Sunday, August 16, 2009

2003 : 34-35
Aught Music Roundtable: Songs from the Black Mountain Music Project by Mirah and Ginger Takahashi

Roundtable Part One: "While We Have The Sun"

This wonderful little album is valuable for many reasons, but not least because it functions as a documentation of a particular creative process. As explained in the liner notes:

"Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn and Ginger Brooks Takahashi went to Black Mountain, North Carolina in the cusp between summer and fall of 2002 to create music ... For one month, Mirah and Ginger lived a life that combined summer's carefree nonchalance with autumn's diligence. They stayed in a friend's grandmother's house, rode bikes through the six-block town, cooked with vegetables from the garden across the street, and played music every day. And they invited friends to come down for a few days at a time and help make an album to document it all."

One month is about a perfect chunk of time to complete a humble, human-scale creative project, and many of the songs on this album are essentially commenting on what it feels like to live a humble, human-scale, creative life. This crystallizes memorably on "While We Have The Sun," a tender meditation upon life and death:

If you want to shake whatever separates you from
The holiness you want to make your life on earth become
Live your life with a compassion you can be proud of
Then let your last breath fade away with dignity and love

Jeremy Bushnell

Roundtable Part Two: "Oh! September"

This is the right time of year for this song. September is coming and the summer is ending. This song makes me think of the last few weeks before school starts. Those weeks when you try to squeeze all you can before you need to go back to reality. Between the bass line, the horn blare and the clapping, you would not be able to keep me off the dance floor with this song. I love any song that can put a smile on my face right away. No matter how I am feeling, this song puts me in a better mood. Bring on the carefree days when we still can.

Meet me at the back shack, baby
You'll bring your little ukelele
Oh take-up reel, make it all right
Let's make a song on the eight track tonight
Meet me at the back shack, baby

Rich Thomas

Listen: Mirah & Ginger Takahashi >> "While We Have The Sun" | "Oh! September"

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