I am putting the final flourishes on the new album for my trio which is named for our latest project, Genius Loci, and the album title is East. This is a collaborative creation project instantly composed by me, Reg and Michel during our summer travels.
Working with the notion of channeling the spirits of place we approached each recording day as a clean slate and a new musical adventure. Reg set up recording gear in one of the many spacious, beautiful rooms we had in Ubud, Yogyakarta, Salere, Indonesia or Kyoto, Japan. Then I would bring the poetry I’d written moments before. Michel rummaged around in kitchens and cupboards to find percussion instruments and so ended up playing buckets, pans, ladders and brushes made from brooms.
After bringing these new songs home to Montreal I polished them with the help of some other great artists, my good friends Luluk Purwanto (violin) and Dianne Aitken (flute). Everyone else in the family also joined in, with my sons JJ and Theo contributing backing vocals and gamelan layers and even my dad, Walter, keeping time with the ketuk he played with us all when we were at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia.
So that’s how it was constructed, a bit like describing a pen and paper when the story itself is left to be told. Here is the first song brought to life by Theo. As he embarks on a new career in illustration as Beamboy.illustrator on Instagram, he brings the music to life visually with this speed art created for the song Tok Tok.
Look for the new album soon on my Bandcamp page. Meanwhile we will get ready for the next compass point of the project, Genius Loci, North!