In late February 2015, Joe Nolan flew into Mexico City and together we went back to the Quest Mexico www.quest-mexico.org
house in the hills that look over the beautiful Cuernavaca, "La ciudad de la eterna primavera", the city of eternal spring. My good friend Gerardo Debbink (director of Quest) kindly allowed us to use his program room as a studio. The idea was to record a full album live off the floor using one room mic. Joe acted as a producer and helped me strengthen the songs for I'd been working on there over the previous month.
13 tracks were recorded onto my mac mini and transported back to Edmonton, Alberta in early March. It had been an amazing month of writing songs, working on a semester program for Quest, attempting to learn Spanish and going to two beautiful Canadian/Mexican weddings. The last week of my time in Mexico was mainly spent recording the songs over and over with Joe until we got a good take of all of them. Sadly, we got all the performances right but the sound quality and actual recordings from the room were an sound engineers nightmare.
Fortunately my dear cousin Mitch who runs Fieldhouse Records was able to fix up some of the tracks to be easy on the ears. We had to choose the strong tracks and only 4 made the cut which is precisely why this is only Part 1 of the Letters For Landfills Project. I intend to record the rest of the songs professionally here in Edmonton.
I want to mention that I wrote a couple of songs specifically about the corrupt state of affairs we see in Mexico today that keep the poor very poor and continue help the top 10% get more wealthy. The reality of these growing injustices becomes more and more astounding when you spend some time in the real Mexico, as oppose to resort Mexico. Quest Mexico is a non-profit organization devoted to social justice through transformative and experiential education. It's a place one can go to learn about those things and try to find his or her place in it all. It's also a place that allowed me to get away from home when I really needed to.
These songs are what they are. My opinion of them no longer matters. We all have a vulnerable and lovesick teenager inside of us. At least I hope we all do. Writing songs is one way I acknowledge that vital piece of my existence. I hope listening to them does the same for you.
When recording in Cuernavaca in the evening, the crickets seemed deafening. Recording during the day felt like both a battle and a conversation with the birds. You can hear both as a backdrop in these recordings.
As you likely know, there is very little money in the music business for artists who aren't interested in selling a brand, an image or a sexual suggestion. I'm not making music to make money but I want to keep making it, so if you like what you hear and you want it on your MP3 player, please download these recordings for yourself and pay what you would like. I'm saving up to make another album like my first two.
Thank you for accepting music from me.