Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

HEALING NOTES: Ben Asbury is the self-described "Axxa man" behind musical act Axxa/Abraxas, which is set to release its sophomore album Family Altar on vinyl. Writing these recent songs, he says, was a therapeutic way to close out a tumultuous period of time, which included housing instability and significant mental unrest. Album art from Axxa/Abraxas' website

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Axxa/Abraxas’ sophomore album

It’s been almost three years since Ben Asbury’s musical project Axxa/Abraxas released its debut album. And though Asbury was writing new music during that time, his material didn’t coalesce into a follow-up record until now. Family Altar’s “warm, homey, lo-fi sound recalls the early Axxa/Abraxas cassette releases that were rerecorded for 2014’s self-titled LP,” he writes on his campaign page. “However, this record is a substantial sonic improvement over those early recordings.  This album provides a bridge between the psych-pop songs found on the last LP and the more psyched-out, krauty jammers that I’ve begun recording for the album to follow.” Axxa/Abraxas has already surpassed its $2,200 goal, to be used on pressing the new release to vinyl. However, further funding will allow Asbury to upgrade to purple vinyl and encase that in higher-grade packaging.

Daniel Hermes Sushumna’s book Conscious Love

Daniel Hermes Sushumna’s third book, Conscious Love, “is based on the premise that there is no magic bullet to creating perfect relationships, because every relationship is unique. So, instead of giving generalities on ways for couples to relate to one another, Conscious Love is about asking effective questions — of oneself and one’s partner — to illuminate the unique, unspoken aspects of each unique relationship.” Though it’s geared toward romantic relationships, the work’s underlying messages are applicable elsewhere. For instance, it discusses various types of attraction, love, intelligence and maturity, ways to build trust and strategies for sharing difficult feelings openly. And then there are a few “semiesoteric” chapters, Sushumna says, which cover conscious rituals, forgiveness rituals and more. Sushumna, who is also a hypnotherapist and spiritual scholar, is currently completing Conscious Love at a writer’s retreat in Portugal. He aims to raise $2,242 to self-publish the book and launch a website for it upon return.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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