At the start of the pandemic, my work as an IT consultant was hit hard. I had spent many years in the travel sector, but the realisation quickly hit that after much outreach in 2020, nothing was materialising and it felt like it may not be possible for me to get back in. After a lot of introspection I started to get back into music, which has always been my passion. Previously I had too little time for it. Now I had time to be generous with!
Initially, all I wanted was to create some songs for my own benefit and mental health. As I shared my compositions privately, I began see just how many of the people around me were having their own struggles with stress and sleep issues.
So joining up my experience in IT with my musical capabilities Aurora was born.
The part year has been quite a journey, and is still tough as a bootstrapped start up. Having said this I have seen how desperately hard the pandemic and lockdown has hit so many people, and none more so that artists and musicians; which prompted me to think how I could in a small way help with the platform I have built.
Hence the idea of giving a handful of musicians an opportunity to firstly express how the last 18 months have affected them, and to create inspiring, and full of passion that they can share with our audience on the app and on the website.
The music that will be created may not be in the genre of 'sleep music', but it does work on the app, in the shape of 'sound therapy'. I believe many people will not only love the music, but will be interested to hear the stories from these singers which will be so creatively expressed.
What is the status of the project right now?
We need the pledges before we can make any commitments to artists, but right now, we are getting ahead of the game by having initial discussions with some international Blues organisations. This has already resulted in some great leads. We cannot take this further though until we hit our target.
Some of the tech has already been completed, and we have a webpage under construction, already with some dummy data from the backend database.
Here is the page: Aurora, Covid Blues
Keep an eye on this page as it will continue to evolve with luck as we hit our target.
Where will the money go?
Firstly the selected 11 artists will receive £100 (or equivalent) each. Also there's plenty of other stuff that takes time or cost including completing the web design, backend data structure, writing code, content and artists agreement. We will also do some advertising to promote the project.
How does it work?
-- For artists
1. Signup on the webpage. Maximum 11 artists.
2. We provide a link to the backing blues track and agreement. The artist will sing their Covid story in a 16bar Blues style in multiple verses. They send the finished vocal file to us.
3. If approved, the artist will receive £100. Yay.
4. There are 11 slots available on the app, rotating 1 every day. This means that the artists will appear at least once every 13 days, because on Sundays the artist with the most upvotes on on the website will get to play all day every Sunday.
This Sunday slot is an incentive for the artist to send people to the website to vote for them.
-- For app users and listeners
1. Download the Aurora app (Apple/IOS only for now, sorry)
2. Find to Covid Blues track, in the 'Fun/Sound Therapy' cateogories (see image below)
3. Click play. Easy.
4. As the music plays, adjust the volume of the vocals or backing instruments to get the right balance just for you. This is a key feature of the Aurora app
5. A different Blues story will appear every day (using the same backing track, for now). So if the users comes back to the app the next day, they will get a different artist. Cool huh.
Aurora app in action
This video shows you how the Aurora app works. You'll see how you can move instruments in and out of the composition. This is how it will work for Covid Blues, with the Artist vocal as one instrument, and all the other instruments listed underneath.
Thanks so much for your time.