Obviously, The Classical has a pretty strong attachment to Kickstarter both as an idea and for obvious emotional reasons—it, or more specifically you and it, are the reason why this site exists. All that aside, though Kickstarter is as good a way as we presently have to help ambitious projects we believe in, such as the Dock Ellis documentary we wrote about recently (that campaign is still going!), become ambitious actual things we can all enjoy. David Gerlach's Blank on Blank is just this sort of Kickstarter campaign—an endeavor that turns recorded interviews into multimedia art, and so adds other artful dimension to the more literal usual. We'll be working with Gerlach, provided that Blank on Blank reaches its $10,000 goal, and are turning this space over to him to make explain what Blank on Blank is about, and why you should be as excited about it as we are. We'll be doing this sort of thing on occasion, going forward, both because we believe in these projects and this method of funding, and because...well, because a world with Blank on Blank in it seems a lot more interesting than one without it.
I want to hear The Classical. Simple as that. I love reading The Classical, and it’s a tonic while fighting to stay awake at 4AM with a newborn, but I want more than that—I want sound, too. That story about the bingo mecca at Foxwoods? I want hear the grand-dames hold court as the numbers are called. I want to hear Merry Lepper on becoming the first woman ever to finish a marathon. That Cuban boxer who explained why he decided not to dethrone Muhammed Ali in the ‘70s and become a legend? Give me the sound, as well as the written word. So I dropped The Classical's powerbrokers a note about working together to make it happen.
I discovered The Classical via Kickstarter. They tapped the crowdfunding juggernaut to launch this site and I’m doing similar with my own journalism project: Blank on Blank (our own Kickstarter is in the home stretch). We’re a nonprofit multimedia startup with a simple mission: bring journalists’ recorded interviews to new audiences via our podcast, radio segments, and animated series on YouTube. The mission to build a living archive of unheard interviews is part This American Life, part TED, and part Library of Congress.
Collaboration is easy for our contributors and partners. All a writer has to do is get us an audio interview and our public-radio savvy producers take it from there. We find the must-hear outtakes, sprinkle it with music, and voila: a Blank on Blank born. Now there’s a new piece of multimedia from work that’s already been done—that’s never been heard—to enrich a journalist’s portfolio and reach new audiences. We've already produced unexpected interviews with everyone from Dwyane Wade and Ellen DeGeneres to a Playboy Club Mother Bunny and the dietitian at Bob Marley's side before he died. Our contributors have written for Wired, Fast Company, Rolling Stone, to name a few. Soon, we'll add The Classical to that list.
We’ve begun work on our first collaboration together: letting you hear from a hooligan. That reformed soccer brawler Suhrith Parthasarathy wrote about? He describes what it’s like to take out a rival after a game. And then we’ll hear what his American girlfriend thought when his rumbling past and stint in prison came out years after they started dating. It should be pretty cool. Stay tuned.