Spring 2009 brings a new adventure for me. Carl Byker (left) is the director that created parts of "The New Heroes", plus the feature documentaries "The Meth Epidemic" and "Andrew Jackson". He and Mitchell D. Wilson (stills and video genius) are embarking on the story of how Latino culture arose from the ashes of Contact with the Old World.

I will be composing the soundtrack for the film. As I have tried to envision the music, I knew that I would want it to be built from experiences and recordings in the field rather then out of my imagination. The sound of a brass band, miles away in a valley; a street musician working the town square; a quiet story told at night... These are elements that carry the "aroma" of a reality that cannot be manufactured with sound effects and my own musical designs. I always believe that this kind of "audio photography" is the best way to inform my musical choices. It becomes the launching pad for discovering the score instead of composing in a more academic way.

Ruben Martinez is the host and on-camera personality that will be telling the story. Since Carl needed to record "stand-up" statements in the various locations, and I wanted to collect ambience and music anyway, he invited me to join the production team. Jack Combs (pictured right) has teamed up with Mitch and Carl in locations all over the world for decades. Rocio Barajas is coordinating all the filming and doing the difficult tasks of getting visas, location fees and rights, and many other production duties. 

The trip begins with shooting in Los Angeles, then to Mexico in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Merida in the Yucatan. The second leg is in South America at Cuzco, and Machu Picchu in Peru and Potosi in Bolivia. Finally, we will record in Amsterdam followed by Madrid, the Alhambra, Seville and other locations in Spain.

This blog will have a running journal, both organized and totally chaotic iPhone notes, music and photography as the trip goes on. I hope you enjoy it.