The Falcon   |   Volume 83, Issue 53

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Music for clean water

Protosong, local artists raise money

By , Staff Reporter

Published: October 17 2012

Today is the last day to contribute to Protosong, a music and charity project created by Seattle Pacific University students to provide clean water to those living in poverty.

Protosong set a $25,000 fundraising goal online, and if the goal is met, the people who donated will receive an exclusive playlist from Seattle bands.

“People can give their money, get music in return, so they can help local artists and can also see the city being built around them,” said a senior who founded Protosong, Corey McGuire, adding that even people who donate $1 will get the playlist.

McGuire said that Protosong is built on the concept of a “festival feel.”

“When you go to a music festival, there are a couple headlining acts and then some artists below them,” McGuire said. “At the end of the weekend, there are ten acts that you didn’t know about beforehand that you ended up loving.”

McGuire said that Protosong is a way to recreate that festival feel online.

“I just had this idea that every single song has value; like, a U2 song has value; millions and millions of people are going to buy that,” McGuire said. But the guy down the street, in his garage, playing with his family, that song has value too.” McGuire said.

“Protosong is an opportunity to bring value to music,” said Jordan Dettmer, who graduated last year and runs Protosong with McGuire.

McGuire started the project last spring with Joe Miller.

“I had this big idea and was put in touch with him,” McGuire said, referring to Miller.

“We were meeting with a bunch of influential people in music in the area, and everyone was kinda holding their breath, saying, ‘alright, well, show us that it works,’” he said.

Protosong first made an appearance in February as a much smaller project, in which they raised around $1000 in two and a half days.

McGuire and Miller put together a website and Facebook page over a weekend and promoted it with videos that they did with The Cellar Door, an SPU-based chamber pop band.

They created a playlist with local bands. “We just went to fourteen bands around SPU and asked them to try it,” McGuire said.

“On Sunday, we didn’t really exist, and by Wednesday night, we had raised about $1,000,” McGuire said.

Once they had $1,300, they stopped accepting donations, since it was more goal-orientated than time-driven.

The latest project has been running from Oct. 3-17. This time, they’ve decided to go with a limit of two weeks in addition to a number goal.

“If we get $25,000, we won’t pull the website down this time; we would still let people donate within the time frame,” Dettmer said.

The playlist for this project is different and features both popular and lesser-known artists.

“We were really happy to work with all the artists on this playlist,” Dettmer said. “We started with The Cellar Door because they’re just phenomenal. We ended up with this killer playlist. There are a lot of great bands out there still, so I think we could do this a million times and be super satisfied with the bands that are on the playlist.”

Junior Gabriel Much, a singer and guitarist for The Cellar Door, said that the song for the playlist this time around is a song called “Silent Avenue,” which features a full string quartet arrangement. The band has had the song for about six months, but was never quite happy with it.

“When Protosong asked us to give another song, we went back in and re-recorded the vocals and finally got it to where we were satisfied,” Much said. “It’s just good to finally get it into peoples’ hands.”

The Cellar Door has contributed songs for both of Protosong’s playlists.

“The main draw of Protosong is that the songs are exclusive recordings,” Much said. “It’s unique, different and you can’t get it any other way. That’s the idea behind getting fans to support and want to buy it.”

“The thing that really resonates with me is the idea behind Protosong itself. The idea of using music to generate money for charity is pretty cool,” he said.

This playlist also has some higher profile acts than the last time around.

“We started with Kris Orlowski, and getting Kris’s name made it possible to get in touch with people like Noah Gundersen and Lemolo and Motopony,” Dettmer said. “It was very much a domino effect.”

McGuire wants to focus Protosong on working within specific cities, which is why One Day’s Wages was chosen as the charity the project works with. One Day’s Wages is a local charity that works to provide clean water and other aid to those living in poverty.

“One Days Wages is a great place for people to get creative with how they donate,” Dettmer said.

McGuire and Dettmer said they have plans for future fundraisers through Protosong.

McGuire said that they could do another playlist as early as December. He wants to see Protosong flourish in other cities, too.

“There are a lot of ways this could go,” Dettmer said.

For more information, and to donate, visit

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