And, in a nod to the speculative nature of a 19th-century whaling expedition, Gertler is looking to investors to fund the recording. Though backers—at set levels ranging from $15 to $10,000—won’t enjoy a cut of the album’s future earnings, they will receive benefits according to their contributions, provided Gertler raises a total of $15,000 by December 9. (Otherwise, no backers pay anything.)
“Pygmy Sperm Whale” donors will pay $15 and receive a digital copy of the eventual album, while “Disoriented Baby Whale” donors pay $125 for a signed CD; a signed, limited edition songbook; a “thank you” in the album’s credits; and a specially designed T-shirt. “Narwhale” ($10,000) donors receive multiple gifts, including a separate album written by Gertler about up to 10 members of the donor’s family, and a set of steak knives.
For New York area music (or whale) lovers who want to be extra supportive, there’s a fundraising concert on December 7 at The Living Room, 145 Ludlow Street in Manhattan. Gertler and her band will be playing music from the album … and if you like it, you’ll still have two days to pony up and collect your steak knives.
UPDATE: The fundraising drive made its goal (one day early), so the album will be produced. As of this writing there were no $10k backers … but there were still 3 hours left in the drive.
Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.