After years of collaborating with elementary students to write songs about animals, I have recorded a demo album of the songs.
When students at Anansi Charter School
were studying various regions of the world, their excitement about animals needed to be made into songs. I would cook up a melody, rhythm and chord progression, and students would cook up lyrics to go with it. Polar regions, rainforests, Africa, North America, Australia, China... the songs have been piling up for years, frequently requested by students during music classes.
Here is a video of me describing the songwriting process while being interviewed by Katie Stone live on "The Children's Hour" on KUNM in Albuquerque.
From August to November, 2016, I recorded these thirteen songs in my home studio, slowly layering tracks. Scratch tracks, cajón, bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, percussion, electric guitar, banjo, oud, melodica--the songs started to take shape.
At last it was time for the vocals, with Brooke Ann Zanetell singing lead on some tracks and me on others. Kids' voices were recorded with a handheld recorder at the school. Royalty-free animal sounds were tracked down on the internet.
Finally, some talented friends gave their time and energy on instrumental solos: Jeremy Jones of Big Swing Theory played soulful tenor saxophone on "Sloth song", "Duck-billed Platypus", and "Polar Bears". Rachael Penn of the Pot Creek String Band played fiddle on "The Sloth Song". Jim Stewart played harmonica on "Howler Monkeys" and "Who's That Bird".
I mixed it all at home with the invaluable assistance of Jim Wilson (Voice of Eye). Mastering was handled by Omar Rane at The Tone Palace.
Contact me about this project!