April 17, 2012 by T A R A
I recently came across this recording from a couple years ago that I did with my friend Uncle Alien at his place in the hills of Laurel Canyon. I went up there one evening to experiment a bit with my sax, digeridoo and some electronics, and this ambient, arythmic track is what we did.
It was a fun evening of making music, and honestly I don’t think I ever really listened to the recording he sent me all the way through until recently. I listened to it on my third and last day of taking my malaria medication (catching malaria being the result of deciding not to take preventative meds this time in Africa), and maybe it was the effect of the meds, but the song sent me on a crazy nostalgia trip. I’m here in Senegal staying with a beautiful family, and we were on our way to visit relatives in a rural village some hours out of the city. As we drove past the magical baobob trees, my mind started down a rabbit hole of sun-stained memories from LA that continued into the wee hours of the morning keeping me far from sleep. Maybe they weren’t all memories, but romanticized re-envisionings of my life there perhaps tainted by too many episodes of Californication. It’s like I realized that the life I’ve always wanted is the live I’ve had but I didn’t know it.
My mind was a montage of drives down the 10 freeway or through Topanga canyon or waiting around on low-budget film sets during golden hour. Sitting on the beach or on a mountain or in Joshua Tree taking part in illicit activities. BBQs and balconies. Video projects, band rehearsals, and the Sounds from Studio 5. Looong bike rides down Santa Monica Boulevard and conversations with strangers on the sidewalk in front of the Bodhi Tree bookstore, some of those conversations literally life-changing. Loves found and loves lost. And now I’m here in Senegal, betrothed to my fiance, and so far from that place in so many ways. I had a wonderful few days in St. Louis, Senegal this past weekend that almost made me feel like I was back in Cali. The tiny streets near the water and the artsy vibe reminded me of Venice Beach and so many other places there. I got back in touch with me solo a little bit and it felt incredible. Kinda wish I’d stayed longer!
I’ve got less than two weeks left here in Dakar and then I’ll be heading to California and Vegas for a bit before going to graduation in New York and then back to Ghana mid-May to be with my beloved. It’s going to be a dense few weeks reconnecting with my favorite people and places and it’s exactly what I need to go back to Ghana and get down with my man and some serious recording sessions!! I’ll definitely be keeping this one on the ipod for the journey. Enjoy the track and let me know if it hits you special too…:-)