Jayhawks founding member Mark Olson and his wife Ingunn Ringvold have a new album called Magdalen Accepts The Invitation. Instead of telling us about a song from the effort, Mark gives us some insight into album making. Here is Mark:
I would like to meditate on album making. I can show you a place where that can be done. The river within the river - the floating, reflection pool of a songwriter's life is located in Foglesong Park, a dry burnt out piece of land in railroad neighborhood in Barstow, CA.
This park has a large well-maintained swimming pool, and every week night they have open public swimming for one dollar. You wait at a barbed wire gate in the hot hot sun staring at a super cold enormous Olympic pool. The water used in this pool comes directly out of the ground, pulled out of the underground Mojave River which is snow melt from the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains. The water is cold and the water is moving when it hits the pool and it maintains a river current that rotates clockwise out into the deep-end and back, and you can simply float in a gigantic circle for as long as you can take the chilly temperatures. Getting out of the water you are baked instantly in the summer Barstow oven. There's a lifeguard's radio playing stop and shop on your way to Vegas. It's like a dream, it's time to dream an ancient underground river is turning things over in my mind.
No one tells you that you need a demolition crew working on the edge of your recording property, but you do. You need to have these guys tearing down stuff all the time. And then you start rebuilding - mostly memories - the way things happened: the second cousins' house in Le Suere Minnesota; the back yard with a mowed lawn and clothesline and then just endless prairie; the Donovan record and the flat picking that sounded sweet. Just outside the pool fence is a different side of the story. The ashtray-colored representation of the deals, the mis-deals, the connections, the vague, scary playgrounds, the frantic conversation and street dealers staring in different directions.
Breathe in and breath out, float around in a circle. When the red sun goes down, come out of the water. Sit on a bench at the Tastee Freez. Start over again.
Learn more about the album right here!