As delinquent kids, our recording career started and quickly failed long ago at a sizzling concert by the noted Sandia Hots, an old-time fiddle and banjo group out of Albuquerque. We thought we’d bootleg and get rich with our $1.99 thrift store cassette tape recorder and a lapel mic taped to a yardstick. We got great ambient crowd sounds, but our rig made the music sound like it was coming out of a dime store AM radio.
Later on, in the middle of our short career in construction with a huge guy named Pig in a sewage treatment plant in South Carolina, realizing that an easier method of making a living would be just the thing, we got into film and video.
We made films in the Tetons and in Colorado and Africa. There was sound, of course. You can’t have motion without sound. Over time, we started doing more and more sound, which, by the way, is one heck of a lot harder than video or film. If there's reasonable sound, but bad film, you might keep your TV on. Poor sound, even if the film is great, will make you get up and do your laundry.
In West Africa, we did sound for radio and we did it there with kids and some very emotional adults. We did it in languages we’ll never hope to speak. We did it in the midst of mine strikes. We did it for news and for entertainment.
In the early part of this century, we made our home in East Africa. We continued to make videos, but we focused more and more on music. We cut our teeth by holding church choir competitions way out in Maasailand. Sometimes only two choirs showed up. They always tied for first place. We had fun. We were in the middle of nowhere living life as it should be lived.
We've completed several projects and we're on to several more. One that's coming is of music from the Zee Zee, a weird little African stringed instrument that’s sawed with a waxed stick. It must have been one of the first non-drum instruments to be made anywhere.
We’re also heavily involved with The Loruvani Choir, a group of Maasai church volunteer musicians who write at a fevered pitch and sing fearlessly. Stay tuned. With the help of our mentor, John McEuen, we’ll continue to record these folks and their wonderful, story-rich music as we go through the years.