Posts Tagged ‘Mary Gauthier’

Renmin Park, volume 1 – Little Dark Heart

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

When we adopted my youngest daughter, when she was placed in our arms for the very first time, she stared at us in complete silence for about 30 seconds and then huge tears, enormous sorrow, welled from deep inside her. It was from that specific moment that the phrase little dark heart sprung. I held on to it for six years because I didn’t understand how it applied, how can a one-year-old child have a dark heart? It was after our visits to the orphanages (and after working with Mary Gauthier on The Foundling) that I realized that this darkness is a shadow, a shadow cast on my daughters’ hearts by their birth mothers, always present never seen, and that, this darkness, will never go away. Being abandoned as a baby by one’s mother, no matter what the circumstance, is not an easy reality to face up to.

When you adopt a child from China they give you a dossier of very official looking paperwork with very little information about your child. One piece that is in every dossier is the “police report” which outlines where your child was found. According to the police reports our eldest daughter was found beneath the tax bureau gate and our youngest was found in a ditch by the side of the road. These are not images that are easily shook…and then you begin to think about the twisted meanderings of Fate, of all the convoluted circumstances that took them from that lost dark night, into your home, into your heart:

One is left in a ditch by the highway / the other by the tax bureau gate/Wherever you come from/that’s where you go/They lie staring at the stars and they wait/They lie staring at the stars and they wait.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

If you’d like to catch up on some past blogs about the Renmin Park album, just click on a link:

Renmin Park – Introduction

Renmin Park – The Place

Renmin Park – The Sounds

Renmin Park – The Music

Renmin Park – The Lyrics

Renmin Park – A Few Bags Of Grain

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in news | 2 Comments »

Mary Gauthier – The Foundling

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I had the great pleasure of producing Mary Gauthier’s new album, The Foundling, this past winter. It’s an intensely personal collection of songs, best described in her own words:

I was born to an unwed mother in 1962 and subsequently surrendered to St. Vincent’s Women and Infants Asylum on Magazine Street in New Orleans, where I spent my first year. I was adopted shortly thereafter but left my adopted family at fifteen. I wandered for years looking for, but never quite finding a place that felt like home. I searched for, found, and was denied a meeting with my birth mother when I was 45 years old. She couldn’t afford to re-open the wound she’d carried her whole life, the wound of surrendering a baby. The Foundling is my story.

Working with Mary on these songs and talking about the stories and the issues that revolved around them allowed me to finally focus on and conceptualize the album that became Renmin Park. It was an intense and wonderful experience. Latent Recordings has the great honour of representing The Foundling in Canada. Here are some links to some early reviews of the album.

No Depression

Boston Globe

Take a listen to the album for free and if you like what you hear buy a copy.

Tags: ,
Posted in news | 3 Comments »

Tour Diary – Vancouver, BC (Oct 1, 2009)

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

This was definitely a weird way to start a tour, but a welcome one.  This gig dropped in our laps a few weeks ago along with a big bag of change. Today the Hudson Bay Company (which is a large Canadian retail chain) unveiled their line of Olympic wear for the upcoming 2010 Winter Games which are taking place here in Vancouver. They also held a party to celebrate the opening of their Olympic superstore in which all of their Olympic swag will be sold. We were part of the celebration and played a sixty minute set in the store along with a couple of other Canadian acts; Dan Mangan and Sam Roberts. It was a standard in-store performance under bright fluorescent lights with a hundred or so people milling about. Later that evening we were shuttled over to the cocktail party soiree where the company was schmoozing all of the sponsors. We played a fifteen minute set that was listened to by no one. There was polite applause after the first song, the DJ politely applauded after the second song (he was feeling sorry for us) and by the third song we might as well have gone home: of all the species of geese in the world the Canada goose is the most hardy and vocal. In any case this was your classic “crank and bank”, not the most satisfying type of gig to play but they help to fill in the financial gaps.  We fly home tomorrow, get in around the kids bedtime and leave the next day on the bus before sun up. It’s a lot of hassle and travelling but, as I said, it’s well worth it, from a bottom line point of view.

These last two months have been off for the band. August was dedicated to family vacations and enjoying the final few weeks of Summer (which is a real necessity up here in the North). September was focused on outside projects and everyone getting their kids settled back in to school. I did a bit of writing and did some studio work with Mary Gauthier.  It’s always hard to start up again…but always exciting and fun once you get back at it.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Tour Diary | Comments Off