Dear friends of Cy,
I have an idea for fundraising for Cy. Both the scope and the time line are -- of necessity -- very aggressive. We can only do this if other people agree it's a good idea and volunteer to help. Please contact Janette Park if you would like to volunteer, offer advice or give feedback. Her e-mail address is jparkesq at the same domain as all of the other gmail users. I apologize for this obfuscation, but she only wants human beings to be able to read that. No spambots, please.
CyTunes.org will be a web store where people can purchase songs that have been donated by bands and artists who like Cy, or whom Cy likes or who are just awesome enough to participate. All songs must be original works and must be exclusive to CyTunes. As we have seen, Cy has very many friends, many of whom are talented musicians. Some of these have been or currently are in bands that have achieved national and even international notoriety. By selling exclusive works by bands that are not just of local interest -- but who are potentially also known regionally, nationally, or internationally -- we can draw a wider audience and bring Cy's story to the entire world, reaping greater rewards on behalf of our dear Cy.
In addition to the fundraising angle, the process of writing and recording these new works by people who know and love Cy, regardless of how well-known they are currently, gives the community an opportunity for unity and healing. We all know that Cy is a huge music fan, and most of us know Cy because of this shared love. What better way to show our love for Cy than through music?
I can get the ball rolling on this immediately by starting in on the programming for the website and online store. I will also offer up use of my studio and my services as a recording engineer for free to any band that wants to record a song for CyTunes. I have already bought the domain name 'cytunes.org' in anticipation of this effort.
Purpose of Fundraising
On Monday, Cy will embark on an extensive course of chemotherapy. If the chemotherapy goes well, Cy will be released from the hospital and continue treatment without having to be confined to a hospital bed. When this happens, Cy will not be in any position to work but will face a galaxy of expenses: the basics like rent, food, and utilities on top of doctor's visits and medications, which will be frequent and expensive. The aim of this fundraising is to allow Cy and his family to enjoy their time out of the hospital and take advantage of Cy's treatment options without having to worry about day-to-day expenses. Of course Cy has also incurred an enormous pile of medical bills from his hospitalization at Duke. These bills, however, will likely be dealt with later and are not the highest priority at the moment.
Immediate Action Required
I cannot overemphasize the extent to which time is of the essence. If aid is to reach Cy when he needs it most, we must act immediately. Just as the tumor in Cy's head is very aggressive, and his chemotherapy treatment will be aggressive, our efforts to get this site up and running and populated with great music must be equally aggressive. There is no time for contemplation. If you want to be a part of this, don't think about it; just do it. Obviously, one thing we need a whole hell of a lot of is music. The more songs we have the more songs we can sell. Have you ever wondered whether you could write a song on a deadline? Now's your chance to find out! My hope is to have an initial launch of the site within *two weeks*. That is ambitious, but -- with a show of enthusiasm from others -- I will be working on this as my full-time job for the immediate future. I happen to be uniquely positioned to do this right now.
Guidelines for Submissions
All songs must be original. We cannot use cover songs because they bring legal complications. Also, in order to attract people to our site we need to have songs that are exclusive to our site. Existing unreleased material is acceptable. We do not need to own or control your song in perpetuity. After a suitable period -- a year or so -- you'll be free to release your song elsewhere. We don't want to own your song -- just to be the exclusive distributor for a year. After that it's yours again.
I cannot do everything. This will only be possible with a dedicated team of talented people. If you are currently underemployed, you might be a very good candidate for some this. These are the positions I see an immediate need to fill:
1) Legal Adviser -- preferably a bona fide lawyer. We will need someone who can negotiate the dark realm of entertainment law and make sure that we're doing what we need to do in terms of licensing music from bands to sell--dotting i's and crossing t's kind of stuff.
2) Graphic Designer -- I'm a computer programmer and recording engineer. I only do graphic design under duress and I am very slow. We need someone super talented who can create a beautiful site concept and generate HTML templates for every page on the site. You must also be able to work with an aggressive deadline to get the site launched.
3) Band Wrangler -- We need someone who can find bands, contact them, and persuade them to record songs for us. This person will also need to follow up with bands who have agreed to record and make sure they follow through on time. This person must be willing to nag as needed.
4) Publicist -- This could possibly be the same person as the band wrangler, who could start doing mostly band wrangling and gradually transition into publicity. This person will need to spread the word about all of the kick-ass music on CyTunes, far and wide. This will include calling and e-mailing newspapers, magazines, online publications, blogs--anything that can get the word out. Someone with some marketing or PR experience, especially in the music industry, would be ideal.
5) Project Manager -- I can probably do this, but we might all be better off if I can concentrate on the technical challenges of getting the site going. The project manager would be in charge of communicating with everyone else who's working on this, keeping track of what's going on, helping to set priorities, identifying roadblocks and helping to overcome them. This person should be driven and focused but have good social skills. He or she must be highly organized and have a good understanding of what everyone is trying to do.
Finally, everyone involved must keep the nature of the project in the forefront of their minds. This project will go forward if we can get enough people power to make it happen. Please contact me immediately if you can help. This isn't about personal glory. It's about Cy. So ... let's rock!
ADDENDUM 3:43 pm:
We could also use some general purpose volunteers. People who don't mind being asked to perform some random task every now and then. If you don't think you can do one of the jobs above or just can't commit that much time, but would like to help out, let me know and I can put you on a list of general volunteers.
ADDENDUM 5:52 pm:
I have no idea if that two week figure is at all realistic. Either way, it seems to have caused some confusion with bands, for which I apologize. My goal is to have the web store up and running as soon as possible, two weeks if we can swing it, with some music already ready to go. I figure we need at least 30 songs to launch. It is not my expectation that all bands will have their songs completed and submitted in two weeks. I figure once we get going we'll be adding songs as we go. Obviously, though, the sooner the better. We do need great content, fast. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far!
-- Chris Rossi
Contact Janette Park. Her e-mail address is jparkesq at the same domain as all of the other gmail users.