Or … how a very cool start-up hacked itself for a very good cause …

NOTE: This is a preprint of the “From the Artist” article I wrote for “ConcertWindow.com” about our recent collaboration on a musical marathon. I’ve written a lot about this event – but this particular post focuses on how the Harpathon  happened and how  ConcertWindow.com made it possible.

When my husband’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s we felt stunned and helpless.  The disease is bad enough, but the helplessness we felt as a family was like a knife of disconnect.

In early 2014, my husband decided that, no matter how helpless we are, he wanted to do something to help, to connect, to be part of her journey.

He’s both a musician and marathon coach, so he decided to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for Parkinson’s research thru the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s “Team Fox.”


I wanted a way to be able to help, and to connect my own personal journey to each of theirs – but there was no equivalent of the Michael J. Fox foundation for fundraising harp marathons.   

Enter ConcertWindow.com…

I’ve been performing live webshows through ConcertWindow since 2013. I love the platform and how it lets me connect to audiences all over the world, so I proposed the idea of my performing a MARATHON fundraising webshow, to be broadcast while my husband was running the marathon, and to end just as he crossed the finish line.

That way I could run with him, in my own way.

I floated my idea to Dan Gurney, creator of ConcertWindow.com, and he immediately jumped in with both feet, and offered to not only host it and promote it, but to add the standard ConcertWindow cut to anything we raised through tickets and tips. We’d then donate that collaboratively directly to the Michael J Fox foundation “Team Fox” through my husband’s marathon-running page. [http://bit.ly/JW-Marathon2014]


A Beautiful Fundraising Hack

Yup, ConcertWindow.com hacked their own income process quickly and beautifully to turn it into a fundraising conduit for 6 hours so that every penny that came in through that live webshow went directly to Parkinson’s research through “Team Fox.”

Actually … they just donated every penny from that show directly to the Marathon fundraising site my husband had already set up.

It all came together very fast – about a week before the Boston Marathon — and together we raised over $5,000.

The Human Face of an Artist-Run Platform

Would YouTube have partnered with me for this?  Or Facebook? As an independent artist, how would I even have found an actual human person to contact at either of those places??

This is a huge power of artist-run creative-empowering platforms like ConcertWindow.

I know that ConcertWindow was created – and is still run – by a musician and it’s obvious, by how they work, that their human connection to individual artists is still strong, personal, individual … and growing.

Spontaneous Personalized YouTube Moment

One of my favorite moments during the Harpathon was when one of the audience members – Donna – wrote in the chat window that she wished her parents could hear my song, “The Nightingale” — but said they didn’t know how to watch a livestream concert.

So right there and then, I clicked on my iPad, and recorded a short version of the song specifically for her parents, and uploaded it to YouTube (You can watch it right here: http://youtu.be/ByRE-cf-uRc )nightinale-youtube-donnaparents-harpathonTwo minutes later she clicked in a tip for $40 – which went right into the pot for Parkinson’s research.

That felt SO good – to know that I was doing something that would let her connect with her parents, she was doing something that would let me connect with a cause and a family member deeply important to me and ConcertWindow.com was hacking themselves to make that possible!

So I here’s a shout-out to ConcertWindow.com, for CONNECTING me, one-on-one, with each person who came to that show, and to a cause that is so important to me.  Thank you ConcertWindow!

My Next Live Webshow

My next live Webshow is Sun. May 18 at 4:30 pm. Get tix here.  If you’re reading this after that date, you can see when the next live webshow is by going my Artist page on ConcertWindow.com or to DHC-TV.com.

To read more about the Harpathon, how it happened and what it was, read these posts:

  • How to Train for a Harpathon –  read it here
  • Act of Love – Harpathon for Parkinson’s Research:  read it here
  • Harping the Boston Marathon for Parkinson’s: read it here
  • Marathon Music – Livestream 5.5 Hour Show – Mon. Apr. 21 : read it here

Sounds Like a Marathon

On a side note, while I was performing my live webshow, my husband – a mastering engineer – was recording his marathon run via a microphone and micro-recorder he wore through the whole race, capturing the sounds. He’s now making that audio file available to musicians who might want to mix sounds of the marathon into their own projects.

If you’re one of those, then you can connect with him through the contact page on his website M-Works.com explain your project and ask him how to get that file.

Just be aware that the file is almost 1.5 GB, 4 hours long, so you need a good high speed connection to download it.  He says you’re free to do what they want with it with the following stipulations: If you publish your results mention him (Jonathan Wyner) and www.m-works.com in the description and send him a copy or a link pointing to what you create.

Here’s another photo I just really like from the event – showing all the cameras we had set up:







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