MP3 Jacob Smigel - New Mexico
A quixotic folk album drawing from many sources: song writing, field recordings, personal research, and book-on-tape-style stories, to navigate a personal and powerful trip through the montage memories of childhood.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (33:07) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk-Rock, FOLK: Field Recordings
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My music has long been an expression of my love for both arts and the sciences. Six or seven of the songs on 2003’s Animal Diseases are legitimately about “animal diseases,” such as "hyperkeratosis," "hydrophobia," and "new castle disease." Scientific themes are more subtly woven into 2004’s Full Grown… whose word-play explores more human themes such as love, duty, and remembrance. My work as an EMT in Las Vegas, NV (a job I held for four years) inspired the song “Call 911!!,” which is written from the perspective of an ambulance driver.
The types of meaningful, yet anonymous, connections that I made at work helped to spurn my interest in lost recordings. 2006’s Eavesdrop: a wealth of found sound is a collection of anonymous recordings I found at thrift stores, yard sales, and in trash bins over a four year period. The collection draws from audio cassettes, 8-tracks and home-recorded records containing tape-letters, audio diaries, the sound of road trips, fights, crying, family moments, telephone conversations, etc… Eavesdrop is very purposely a human collection that celebrates the folk art of personal recording, the way we choose to remember our experiences, and hopefully enrich our lives.
In much the same way that Eavesdrop documents anonymous people’s lives, my newest release, New Mexico, documents an aspect of my own. New Mexico combines song writing, field recordings, spoken word, and personal research to celebrate (and tell the story of) my family’s mountain retreat: a run-down adobe cabin. I spent two weeks of each childhood-summer there on a sage-covered plot of high mountain property with a one hundred year old Spanish-adobe cabin as its centerpiece. A family retreat that was part artifact, part shanty, and part pipedream.
My interests in science, art, and meaningful human connection have come full circle, leading me to a career in medicine. I am proud to be attending medical school currently, which will forever change the focus of my life. I am confident however, that my creative and artistic energies will be funneled into new projects that are yet unknown to me. Whether New Mexico proves to be my last, or second to last, or third to last, is beyond the point. New Mexico is the last album of my youth, and is purposely set in a place where I grew up: Northern New Mexico.