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Help create an album inspired by Colombian music and culture

A project by: Matt Thorns


WE RAISED £2,528

from 25 donors

This project received pledges on Tue 11 Aug 2015
Exploring and teaching music with children and artists all over Colombia, in order to write an album

Project summary

  • My aim is to create a musical recording which captures the diverse soundscape of Colombia which will promote their fresh and vigorous music culture.
  • All contributors will be able to download their own 'free' digital copy of my album.
  • I'm confident this will stimulate and resonate with many western listeners (even former choristers like me).
  • Colombia is attracting a global music audience and I want to help shape its future in this exciting and pioneering phase.
  • I will use mobile recording equipment and dynamic microphones to gather musical material and create a short album
  • Recordings will be made while learning, sharing & teaching music around Colombia. I will then refine and remaster these recordings in the very well equipped studio facilities at the University of York.
  • The final album version will be completed and submitted in October as part of my master's dissertation in music production.
  • All donations, no matter how small, will make a huge difference to the success of this project. Funds will allow me to travel widely and collect a greater diversity of music samples. 
  • I need to raise £2500 in total. I have already raised £500 through winning the International Connections award from Santander. If I can raise £1000 independently the university will match this figure.
  • In addition to researching for the album, I plan to share my music knowledge and skills with the Colombian community; in particular, teaching children and musicians in short volunteer sessions in schools and colleges. This will be aimed at stimulating students to love music and to learn more.
  • Working with charities Barefoot Foundation and Caring for Colombia will help me teach my music to children in the cities of CaliCartagena and Medellin

  • Barefoot Foundation is a charity set up by Colombian musician Shakira, who I aim to collaborate with in order to find out more about Colombian music.
  • Further collaboration with teaching institutions such as University EAFIT will enable me to compose and produce music with local musicians. 
  • I have been inspired by the works of musicians such as QuanticMala and Bjork and their unique multicultural fusions. I want to conduct my own research into Latin American music in order to be the first MA music student at York University to travel abroad for their dissertation.

Your help, networking and donations can turn this dream into a reality.

The costs for this project include:

  1. One months music expedition around Colombia (July) £2,500 includes flights (2 external + 4 internal) + accommodation
  2. Two month production process in York (August-September) 
  3. Funding for a Album launch party with the possibility of a performance. Location to be confirmed!


Who am I?

Hi, I'm Matt Thorns and I am a music production Master's Student at The University of York, England. I have been a professional singer since the age of 7 and also play a variety of instruments. 


From the age of 7, music has been my life's passion, as this is when I became an Oxford New College choir boy, singing every day and touring 8 weeks a year in America, Japan and Europe


Since the age of 15traveled to countries like Venezuela and South East Asia where I have enjoyed multiple aspects of their culture. Last summer I traveled around parts of Cambodia and Vietnam where I was exposed to a rich spiritual and musical culture. I motorbiked across these countries and felt compelled to make a music video with the footage I took.


'From the age of 16 I have composed, recorded and produced my own music.'

Whilst at York I formed a band - Orange international. We have played for almost 2 years across a variety of York music venues. Our music style is constantly evolving with each new project. In March 2014 we released an EP as part of my undergraduate dissertation and our now releasing our second this April 2015.

As a band, we have a variety of influences. Our members are from MexicoGuatemala and Malaysia (as well as the UK). This cultural 'melting pot' provides a wealth of inspiration from which to create music. We are constantly experimenting with new forms of music from LatinGamelan, Orchestral to the more conventional Rock and Funk. This allows us to create music with a unique blend of sounds. To this day we still find it difficult to pin-point our style (its sort of heavy, funk, latin, rock.) I am always trying to involve as many musicians as possible in our recordings and performances. I feel the band grows with each musician we encounter as they bring new ideas that often inspire us to compose in different ways.


"Music truly is the universal language" -  Herbie Hancock.

At the age of 22, I am an aspiring young musician studying the art of music production. This new avenue of musical creativity has taught me to take my compositions, solidify them from raw recordings, and turn them into products suitable for release to the general public. This insight into the music industry has inspired me to take on my biggest challenge yet: 
To travel to another country, become inspired by the musical culture, and pioneer something altogether unheard of before. 


'I’ve always wanted the chance to go to another country and explore the depth of their musical culture.' 

Now that I am a master's student I feel like I have the ability and confidence to take on this musical exploration. Furthermore, being at a top University, with access to music studios and musicians, I feel as though I have the tools and opportunity to turn this dream into something tangible: Taking my study of Colombian ethnomusicology and turning it into a record!

'This is a hugely ambitious project which can not be attained alone.'

I decided to turn this album into a crowd funded project because I want other people to share in its success. I need your money to raise £2,500 in order to work with charities, produce the album onto CD and conduct research in Colombia. Money is needed for video/recording equipment, insurance, travel costs, production, postproduction, distribution, release etc. 



  • Your donations are what will make this album possible - any amount will help! 
  • Your donations will go directly into teachingplanning and funding of an album that promotes Colombian music! 
  • You, the donors, will receive rewards or donate anonymously. 
  • Its a chance to make something we can all be proud to be a part of.
  • As a reward to each donor I will make a pledge based on the amount you donate.  (see pledges)
  • This will range from a personal thank you on social media sites, to a copy of the extended album, to access to my personal research information, to a copy of my music diary film, to special mentions on the album's credits and many more. 
  • All donators will be credited as being part of the support for the album. Thank you in advance!

Even though I ask for your money, I would like to thank you for reading through this crowdfunded page. It means a great deal to me that I can share the word on the most exciting project I have ever created!



I’ve chosen to focus on Colombia as it has one of the most rich and varied music cultures in South America. Ranging from Salsa to Cumbia, Champeta, Vallenato, Rock to urban Hiphop and many other genres. Traveling to Colombia to do my research will give me a varied musical portfolio of field recordings, which I can then transform into music in the UK. The opportunity to work with EAFIT University in Medellin and teach children, musicians and producers the music skills that I have learnt as part of my study, will be a hugely rewarding process. I will go with my own musical ideas, to show local musicians, in order to gain their interpretations and stylistic influence, hoping to enhance the songs I have already written. I aim to perform this music with musicians in Colombia in order to gain their insight and opinion. This will be an excellent way for me to edit, re-write and critique music for the album whilst in Colombia.

Caring for Colombia is a New York-based charity committed to improving the quality of life for Colombia's poorest. In cities such as Cartagena and Cali they have set up a network of schools that specialise in supplying music to students who wouldn't normally have access. I will help teach within these schools teaching my own knowledge of music to children.

'What most excites me about this project is the opportunity to work with musicians  of all backgrounds  and feel completely focused on their music...'

Working in another country will immerse me in a music making environment where I can be completely focused on learning and research. I cannot wait to work with passionate Colombian musicians and learn about the way they write music. I’ve always loved the way music brings people together to create something that feels bigger than themselves.

I am not the first musician to travel to Colombia for inspiration. Other British musicians have been inspired by the sounds of Latin America. For example British producer Quantic (Will Holland) travelled to Colombia in 2007 and loved the culture so much he created his own recording studio (Sonido del Valle) in Colombia. He now travels between America and Colombia producing and DJing.

Your help, networking and donations can turn this dream into a reality.

Ultimately I aim to bring back the sounds and music of Colombia for donators, fans and listeners in the UK. I hope that I will have the knowledge, research and field recordings to be able to develop a unique album of latin fusion music inspired by my visit to Colombia this June/July. Furthermore I hope to have earned my place within the community and feel I have done justice to a country with such a rich music history.

PLEASE before you leave, would you be so kind as to pass on or share this page & web-link with anybody you know!

Whether you can help me directly or if you just love music I would be eternally grateful.  You never know who will be willing to help this project, even if you are currently not able. :)

Follow mY CAMPAIGN! 

Get the BUZZ going!






2 years ago

Hello Readers!

I am currently half way through my expedition. Its been a very unusual journey. I've met a LOT of interesting people and have been generally very moved by the capacity of the Colombian people to help me achieve my quest. Of course they are happy to see a foreigner adapt to their culture yet still they go above and beyond to help me make this trip the best possible. 

You meet people in strange ways you don't expect. I bumped into some very talented musicians from Bogota whilst on a remote beach at an Ecohostel at Costeno Beach inside Tyrona National park. We played music together on the beach late into the night and almost instantly clicked. Im now meeting them in my final week of the trip in order to work recording them through practise instrumental jams sessions and booked recording time using their University studio. 

I've also been in good contact with Tomas Botero from Medellin. He has been very helpful trying to scout some really talented musician professionals. We bonded whilst I helped him record a gig off of Parque lleras. He has a partner Simon who have both created a professional studio that they live and work from. There both really well connect bright 24 years who are just really keen at the chance to get involved in all the local musical talent and create projects left right and centre.

I've met Alvaro Arango. Senior Head of Production for Codiscos and Disco Fuentes. They were the biggest labels to come out of Colombia and single handedly produced all the hit music that made it from out between 1950-1980. He was the youngest 80 year old that I'd ever met. Semi hippy/ semi gangster. I will never forget the moment we met and ended up listening to his greatest hits, dancing whilst drinking rum and looking out over the Andes from his farm house balcony. Forever inspired Alvaro you are truly living the dream. He really made me realise that it doesn't matter where you start in life if you have enough character, belief and determinism you can really make a difference to the music of your country. 

I met Juan Rafael Ramirez. Head of the Folkloric Music Ensemble at the University EAFIT. He was a cool talented guy and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the roots, origins and development of the music throughout Colombia. Even though the University was out of term. He came in and gave me a 2 hour lecture workshop where we discussed and made initially recordings of instruments and tropical beats.

There have been lots of interesting traveler who I've met who have helped me shape my project as I go along. Explain to everyone that your traveling around Colombian making a Fusion album comes with a lot of questions. All these questions I've had to think about the answers carefully and its really made my workflow on the holiday more concise. When you have to explain yourself to Peers they help you review your work. And what better way to meet people that in every town along the way on my quest.

Anyway watch this space to see more about my progess. Its going to be a very busy final 2 weeks!!!!



2 years, 1 month ago


So after 25 hours of traveling I have arrived at my first stop in Colombia, Medellin. It is the second largest city in Colombia and is situated in a massive valley. I am currently staying with a friend in their apartment and they are begin very hospitable to me. Thank you Carolina.

Preparations to meet musicians are already underway.

Next Monday I am meeting with the head of folkloric studies at EAFIT University and will also meet some musicians from the Caribbean Coast who will join our discussion of the history and culture of music in Colombia. There may also be the opportunity for me to do some recording with them so I can begin to start writing music. 

There will be more updates so stay posted as everything is constantly very exciting.



2 years, 1 month ago

Very exciting news today!

I have got in contact with Jacob Edgar who is the head of Cumbancha Records. He is very influential music producer with label of artists from all over the globe. He has many connections in Colombia and has agreed to help me get in touch with some quality musicians. This means my album will have some professional collaborators on now!!

Furthermore thanks to those who have supported me so far. We have now raise 1/6 of the £2500 target.

Thanks & keep the buzz going


YuFund matchfunded £500

Matt Thorns

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Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

Matt, we cannot wait to hear that funkee music! Marina & Badger x

Good Luck Matt Lots of Love Kathy, John and Nicholas

Good Luck Matt - break a leg - not in Dave Grohl kind of way though! xxx

Steve I have always been passionate about music and think what you are doing is fantastic. I look forward to hearing the finished product. Cheers Martin

Great way to support talented musician and producer Matt Thorns in an international and humanitarian project.

Good luck Matt and have fun on what sounds like a very interesting Journey in so many ways . All the best Paschal & Joan

Good luck Matt!