On August 24th, Michael McDermott will celebrate another birthday, which gives all of us as friends, fans, family -- i.e. all of us touched by his work -- the perfect opportunity to collectively show Michael how much the gift that is his music means to us all throughout the year, and to return this in a fun and unique way to make his special day just a little bit more celebratory.
And, since 2004 is also the year in which his latest album, Ashes, was released, I thought it particularly appropriate to center the project around this (itself celebratory) achievement.
What I need from you in order to create this year's surprise are the following two things (which, incidentally, may sound very familiar if you've participated in the birthday projects of the last two years. However, I assure you, this year's work is its own unique finished product...it merely incorporates elements of these prior celebrations in its construction.):
Each person chooses a line from Ashes (again, in keeping with this year being the release of this album, it MUST be a line from one of the 13 songs that comprise it). And, it doesn't have to be your absolute favorite...I completely relate to the impossibility of narrowing so many great lyrics down to only one! BUT, you do need to choose just one, and as quickly as possible, since time is indeed of the essence.
Then, decorate the line you've chosen on a small piece of paper in any way you wish ("small" is the operative word here since we'll be combining everyone's efforts in another phase of the project so it's important that there's room for everyone's contributions...I would say that the paper should be no larger than, oh maybe, 3" square or 2" x 6" long, something to that effect). You can use colored construction paper, plain white copy stock, ruled notebook sheets, post-it notes...pretty much anything your heart desires as long as it's a flat piece of paper. As for the decoration, again, pretty much anything goes....calligraphic writing with formal pens, brush strokes with kids' watercolors, plain printing with an ordinary ballpoint...whatever you wish (...the illustration shown here offers just one simple example).
And, under the Ashes line you've created, sign your name as, of course, we want Michael to know who his work has inspired to be a part of this project.
NOTE: If it's convenient for you to send me TWO copies of this decorated lyric, that would be helpful, but is not necessary. I plan to use it twice on different parts of the project, but can use my scanner and photo-printer to re-create the second copy if necessary. So, either way, no worries!
Each person must buy Michael a birthday card (of average size. Or, you may wish to create a homemade one...or, if you prefer, you can simply write a letter expressing your appreciation of his work, wishes for a great year, etc. Or, you may send a small -- VERY SMALL -- gift [remember, the finished product has to include ALL of our collective submissions and still be of a size suitable for mailing!] . In any case, it's your choice...the point is merely to submit some form of birthday greeting/celebration of Michael's life and work)
Step 3 for your involvement in the "McBirthday Bash" is to send the above items to:
The 2004 McBirthday Bash
(Please include your e-mail address if you would like to be notified of your submission's receipt.)
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY AUGUST 17th TO ALLOW TIME FOR THE FINISHED PRODUCT'S CONSTRUCTION AND MAILING TO MICHAEL!!!
And, what are we creating with these items?
Since it turns out someone got a wee bit TOO excited about last year's project and "spilled the beans" of its details to Michael, this year's finished product -- its title, its theme, its construction...everything -- is gonna be a surprise to even its participants!
However, I can tell you that (with your help, of course...after all, it's really all of you who make the project...I just add my one submission like the rest and assemble the pieces) it will be of at least equal quality and creativity as the last two years' "surprises". And, if you're new to this whole process and want to check these out before getting involved, just follow the links below...
Of course, before sending the finished product, I will photograph it and subsequently post the image here on artistinsane.com, explain the theme, etc., so everyone who has participated can see at last the completed gift Michael opened on Aug. 24th. (Obviously, keep in mind I can't actually post the photo until after the 24th...just to make sure a certain someone doesn't see it before that!!!)
Well, that's it! What do you
think? Any thoughts, suggestions, comments? If so, please feel free
to contact me with those anytime (though I warn you in advance, don't bother
asking me to reveal to you the surprise!!!)...just drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.