"20th Century Folk Selections" is meant to transcend, and challenge our concept of divisions within music. In creating these divisions, we've created a nonsensical distance between each other as human beings. The music we share and love, the very existence of music, is of far greater importance than any one person's, or group of people's perception of how sound should be organized.

With a bit of willingness to listen and consider as the only prerequisite, this is a record meant to celebrate the believer. Its a record of hope. 

I

 Last year when constantly on tour we would go in and have sessions with A Love Electric whenever in MX City at a studio called Sala de Audio. I had a ton of music I wanted to record, and had thought about a double record. The concept was records that commented on each other, a record of traditional music, later I called it folk music as more tunes on the record came to be selected, and a record of original music that was the confluence of many of the folk concepts in music we've absorbed. The record evolved as we got further in, and we dedicated a full album to exploring re-arrangements, de-rrangement of folk tunes, from Malvina Reynolds, traditional tunes sung by the Carter Family, Big Mama Thornton, Son House. All music thats been very close to me from a young age, and where I still go to have the blood pulled places its fallen to still. I grew up with Blind Willie Mctell to Curtis mayfield being played in my house.

It was a very organic and encouraging process in the studio, many of my bandmates, being from Argentina, Mexico, and Illinois (Meckler shot) never having heard these tunes, meaning there were no preconceptions about how the songs "should" sound. We were able to create around the core of the tune, generally just the melody, an entirely new piece. You can hear this in songs like "Little Boxes" and "Pay Me My Money Down". Others, a live performance of the song with adjustments to the harmony and melody seemed a more appropriate way to go about presentation, examples being "All Apologies" and "Gratitude".

The arrangements were all done with the "folk" concept" in mind; the harmony, color, tone of the tracks reflecting the lyrical content, largely where the song's meaning can be found. The lyrics now being absent, the arranging also became an exercise in discovering how I attach certain emotions from the spoken language to music. "Little Boxes" is a protest tune, the arrangement is aggressive from the start but also adventurous in having an odd timed section that perhaps offers an alternative to the satirical commentary in the song's verses. "Pay Me My Money Down" reflects the sentiment in the title in its brash arrangement, "Heroin", so on.

II

Poster_resized

 

Folk is simply the music of the people to me, its no more complex than that. Its not a genre, and unlike jazz or metal or classical, is not marked by a time period in which it had its mightiest weight in society, it was and is always there, as long as we were and are. Minstrel songs were folk music, the blues was folk music, big band swing was folk music in the 20's. Grunge - folk.

Music is a reflection of our human experience, and the times in which it is most poignant are often the times during which a given society, now our global society, is undergoing profound change, challenge, or growth. We emote in reaction to our surroundings and how they affect us, and music is how some of us best tell stories, or emote. Thats a people thing, not a music thing, and thats where the music is found - In humanity -  not in academia nor a genre of an artistic medium that has more to do with a personal identity than acceptance of our human condition. Its in the folks.

A Pete Seeger take on Little Boxes

So thats folk music to me, the music that comes from the depth of human the human experience and our reaction, commentary on it. In the music's creation, knowingly or not, there is a commentary on the human condition at hand. Its incredibly personal, yet universally understood.

The tunes on "20th Century Folk Selections" are only eclectic, or perhaps seemingly random, if we continue the narrow, sales driven construct, of the modern genre and sub-genre. What genres really are are adjectives describing the sound you are going to hear, and only relevant in that they are learned to have an identity; that identity is not inherent. For example, what does "rock and roll" mean? Nothing at all, except that we have learned, at a very young age what "rock and roll" sounds like. But its completely arbitrary the name.

 

 

"20th Century Folk Selections" is meant to transcend, and challenge our concepts of divisions within music. In creating these divisions, we've created a nonsensical distance between each other as human beings. The music we share and love, the very existence of music, is of far greater importance than any one person's, or group of people's perception of how sound should be organized.

I hope that by playing what could controversially be accepted as folk music, or songs of the people, in a manner that includes influences from various approaches to sound, a wide harmonic palette, improvisation and melody, form that is presented in a way common to jazz music, adventurous rhythmic concepts; that the result is something genuinely human, can be an emotional experience in empathy, and perhaps offers a commentary on where we are.

Its instrumental, people place all kinds of tags, and confusing in between tags on it, but I believe we made a record of real substance, there's a joy in it, even at the dimmest of moments, being that we are all together in this. With a bit of willingness to listen and consider as the only prerequisite, this is a record meant to celebrate the believer. Its a record of hope. 

Thanks for your support and time coming by, much love

Todd

Video up next on arranging Little Boxes and how it all goes down

Hear "Gratitude" from the record here

http://m.soundcloud.com/todd-clouser/07-gratitude

Leave a comment:

  •  

Exclusive News and Music

Free "Tlalpan Girl" Download

iTunes Playlist

Tour

  • 12/23/2017
    Zero Gauge - , Osaka
     
  • 12/25/2017
    Zacbaran - Sakyo Ward, Kyoto
     
  • 12/29/2017
    Gumbo Shu - Tokyo,
     

Tweet With Me

The Networks

YouTube -- www.youtube.com/toddclousermusic Twitter -- www.twitter.com/toddclouser Facebook -- www.facebook.com/aloveelectric