Janesville musician plays to the crowd

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Margaret Plevak | December 12, 2013

JANESVILLE -- Matthew Hollingsworth, a Janesville piano teacher and freelance composer with his own recording studio, has composed music for commercials television public service announcements, and performed at area concerts.

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He used his own savings to produce his first album of contemporary classical music under the moniker of The Morning Still, but decided to fund his second album using Kickstarter, an online program that asks for collaborative public funding for creative projects.

Hollingsworth completed a month-long funding campaign Oct. 26, raising $2,230. His original goal was $1,773. 

While Internet crowdfunding platforms are a relatively new idea, patrons of the arts have been paying out of their pockets since the days of Beethoven and Mozart. But digital technology has broadened the base of patrons. It's also changed the publishing industry for music.

"I think crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are the future of music," Hollingsworth said. "I thank my lucky stars often that I live in the age of the Internet, where doing this is even a possibility. I don't have to live in Los Angeles or New York and I don't have to be on a huge label. In fact, labels are failing left and right and getting things done yourself and reaching out directly to your fans is the way things are done now."

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