Although I came to Quito for music, I quickly found out that the city is ripe with graffiti and street art. I have always been an active painter, and told the residency that I would like to paint a mural or two, also. To my surprise, the week after I said this, I began painting for a community house in the historic Tola district of the city. The community is called “Casa Somos” and overlooked la Basilica in the historic center city area. It was slightly hard to paint there because it rained every afternoon, but it was eventually finished. While painting, I met a veteran graffiti artist from Quito. Luis Auz. He invited me to Mompiche, Ecuador to collaborate with him and another seasoned artist. It seemed that every time I would seize an opportunity, five more opportunities would become apparent. I guess that’s how life works.
I was taken aback when I first received my letter of acceptance from Artefacto Sonoro. I had submitted a few songs along with my application with the hopes of getting an opportunity to learn and teach in South America. The residency has been exactly what I have needed. From learning cultural norms, to learning more Spanish, to making solid musical connections, the experience has provided an opportunity to grow out of my past comfort zone and into a new, more confident level of musicianship and living.
As a stipulation of the residency, I formed a project specific to the time and location here in Quito. I was given complete freedom over the direction of the project, and I have chosen to record a compilation album of musicians living in the area. So far on the album, there are musicians from Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile. There are clear differences in the styles among the musicians, from which arise interesting anthropological implications. There is still much work to be done in the fields of research, recording, mastering, and in the realization of the overarching lessons of this experience. More to come.
Thanks for joining me! This blog is about a journey to Quito, Ecuador to participate in a multitude of creative ventures in the local Quito community. It tells the story of not only the process of making music, but also of the unexpected journeys that inevitably come with every adventure.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton