seem a little less terrible and overwhelming for everyone, they’re feeling pretty overwhelmed too.
Spotify, YouTube, streaming concerts: these ways of enjoying music involve little to no financial compensation for the artists. That’s right – no money at all. (To find out how many streams it takes to make just one dollar on YouTube, check out this article.)
Music isn’t just beautiful background noise to the people who create it: it’s also their livelihood. It’s how they feed their kids and pay their bills. Right now, many of them can’t. Most of them have had 100% of their work cancelled from March 2020 through as far as 2021. No partial salary, no unemployment. No government assistance or private funding. From one day to the next, all money for basics like rent, food, and utilities were simply gone.
Tori was sitting at home in quarantine, looking out at the deserted street and thinking, “what can we do?”
We launched crowdfunding campaign via Verkami, offering a ton of cool rewards depending on how much you wanted like to give: Digital download of the album, a copy of the physical album, a personalized thank-you on social media, the chance to sponsor a song, a private concert with the artist of your choice, and more.
Crowdfunding usually sets a limit, a quantity that must be reached in order to fund a project — but the number that we set on our crowdfunding site was not our goal. That number was the minimum that we needed in order to print the physical copies of the record.
All funds beyond that threshold is what went to support these incredible musicians – 100% of the proceeds beyond manufacturing costs were divided amongst the participating artists.
The campaign lasted for 40 days, and ended on May 12th, 2020. The total amount raised was 146% of the initial crowdfunding goal.
Music makes us happy. Music gives us hope. It gets us through the day, whether that day is spent working remotely, cleaning the house, entertaining the kids, or simply waiting out quarantine.
Thank you for being there. Thank you for giving back to the people who make the music that brightens your day. The show must go on — and with your help, it will!
We hope you enjoy the compilation album Love in a Time of Quarantine.
- If you aren’t familiar with the crowdfunding platform Verkami and would like to learn more about how it works, check out their website. They are a reputable, professional, transparent platform and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. (A woman named Astrid will probably answer your email. She’s awesome.)
- Who’s behind all this? Tori Sparks and her DIY label, Glass Mountain Records.
- If you’re thinking “why do musicians do online concerts if they don’t make any money from them?” As we said, these are troubled times. Many musicians have decided to offer free online concerts just to try to make things a little better. In Tori’s case, she started playing from her balcony every Saturday to help cheer up her neighbors quarantined at home, and later decided to also broadcast these weekly “concerts” online. Check out this article in The Atlantic about what people are doing around the world.
- If you’re wondering “couldn’t I just give money to one or two of the artists?” No, the proceeds will be divided equally amongst all of us — however, you can support these artists individually by clicking on the link to their websites, above, and purchasing their individual albums or merchandise.
- If you’re thinking “but that’s crazy, there’s got to be government assistance or pensions that you guys can lean on during times?” For the majority of working musicians, no. In some countries, the government (Germany) or private institutions (US) have created relief funds for musicians and other professionals from the culture sector. Spain unfortunately has provided very little, and what aid is available is incredibly difficult to access. Government workers and many private employees will be paid a partial to full salary while the quarantine is in place or may take advantage of unemployment benefits. Like many freelance workers, musicians do not have any of these options, and the laws in Spain regarding freelancers make survival particularly difficult even in the best times — read how it works here. Tori Sparks is also the Secretary of the Musicians Union of Catalunya, the region in Spain where Barcelona is located. The union is constantly lobbying behind the scenes for changes in the law, as well as consistent enforcement of the current laws.
- We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have, please feel free to ask.
Thank you. Stay safe, and healthy. Together we’ll get through this.