The Clouds in Camarillo (LA version)

Sometimes I feel that music, literature and art can be a bit like alchemy.
They can mystically transform something painful and negative into something useful and positive There’s something about shared pain that makes it far less painful. When I was a teenager, I had many a dark night of the soul. If it hadn’t been for the songs, novels and paintings that I discovered during that time, I’m not sure I would have made it through.

My mother was mentally ill. She heard voices. She was first committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital when I was 2 years old and between then and her suicide 9 years later, spent many more stints there. I never lived with her after she was first committed. The state placed me with a foster family and then I lived with my grandmother and various friends’ families. But I would see her once in a while when she was on her meds. She was a gentle and creative human being. She had an amazing smile.

In the summer of 2006 I was on tour in Russia with Brazzaville. We had a few days off in a row and, to save money, we all crashed our young tour manager (Misha Korneev) parent’s flat in Moscow. His parents were away at their dacha and there were plenty of beds, sofas and floor space to accommodate a visiting rock band. One morning over coffee and cigarettes, Misha began playing us a cassette tape of some of the music he’d been working on. There was a keyboard melody that caught my attention. I asked Misha if he would mind if I tried writing something with it.

When I got back to Barcelona, I decided to try writing a some lyrics from my mother’s perspective. I imagined her in Camarillo, looking out a window at the passing clouds and speaking to me, explaining to me what her struggles had been like. Telling me how she stopped taking the pills that kept her from the worst of her symptoms because they made her feel so dead inside.…like the sun was going out.

I ended up releasing 2 versions of the song, one with just my lyrics and the other with both Misha and I singing in English and Russian. I had no idea that anyone would like the song. I almost didn’t include it on the album. As it turned out, It ended up being one of our most popular songs ever. Many times, after concerts, people have approached me and told me that that song helped them through difficult periods in their lives. I don’t think anything can make an artist feel better than hearing that.

This version was recorded in Los Angeles last summer, late on a hot summer night.

I hope you enjoy it.

The Oceans of Ganymede

Well, here I am again, at the tail end of the 2 years or so that goes into making a record. I always think that this time it will be different and that I'll be totally happy with everything and that mixing will be a breeze. But the reality is that I'm never satisfied with what I've done and end up meekly sending it off into the world with the faint hope that somebody, somewhere might find a few seconds of it that doesn't completely suck.  That said, I was wise enough to involve a really talented you engineer this time. His name is Roman Urazov and and he's mixing the new album THANK GOD! He's doing an incredible job, far beyond anything I could have achieved on my own.

So, originally I was going to call the album Happy Man. Then is was changed to Girl and I think there might have been another title or 2 along the way. But then one day I read about Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, and how it has a liquid salt water ocean beneath it surface that might have more water than all of Earth's oceans combined. I became fascinated with the idea of this great ocean in the sky. Around that time, many people seemed to be dying including David Bowie who has always been a hero of mine. So, somehow, I came up with the idea that maybe our souls travel to this vast and peaceful ocean after we die, and there we encounterour loved ones once again.

  So, on March 1st, which is the birthday of my grandmother Dorothy Ida Brown, Brazzaville will release The Oceans Of Ganymede. I hope you're able to find some part of it that that moves you in some way.

David Arthur Brown-

Barcelona 2016

Early Summer Musings

Hello from steamy Barcelona,
  It's June 8th, 2015.  Barça won the Champions League. The swallows have arrived and are singing their beautiful songs in the courtyards of the l'Eixample blocks. Everywhere you look, there are tourists with their faces buried in smartphones, wandering blindly around the city.
 The other day as I was walking around with my own face buried in my smartphone, I had a thought. It seems like we are living in an uncomfortable transition period. We still need to walk, to drive, to physically move around this world. And yet, we so much want to crawl in to that "other world"....whatever comes next. But it's just not big enough to hold us yet. So we stumble around, glimpsing this other place through our little phones and hopefully, not walking in front of a bus while we do it.