Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fairy Lights fundraiser

We're a city of many colours these days, and most of us are only just finding out all the intricacies of being different shades of green. I went to the Flying Nun 30th Anniversary gigs this weekend, and all around me people were discussing the ramifications of this latest round of zonings. It's kinda funny, because little ol' C-city has always been preoccupied with zones... only they used to be school zones, not land zones. Same shit, different day really, and as a wise man once said, 'it isn't easy being green'...
It isn't easy living here fullstop. People round here don't talk about 'normal'. We've gone off the phrase 'new normal' as well because it isn't normal, and it's no longer new. Daily life can grind you down if you don't stop to smell the roses every once in a while, and appreciate the simple pleasures that still exist.

That same wise (green) man also sang about rainbows, and lovers, and dreamers (for a sweet little nostalgia trip click here for the original movie version, and here for a Kermy-Debbie Harry duet). And, just like Joseph and his coat of many colours, this rainbow city still has a few dreams tucked up its sleeve.

For many of us, making it through each day is enough. The seemingly never-ending consequences of disaster, bureaucracy, and regulations start to cloud the perspective of even the sunniest personalities after a while. But there are always those who are still looking for that rainbow, who are determined that it will happen for them, no matter what setbacks the world is going to throw their way.
Amy Bowie has a dream. An expensive dream... to record her song, 'Fairy Lights'.

Amy's dream isn't that terribly expensive to achieve... around $2500. But that's a lot when you're trying to resist the call of a 'normal' job in order follow your passion. Amy writes that she's on the verge of quitting music altogether because she can't afford to eat, let alone make/record music.

This isn't the idle speculation of a part-time karaoke belter - this girl can write songs, and sing them beautifully. Her composition for the Olympic songwriting competition, 'The Emotion', strikes me as the perfect advertising anthem - ready and waiting for sepia-toned images of past glory to be added. Another song I quite like is 'Stupid Nothing Song', which cheerfully derides the sugary pop music of today while remaining totally sweet itself. There's a delightfully whimsical video for the song too, made by (and featuring a few) students of the NZ Broadcasting School. (what, me - biased? never...)
Amy will be performing her song, 'Fairy Lights', at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, in front of tens of thousands of people all crowded into Hagley Park (and possibly in the televised version also). But she'd like to take it further, to record a radio single and take the spirit of C-city's fairy lights out into the world.

The problem is that although dreams may be free, they're not cheap. This is from Amy's pitch:
I went broke making several different demos and arrangements of "Fairy Lights" to ensure that I gave my song the best chance at being accepted by Coca-Cola for the event. At the time I recorded "The Emotion" to meet the Olympic Album deadline, it was so soon after the earthquake that there were no studios open. They were all damaged, or in the Red Zone. We recorded in houses, on a tiny budget of prize winnings from the competition. There was not enough budget for this recording, let alone a recording with guitar, bass and drums in addition to piano.  
If Mum and Dad weren’t feeding me right now I wouldn’t be making music, I wouldn’t be recording, I wouldn’t be singing my own song in Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park, and I most certainly wouldn’t have a song up for the Games.

I don't know Amy, I've never even met her, although we have many friends in common. But I'm supporting this project for an entirely different reason... This city needs dreamers just as much as it needs builders. A city is more than just the structures we occupy - or in our case, the ones that fell down. And now, more than ever, we need to encourage the dreamers to keep dreaming... 

So c'mon Shakeytown (& anywhere/anyone else), pony up. Just go to Amy's page on Indiegogo and help a dream become reality. Let's show the country that there's more to C-city than broken buildings and downtrodden spirits. I mean, everything looks better with a few fairy lights, right?

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