Chris Kempster Project
Sponsorships closed on March 18 2006
Chris Kempster Project
After Chris's death in January 2004, a group comprising Alison Jones, Margaret Fagan, Mark Gregory, Margaret Walters and Christine Wheeler began work towards producing a CD of all the music Chris wrote throughout his life. The workload was substantial, but we were very excited about the project and knew that it was important to commemorate Chris's work in this way.
Chris went out of his way to assist others in their musical endeavours, but never got around to compiling his own work onto a CD. The emerging product, as we plan it, is a unique compilation, showcasing the voices of some of Australia's finest, and some overseas artists as well - Roy Bailey, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Priscilla Herdman. All of these singers have had direct and affectionate links with Chris over the years. We plan to launch the CD at the National Folk Festival, Canberra, at Easter 2006.
Many of Chris' songs had been recorded by various musicians, and they gave us permission to use their work. Should there be a profit from the sale of the CD, we envisage a reprint of Chris' long out of print book "The Songs of Henry Lawson".
Work towards the making of the CD was voluntary, and we had the ongoing support of the Folk Federation of New South Wales and the National Library of Australia, but the costs of professional production are considerable.
By July 2005 the folk community had generously donated about $4,000, mainly from the proceeds of concerts, and we estimated that the double album would cost more than twice that.
Over 30 individuals, folk clubs, folk festivals and union organisations agreed to sponsor the project, at a flat rate of $200. The resulting secure budget allowed us to commission new recordings to fill some of the gaps we had originally expected to discover in various institutional and other archives.
The flow of sponsorships meant that by the end of February 2006 the total fund had risen to $9200, and by the middle of March, when sponsorship was closed, a the fund stood at $11,388 ... see chart above.
Sponsors were acknowledged in the CD booklet, along with, where they wished, a brief quote giving their reasons for sponsoring the CD. Sponsors also received three CDs after production.
The project entered its final stage in February with the mastering of over 30 tracks and the preparation of the CD artwork and booklet at an advanced stage.
Sponsorship was closed as the deadline for the proofreading and final preparation of the CD loomed and we prepared for the National Folk Festival launch of "The Songs of Chris Kempster". Many thanks to all our sponsors.