Music Season II
The “Weekend Explorer” series uses original music that is
made, whenever possible, by musicians from the featured destination.
I have found time and time again that musicians are influenced by their
surroundings, whether they know it or not. The same exact traditional
Celtic piece played by a musician in the Eastern Sierras will sound very
different from that same piece played by a musician in Southern Utah.
In the music you can almost hear a mountain brook in the Eastern Sierras
babbling in the background, or wagon wheels turning in the music from
Utah. Below is an explanation of our
different episodes with the musicians and the music that adds so much
flavor and texture to each “Weekend Explorer” experience.
your are browsing the site, we suggest you have some music in the background.
To do this you must have an MP3 player. You can get any of the following
players for free.
a music sample by Weekend Explorer artist Mario Olivares.
Santa Fe, New Mexico Episode– Mario
Olivares and Latin Spice
Having first used their debut CD to reflect the Spanish Missions of California
in the San Diego episode, their sophomore CD followed to express the excitement
of exploring Carlsbad, New Mexico, we were happy to find that their third
CD was a perfect fit for the sublime holiness of Santa Fe.
Nevada Episode– by Ed
Finding appropriate music by a local artist can be a challenge, especially
in an area as small as Laughlin, Nevada. So, I searched the internet
for Laughlin and Las Vegas. Interestingly, Ed Drury’s name came
up. His music based on the didgerido, a wind instrument created by the
aboriginals of the deserts of Australia, was a great connection in my
mind to this desert community. Ed even used to play at a yearly festival
in Laughlin, even though he actually lives in wet and cool Portland,
Monica, California Episode– by The Knights
For all of the original music that we had for the different destinations
in California, we thought that we’d have something that would
work with Santa Monica. We were wrong. Santa Monica has its own distinct
feel, so I set off looking for some surf music. I first considered Dick
Dale, King of the Surf Guitar. He is well known in Southern California
and many people recognize his music from the film “Pulp Fiction.” His
music was a little hard core for us, and it did not reflect the lighter
side of enjoying the beach. We then found “The Knights,” also
a well known surf guitar band that has been around forever. The music
was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Whitefish, Montana Episode– by
The Drum Brothers
This was by far the easiest music to find to date. I was rummaging
through a local independent music store in Whitefish. After listening
a dozen local artists, I selected “The Drum Brothers.” After
talking with Matthew Marsolek, the leader of the group, he was excited
yet concerned about the music working. He was of the firm belief that
his music was pure African based music. We have heard this so many times
from our musicians. I have come to firmly believe that musicians are
greatly affected by their surroundings. I do think it was a bit of a
leap of faith even for us to match an “African” inspired
music with the lush green moist environment of Whitefish and Glacier
National Park. My lingering concerns were quelled when the head of the
Whitefish Chamber of Commerce called us up on seeing the completed the
show saying, “Great show, and I love the music!”
Kong, China Episodes– by Jia Peng Fang
The music for our Hong Kong episodes was by far in a way the most difficult.
I literally listened to over a hundred CDs and bought about 25. None
of them fit. Either they were relaxation music, which doesn’t
express the vibrant city that is Hong Kong, or they were electronic
not the acoustic music that we insist on. After months of looking, and
great frustration, I happened on White Swan Music that distributes a
number of Asian artists including Jia Peng Fang from China.
Wales Episode– by Male Voice Choir and Scott Williams
The Welsh are known for their choirs, and I detailed their history in
this episode. Idwal, our Welsh guide, sings in the Penrhyn Male Voice
Choir. So, we knew we were going to use some of this music. But, it
was not upbeat enough for the whole episode. I have worked with dozens
of Celtic bands and have numerous CDs. I was sure that one of these
would work, yet none of them seemed to fit quite right. Literally the
night before we were supposed complete this episode my editor voiced
what I was already thinking. Instead of the relaxing evening I had planned,
I stayed at work. I had met Scott Williams at a Renaissance faire and
I bought two of his CDs. He plays traditional Celtic and original music
on the dulcimer. I hadn’t heard these CDs for 8 months or more,
but I put them on for a listen. They were exactly what I was looking
for, even though Scott heralds from my hometown of San Diego and not
England Episode– by Grandson of Morris On
In our first night in Windermere, before catching the premier with my
crew of the latest Harry Potter film in the most crowded, hottest, local
movie theater I’d ever been in, I found my way to the local music
shop. After describing what I was looking for, the music shop owner
said that he had only one suggestion. He handed me a Grandson of Morris
On CD with the musicians on the cover dressed up like they were straight
out of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” I knew right
away just from the cover that this would be the perfect lighthearted
and often times tongue-in-cheek music to reflect the English. We threw
it on for a listen, and I left contented that I’d gotten off easy
on a sometime trying aspect of my job.