I read the news today, oh boy…

Okay, I really didn’t think I’d be using this again so soon.

 I’ve had little chance to talk to Troy this week due to increasing amount of work, this seemed like a good open forum.   Not that I’m expecting solutions to be forthcoming.  That’s unfortunate, but I’m getting ahead of myself. This has to do with someone else’s life, not my own.  However, in a way it does an effect in Troy’s life and mine.   Let me explain…

There is a show out at Scarborough Faire called Cast in Bronze.   I’m sure that you may have heard of it from Troy by now, but just in case you haven’t, this is a performer in a mask playing an instrument called a carillon.   This is a very precise, and huge instrument.   Several bronze bells are painstakingly hung on a huge framework.   There are 3 in the United States and they all travel the country putting on shows.   

 

 

That is until this news dropped.

You see, 2 of the 3 are used by Cast in Bronze.  The two go to different faires and such, wearing their masks, and making people love an artform that was lost to people for many, many years.   That’s a great way live, I imagine.   The problem is that our favorite harpist’s husband is not the originator of the show, and the carillon he uses is on loan from a man in Pennsylvania.   Someone who has had it out on loan for the past 20 years.   The guy who started the show, finally built his own set, which allowed the original loaner to travel other places.   You can see where this is going, right?

The man who loaned it out is independently wealthy, and has decided to open up a museum of rare musical instruments, and guess what rare piece he wants in that museum?  You guessed it!   So at the end of Scarborough Faire this year, if somehow they haven’t convinced this guy to build another in his new museum, the loaner goes back to its owner and Cast in Bronze will be a solo player.   This effectively puts our Scarborough playing family down to one working member.  He’s going to have to find work in the real world, ending a dream for him.  That just sucks.

Some people have already asked him about making another one.  Which sounds like a great plan, except for the cost and time it would take.   It will run $250-$300K and will take up to one year to make.   That means having to get the capital to pull that off, and unless you’re rich, you all know how hard it is to get any amount of money.  That amount is harder than hell to even fathom.    Then you have to factor in how long it will take to get it, because they need to get it done in Europe and get it shipped over here (as was put, it’s actually cheaper than getting it done here in the States).  And then you have to also consider, they don’t ship the whole thing to you assembled.  No… This this sits on a permanent trailer, so a lot of assembly required.   I feel like I want to make magic happen, and give these people the break they need right now.   I’m not rich, and Go Fund Me accounts only go up to so much.  There’s also the problem that unless you’re into the Ren Faire scene, or into the exotic, why would you ever put money down on it.   Cast in Bronze has been the best way to actually get to learn what the instrument is and to learn a full appreciation of it.   I hate to think of this sitting in a museum, collecting dust, and not being played.   So far, they’ve not made any offer to get someone out there to play it for the people who come to see it.
Anyway, sorry if it’s a buzzkill, but I needed to share it.  Somehow, I feel like I need to put it out there so someone finds that one magical answer.  

4 thoughts on “I read the news today, oh boy…

  1. This is rough. I’m glad you put it out there. This is a show that needs to be rescued. It’s a cultural experience from the Middle Ages that can’t be duplicated on a street corner.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. This has all sorts of significance to it, and needs to be shared as often as they can manage it. The original show runner will still be out there, but that’s one guy. The second one being put in a museum seems so stupid, especially if it doesn’t get played. However, that got me to thinking about something, though I’m truly not certain of the feasibility of it.

      I keep thinking what if one wasn’t all that was needed. What if what we needed was 2 of these bad boys? I know that at high cost we’re talking $600K, and that assumes all goes according to plan. There’s still need of a rich benefactor in order to put that into place. Now, again, I don’t know if this would be workable, but my mind went to the Bass family. And what if they fronted for the mobile version for him, and built a second one for the performance hall? During Scarborough, he could come in once a week and play for a crowd, and perhaps they could work out a Rennie night for many more performers. The boon to the hall is that they are the only place here in the States that has their very own carillon and a player who probably knows his Ren Faire dates a year in advance, so 6 guaranteed performances during April/May, and then getting him back at time between Ren Faires when he can manage it.

      This might be a horrible idea, and would take 2 years or so to put into full swing, but it hit me like a beam this morning. I got slightly excited.

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      • There are all manner of potential benefactors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Many of them care about music and culture, and many others besides simply care about being seen to “care.” Either way, it’s just a question of getting the message out there and making a convincing case. More people will learn about this instrument by the show than by a museum exhibit. More people will care precisely because of the entertainment. That’s got to be worth something to somebody in a position to make a difference.

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  2. My first thought was crowd funding – I know you mentioned Go Fund Me and the limit, but there is another funding platform that focuses primarily on artistic and creative endeavors called Kickstarter – which I can’t believe would have a monetary limit because I’ve seen projects go well over the million mark. They incentivize their donations (or at least that’s what’s ive seen) which is fun, so lots of room to be interesting and inspiring.

    But a benefactor wouldn’t be a bad idea either 😉 Both things in tandem would be awesome.

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