The News from Nowhere Audio Album

by stilltimemusic in Sandy

We did it
On 14th February 2015 we successfully raised £5,100 with 36 supporters in 35 days

Enhancing the production of a unique audio album and education resource inspired by William Morris' utopian romance, "The News from Nowhere"

by stilltimemusic in Sandy

New stretch target

Stretch Funding

Any additional money raised will be used to produce additional educational resources and to develop strategies for making more schools and community groups aware of these resources.

Depending on the funds raised, additional resources could include:

  • Online video demonstrating the process of collaborative composition as used in creating The News from Nowhere Fellowship Symphony
  • Online video exploring the link between visual and sonic pattern - and how visual design can inspire musical composition
  • Adaptations of the instumental pieces so that they may be performed by a wider range of ensembles and abilities

Additional strategies for awareness and distribution of these resources could include:

  • Enhanced online download hub
  • Targeted email campaign
  • Stand at an education exhibition


ICMUS (Inspire Community Music) are raising money to enhance the production of "The News from Nowhere” Audio Album and Education Resource - scheduled for release in Summer 2015.



The Product:

Produced with the artistic support of The William Morris Gallery this multi-CD album will commemorate the 125th Anniversary of William Morris’ iconic Utopian Romance and present the novel in two dynamic formats:

  • The News from Nowhere Fellowship Symphony - a unique musical treatment of the story  
  • The News from Nowhere abridged ‘audio book’ - read by Dan Cruickshank 

It is hoped that the album will also contain some instrumental works that highlight the special relationship between William Morris and the composer Gustav Holst and represent a truly excellent educational resource into the future.


For a more detailed background to the project, please take a look at the preview page:

Why are we crowdfunding?:

The main content of the album - a Cantate for Choir and Orchestra - has been recorded and is scheduled for release in the summer of 2015.  The reason for crowd funding at this stage is that we would like to enhance the production in several key ways:  

  • Record all the pieces written as part of the original community project back in 2008 (an additional 30 minutes of music)  
  • Include some rare instrumental pieces by Gustav Holst that link to his relationship with William Morris
  • Produce further educational resources that will enable schools and community groups to really engage with the themes of the project

Who's involved already?:

The team involved in the production so far represent some exceptional talent:

  • Cantate Youth Choir - recognised internationally as one of the UK’s most outstanding choirs for young people.
  • Fellowship Orchestra - London-based session ensemble made up of young, conservatoire trained musicians
  • Dan Cruickshank - art historian, BBC television presenter and Patron of The William Morris Craft Trust
  • Christian Forshaw - one the UK’s most prominent saxophonists
  • Vanessa Curtis - journalist, biographer, and award-winning children’s author
  • The William Morris Gallery - awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2013
  • Waltham Forest Music Service - we are partnering with WFMS to produce some of the recordings and stage a launch performance

Who we are:

ICMUS (Inspire Community Music) is a new venture set up by Composer and Professor of Music, Mike Roberts, with a vision to use music in the community as a catalyst for inspiration and education across almost any subject area. Building partnerships between diverse groups (schools, charities, museums, media, business etc.), ICMUS organises the specialist music expertise required to acheive excellent projects that serve the interests of all involved. Therefore our team is a flexible and constantly changing group of creatives as appropriate to the project. 


“The News from Nowhere project related perfectly with the children and resulted in a work of real excellence.  The music, song and narrative were just superb and was a true and great interpretation of Morris' ideals. I had to walk away at one point to keep a handle on the emotions, an absolutely brilliant piece of music ”.  

Eamon O'Michail, Head of Arts and Events, Waltham Forest, 2008


“News From Nowhere was a wonderful concept and I have much appreciated your patience and determination to make it all happen.  You have worked far beyond your original brief which has been much appreciated by all concerned.”

Colette Shrubsole, Head of Music Service, Waltham Forest, 2008


"Having met with Mike and discussed the project in some detail, his commitment to engaging young people with the work of William Morris through music is very apparent. He clearly has appropriate contacts to test and disseminate the teaching resources to a wide network of schools. The resource could also be used in other educational settings, for example, at the Gallery through our family programme."  

Anna Mason, The William Morris Gallery, 2014



Our 'reward incentives' have been designed to represent excellent value for money - rather than being an arbitary gimick.  In many cases this means giving you the opportunity to pre-order the results of the project at a significantly reduced price compared to purchasing the same things after its release.  Added to this are some truly unique, never to be repeated, opportunities to observe or be involved in the production of a major music project in its final stages.  Have a browse - and if you think there's something else we could offer that would further encourage you to pledge, then do make contact with a proposal.

N.B. Rward Details:

POSTAGE:  All rewards that include delivered products assume postage to UK addresses.  For international pledgers, please add an appropriate amount to cover the oversees postage of a small package to your country from the UK - or request that we work this out for you.

UNABRIDGED REWARD:  Please note that a download of this UNABRIDGED AUDIO BOOK will be made available to purchasers of the CD via a code printed in the booklet.  Therefore, it is purely the delivery of this on a customised USB stick that is unique to this reward.

OPEN LECTURE LIVE:  You will be responsible for all venue fees and also Mike's travelling expenses outside of London - but you may charge admission to the event.  This open lecture cannot be delivered before September 2015 due to existing commitments.  This reward also optionally includes a mention on the album as a 'major donor'.

ATTEND A SESSION:  Some recording sessions happen before the end of the crowdfunder - please get in touch with contact details if you are willing to pledge for this and would like to attend an earlier session.

ATTEND A MIX:  This reward has a capacity of 6 but, as we can only accommodate 2 observers per session, dates will be arranged on a first-come first-served basis.  This reward also optionally includes a mention on the album as a 'major donor'.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Executive Producers usually deal with all the financials of a project – but with a view to creative output and how this might effect the financial success of a project.  So, creative decisions are at least influenced by the Executive Producer and sometimes even ‘forced’.  It can be a rewarding role because the product inevitably ends up with the Executive Producer’s ‘stamp’ on it.  There are just 2 executive producer ‘rewards’ (or rather opportunities) for anyone able and willing to pledge a minimum of £2,500 to the project.  For this, you’ll get the option to benefit from all the other rewards (some of which are consistent with an ‘exec’ role anyway) PLUS a chance to shape the end result.  You’ll be invited to all remaining recording, mixing and mastering sessions, involved/consulted over all major creative decisions – and although you wouldn’t have the power of ‘veto,’ your views and experience would be seriously taken into account with a view to reflecting these in the end result. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more

£1 Reward

ANONYMOUS DONATION: For those wishing to support the project without a reward - you can specify a higher amount once you've chosen this.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

DISCOUNTED CD: a copy of the finished album delivered to your door (planned RRP is £14.99).

£15 or more

£15 Reward

BONUS CD: A discounted CD (above) plus a bonus CD - 'Hannah's Prayer' (for Harp, Voice and Electronics)

£20 or more

£20 Reward

THREE for TWO BUNDLE: 3 copies of the CD for the price of 2 at the discounted rate (planned RRP of 3 is £44.97)

£35 or more

£35 Reward

UNABRIDGED DEAL: The 3 for 2 bundle (above) plus a full, unabridged, audiobook of 'The News from Nowhere' - narrated by Mike Roberts and delivered on customised USB stick. [Please read 'reward details' before pledging]

£50 or more

£50 Reward

MUSIC PACKAGE: The unabridged deal (above) plus all the project music files on customised USB stick.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

SCHOOL'S LICENCE: The full School's resource with an unlimited licence to perform the work for life (usually renewable annually). [The unlimited licence can be given to either an individual or an organisation/institution.]

£65 or more

£65 Reward

SING ALONG!: The music package (above) plus all backing tracks for the songs on USB.

£80 or more

£80 Reward

OPEN LECTURE RECORDING: The sing along package (above) plus a recording of Mike's open lecture, "William Morris, Gustav Holst and composing The News from Nowhere Fellowship Symphony".

£100 or more

£100 Reward

CREDITED SUPPORTER: all the above rewards PLUS you'll be credited in the album booklet under 'special thanks goes to..... '

£150 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£150 Reward

CONSULTATION LESSON: The first 8 rewards plus a consultation lesson with Mike Roberts in Composition, Production or Electronic Music (to be held in central London).

£250 or more

£250 Reward

OPEN LECTURE LIVE: The first 8 rewards plus a personal visit by Mike Roberts to deliver his open lecture, "William Morris, Gustav Holst and composing The News from Nowhere Fellowship Symphony" at a location and to an audience of your choice. [Please read 'reward details' for conditions]

£250 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£250 Reward

ATTEND A SESSION: The first 8 rewards plus the opportunity to attend one of the final recording sessions (Choir on 25th Jan, Orchestra on 15th Feb, Buskers and School Ensembles TBA). This reward also includes a mention on the album as a 'major donor'. [due to dates, please read 'reward details' before pledging]

£250 or more

0 of 6 claimed

£250 Reward

ATTEND A MIX: The first 8 rewards plus the opportunity to attend one of three mix or master session (dates yet to be organised). [N.B. Please read 'reward details' for conditions]

£500 or more

3 of 10 claimed

£500 Reward

TRACK DEDICATION: The first 8 rewards plus a track dedication printed in the album booklet. Wording will be agreed up to a maximum of 10 words. This reward also optionally includes a mention on the album as a 'major donor'.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£1,000 Reward


£2,500 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£2,500 Reward

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Become one of 2 Executive Producers for this project and have some creative input that will help shape the final product. Executive producers are credited on the production notes of the album as 'Executive Producers'! [N.B. Please read 'reward details' for further details.]

£5,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£5,000 Reward

BENEFACTOR: Opportunity to pledge a large philanthropic gift to fund all the enhancement features - and more, should you choose. Benefactors have the option to remain either uncredited or have a substantial credit in the album (to be agreed). Benefactors can also opt to take any or all of the project rewards with the only exception of 'executive producer'. If you wish to donate a sum of this level yet remain totally anonymous to us, then create a new, ambiguous, crowdfunder account and select the first £1 reward. You will then have the option to add any amount to the £1 before submitting the pledge.

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