Back Roads

October 31, 2008

This past summer, I made my third visit to northern Italy to complete the last few tracks of a new collection of songs. Two springs, two summers, two autumns and one winter later it is finished. The first song was written in early spring of last year, the snow was melting and the long winter was winding down. The last piece was written this past summer in a sweltering basement studio, walking distance from the Ligurian sea. It was the peak season for peaches there and it brought back memories of my childhood growing up in Georgia.It is the last day of October. Gold and scarlet colored leaves hang precariously from rain soaked branches waiting for the next great storm. The Japanese Maple still cloaked in burgundy, will soon stand naked above the midnight blue statue of Buddha that has become a symbol of patience and stillness contrasting the ever changing backdrop of the Maple tree.It is only a matter of days before the rain turns to snow.

We are now more then half way through the golden season. The ground is carpeted with leaves, the wood is stacked, the fires are full flame and the work of keeping this old cape warm has begun. I am always in two minds about whether to rake up the leaves and toss then onto the edge of the forest. They are so beautiful. The final burst of color before everything turns grey and white for what at times feels like endless winter here in the northeast.

These next few months I will ‘hole-up’ in the small room where I work and look out the 10 windows that fill the room with what ever light the day has to offer, the room where most of the lyrics were written, bringing the respective season into each song. I will continue to work on a short film, an introduction or reintroduction to me as an artist, something similar to a film that I made several years back with David Sylvian called ‘Time Spent’. I will begin to imagine the path that this collection of very personal songs will take.

Here where I live time is slow and the days are a balance between the domestic and the creative, the lines blurred.

There are 13 songs. Most of them were co-written with my dear friend Lorenzo Scopelliti, one of the most creative beings I have ever crossed paths with. He is an artist with soul and a vision that reflects my own emotional response to life and nature and it’s indelible hold on the heart.

I opened my Music Myspace page a little over two years ago, thanks to an up and coming clothing designer out of Sacramento named Richard Hallmarq who had a dream. He tracked me down through my music publishing lawyer and convinced me to open a myspace page and to consider writing music again. He also talked me into doing my one and only live performance of a few of the songs from my album ‘May 19, 1992’ during a fashion event in San Francisco featuring his line of clothing at the time. A dream come true for him. I had over the years devoted myself entirely to raising my two daughters and son and in doing so, had put all of my creative energy into them. Richard’s search to find the missing ‘Ingrid Chavez’ coincided with my own search.

We all have our angels.

Once the Myspace page was opened up, the response was overwhelming and moved me deeply. I did not expect anyone to even remember my name or past work. I am truly grateful to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging these past two years. Many long lost friends were clever enough to look for me here. I am still alive and doing well in my own quiet kind of way.

This being Music Myspace, many wonderful artists have written to ask if I would consider a collaboration. It wasn’t until Lorenzo sent me a lovely piece of music that he was working on for a solo album for himself, that I really thought seriously about returning to music. The song was simply titled, ‘Song For Ingrid’. Upon first listening, an emotional chord was struck in me. I asked him would he mind if I recorded a vocal idea for it and he said that he would be honored. That piece did become the first song that we collaborated on and the seed was planted for what would become my first full length solo cd since my Paisley Park release many years ago. That seed song is now titled ‘Isobel’ and is the final track on the cd.

Lorenzo’s devotion to this music is as deep as my own. His visual and sound design has been a great inspiration. His patience allowed me the time I needed to spend with each new piece. There was never pressure to meet a deadline. This body of work speaks of two years of my life here in the north country where I live and how the rhythm of nature mirrors the artist heart.

Everything we need to know about ourselves can be found in the silence and beauty of nature.

I can’t speak about this album without mentioning Alessandro Mazzitelli or Mazzi as we call him, to whom without his dedication and belief in this project, it might not have happened. He recorded the tracks and pulled all of the talented musicians together. I have driven him crazy surely, but he has been such a good sport. I can say for certain that he learned more english in two years than I learned Italian.

So, as autumn turns to winter and winter turns to spring I will be preparing for a late April release of this album. I don’t know it’s path yet. I am one to take each day as it comes. I have learned from past experience that nothing is worth losing your peace of mind over. The path is too perfect, it’s beauty is in the details.

“There’s a beauty in the open road and I don’t want to miss a sign, so I’ll take my time.”

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One Response to “Back Roads”

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