Kickstarting a "libre" recording of all of Bach's fugues

Robert Douglass writes, "You have graciously covered the Open Goldberg Variations and the Open Well-Tempered Clavier projects on Boing Boing in the past, and it has resulted in these works being the most discoverable and obtainable examples of Bach's work on the internet (reading Wikipedia? You'll find these recordings. Searching Google or YouTube because you're curious about Bach? You'll find these recordings. Both recordings have also received lavish critical praise from the classical music industry's leading reviewers, eg Gramophone magazine."

Even Richard Stallman found these recordings, and he promptly wrote an email encouraging us to drop the word "Open" in favor of "Free" or "Libre". And when RMS writes you telling you to change the name of your music project, you change the name of your music project =)

The Libre Art of the Fuge. deals with J.S. Bach's final masterpiece, a collection of 20 fugues all developing from a single theme. The ambition of the work was to display Bach's mastery of the fugal technique and to cement his legacy. To do that, he wanted to culminate in a final fugue that literally spells his name, B-A-C-H, in musical notation. Unfortunately, Bach died before completing that work, and it has remained a musical mystery (and tragedy) for hundreds of years.

Kimiko Ishizaka will not only record The Art of the Fugue, but she has also composed an ending to the piece based on the music that Bach left us, and this new composition will also be released under a Creative Commons license as part of the new project. This is a significant new extension of the "Open Goldberg" model, in that it is the first time a newly composed work of music is being released in this manner.

Finally, the project encompasses two high profile performances, one in the newly opened Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the second in Carnegie Hall.

The fact that Kimiko has been able to turn directly to fan funding for her recordings is significant in an industry where most other classical music performers have to self finance their recordings, and pay record labels to release them. Kimiko is eminently grateful to her fans and supporters of free culture for allowing her to focus all of her energies on growing the public domain and bringing the music of J.S. Bach to a far broader audience than ever imagined.

Libre Art of the Fugue [Robert Douglass/Kickstarter]