Image for Amanda Palmer Writes 2,800 Word Open Letter Addressing Her Calls For A ‘Volunteer Orchestra’

Amanda Palmer Writes 2,800 Word Open Letter Addressing Her Calls For A ‘Volunteer Orchestra’

Written by Kiel Egging on September 15, 2012

Recently, Amanda Palmer made an open call-out to any musicians who would like to be part of a string quartet for her upcoming live shows – without any payment.

Palmer described the offer as a ‘gift’ to her fans, which caught the ire of some people,
considering punters around the world had chipped in a total of $1.2 million on Palmer’s KickStarter account to fund her new album.

The most prominent complainer was famed producer and musician Steve Albini, who labelled Palmer “an idiot” for what he believes is taking advantage of the musicians’ generosity.

Further to this, classical musician Amy Vaillancourt-Sals – a fan of Palmer – said she and other musicians were “f*&king perplexed, agitated and disheartened” by her request.

So, Palmer has written a 2,800-word open letter in reply to Vaillancourt-Sals’ claims – indicating that she originally came up with the idea of the volunteer musician orchestra as a special concept.  Here’s a few extracts from her letter, which you can read in full here:

Anyone is allowed to crowdfund a record. and anyone is allowed to crowdsource a musician. or a pair of socks. or a place to crash. or a meal. anyone. the band at the local pub can do it, i can do it, tom waits can do it, and justin bieber can do it (his fans would FLIP to be up on that stage making music with him. i’m imagining a crowdsourced belieber playing violin on “boyfriend” right now and loving the image, truly. it’s also fun to think of tom waits wearing fan-knit-socks.)

You see, with this tour, i originally fantasized that we’d write super-easy-to-learn parts, and then musician volunteers – of varying backgrounds and skill level – would join us to play them, in every city. as an experiment, as the concept behind the grand theft orchestra. we are the media. we are the orchestra. it sounded like a really FUN way of doing a tour, and so far, it really has been. it has worked out great for all involved. it’s pretty much worked out the way we envisioned, with some changes here and there (using paid pros in some markets, using our openers, etc).

The volunteer musicians have been the same. we’ve been doing this for over a year now. sometimes we get seasoned pros, sometimes we get people who barely play at a high school level. sometimes it’s a lot of work. and every night, we work with who and what we’ve got.

And honestly: i’d take a less experienced horn player who was overjoyed to be on stage for the fun and experience over the pro who’s clocking in to get paid and doesn’t care about me or my band any night of the week.

The reality of the players and the feeling in the room is more important to me than anything.

 

Join Music Feeds on Facebook

More On Music Feeds

News

Wu Tang Clan’s GZA Is Collaborating With ‘Blade Runner’ Composer Vangelis on New Album

In news that will leave hip hop and ambient music fans either quivering in excitement or scratching their heads in confusion, Wu Tang Clan member GZA has just posted photos showing him in the studio with legendary film composer Vangelis, the Academy Award winner behind the soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

News

Ozzy Osbourne Working on “Really Special” New Album

Epic Records exec Sylvia Rhone has confirmed that Ozzy Osbourne is working on a “really special” new album, following the aging rocker’s solo performance at Epic Fest over the weekend.

News

James Hetfield & M. Shadows Auditioning To Play COD Zombies Is The Best Thing You’ll See Today

James Hetfield is creeping death in the new charity promo for Call Of Duty: Black Ops III.

News

At First Sight Returns In 2015, First Line-Up Announced

At First Sight returns to Sydney’s Carriageworks this month for a day of pop up record stalls, live music and more.

News

Gotye Working On New Album, Dedicated To Electronic Music Pioneers

Gotye is reportedly hard at work a new album, the follow up to 2011 hugely successful Making Mirrors, said to be taking shape as a concept album dedicated to electronic music pioneers.

News

World’s End Press Announce National ‘Tall Stories’ EP Tour

World’s End Press have followed up last week’s news of their new single and EP, both titled Tall Stories, announcing a tour in support of the EP, unsurprisingly named the Tall Stories EP Tour, kicking off in early October.

Around the web

This May Also Interest You