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CHROMAKEY CD 1501, Lot 50

Here's something about the songs on the new album...

Chromakey Dreamcoat came from a track by Scottish electro artists 'Boards Of Canada'. Their name came from nature documentaries by the National Film Board of Canada they saw as schoolkids... The album takes its name from this song, and metaphorically from the idea of combining music and color...

Herzan -- a song by Lebanese electro duo 'Soap Kills', with haunting vocals by Yasmine Hamdan.

Bird Of Paradise I was on my way to play the Edinburgh Fringe festival and listening to music by some of the performers when I heard this song by Scottish singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft. I've since had the great pleasure of performing with Sophie and producing her album 'Songs'.

Beautiful 110 - I got to know Electro musician Birkwin Jersey's music after I heard his track 'Sixes And Nines', recorded when he was 16 -- amazing. He had the idea of collaborating, and two pieces on the album resulted. I love vocalist Vienna Rae's performance.

Orphan Girl - I heard Gillian Welch's album "Revival' many times while living in Venice, CA. Gabe Davis played bass and Lee Spath played drums on this one. The song 'played itself' at the recording session -- it felt like singing along with a car radio...

Finish Line - this came out of checking out some DJs active in Scotland - this is based on the Freemasons' dancehall version of Yasmin's song -- our remix of their remix...

Daughters - We had recorded a completely different version of this song. There was a last-minute inspiration, as sometimes happens. We came back the next morning and did it this way.

Mood 149 - another collaboration with Birkwin Jersey. This track took form in California, England, Scotland, Germany... Sophie's Bancroft's vocals were an elegant addition.

Sometimes - i like to avoid avoid nostalgia -- but Elisabeth Swado's song has been in my head since playing it as a teen. "sometimes... a person gets their dream in a big way... TV, a house or a lover...and still they feel so sad... strange as that seems..." I love Matt Otto's alto playing on this. I'm excited by everyone's playing on this album, the musicians and engineers did fantastic, inspired work.

Ain't She Something - something I wrote, fun to play with the trio. the bridge of this song - another notebook was open on the piano, behind this tune. even though the other piece was a film score from several years before, they fit together well. another happy accident.

Talk Show Host - this Radiohead song was in the 'Romeo And Juliet' movie - sparse music with an ominous lyric. Great playing and reacting by Matt Otto and all.


1. The Hardest Button To Button 3:05 (White)
2. One Love 4:28 (Marley/Livingston)
3. Black Horse And The Cherry Tree 4:26 (Tunstall)
4. Home 4:58 (Bublé/Chang)
5. El Mango 3:33 (Villarreal)
6. 9-11 4:29 (Durra)
7. According To You 3:45 (Frampton/Diamond)
8. Living For The City 4:48 (Wonder)
9. Back In The USSR 4:13 (Lennon/McCartney)
10. Un Canadien Errant 3:54 (Gérin-Lajoie)
11. In My Life 4:59 (Lennon/McCartney)
12. La Puerta Negra 2:18 (Medrano)

Louis Durra - piano; Jerry Kalaf – drums; Ryan McGillicuddy – bass.
Larry Steen – bass on 1&7. Engineered & mixed by Talley Sherwood at Tritone Sound, Glendale, CA. Mastered by Scott Fraser at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA. Album art + design by Kio Griffith

Hardest Button -- This track was a fun, unexpected find. Songs call to me; I go by attraction. Jack White's each-lyric-erases-the-last-one vocal drew me in. We hadn't played anything this stripped down before. Jerry played fills so obvious that we were laughing while mixing. We compressed drums and bass together -- a dance mix trick that worked surprisingly well.

One Love -- I love what happened here: zeroing in on what Bob Marley sang, then traveling: being in the song, veering sideways, even leaving entirely. Like reading a blog but clicking on the links before finishing. This track could be one of the oddball contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, charming and bewildering...

Black Horse And The Cherry Tree -- I was listening to Scottish musicians before playing Edinburgh for the first time. I heard KT Tunstall's breakout performance on 'Later... With Jools Holland'. The song became a bit of a signature piece for us, featuring Jerry. There were nice opportunities for word-painting: stopping her own heart, what the black horse said... All the 'red notes' come from from the lyrics. I love what the band does with this. Ryan played a great solo. Jerry's playing -- well, Jerry and I have developed a language together, or perhaps two languages we both misunderstand... Remember that old-school hiphop sound, where a few of the rapper's words get shouted by the group? That's in here too...

Home -- We've played at South Beverly Grill for three years. One of the managers, asked if we'd play some Michael Bublé. 'Home' acquired a sparse, bluesy persona over time. The intro and outro are roots-y; more "down home" than "home"! They're in a remote key, but somehow that just feels expansive, like remembering the world is bigger than we think!

El Mango -- We play a few Mexican corridos. Difficult for musicians who haven't grown up playing them. Two of them made it onto the CD. This one wanted to keep erasing the key, erasing the last phrase. It also received a little of the bass-and-drums compression like 'Hardest Button'. Mostly I try to listen for what each song wants; follow a direction until it feels rich, right, finished. Pianist Tamir Hendelman suggested the big brass 'power chords' Mariachi bands play.

Nine Eleven -- Along with millions of people, I was stunned by the events of Sept. 2001. I wrote this two or three days later. I was hoping to portray the sort of beauty necessary after deep wounding, when life feels too fleeting for anything else.

According To You -- Orianthi is the Australian guitarist in the Michael Jackson film, 'This Is It'. This was her 2009 pop hit , with crunchy power chords and an in-your-face vocal. I liked the angularity of the melody. We played it a few months and it went somewhere else entirely; hard to believe that the one came from the other. Larry Steen plays some nice electric bass on this and on 'Hardest Button'.

Living For The City -- Several of the songs on the record changed pretty drastically late in the day (and I'm glad they did). We recorded a nice version with full drums, came back the next morning and went with this very different feel. It was nice getting to really know Stevie Wonder's original version -- what a great track.

Back In The USSR -- As a kid I kept moving the needle back on the LP to replay the jet landing that begins the song. This seemed like a perfect song for us, but wasn't working out. One time I went over to Jerry's to rehearse this and a couple of other 'problem children'. When I walked in he played another song, a ballad he'd written. We started experimenting with USSR but nothing was working. Frustrated, we took a walk, came back. He put the other ballad back on, then joked, "we should try it like this!" We did, and knew we had it as soon as we started playing. Later, I wanted to change the intro. Ryan nearly got me in a headlock, saying 'don't change a note!' So that's what you hear.

Un Canadien Errant -- A song from a time when people lived in a village for generations. This is about an exiled French-Canadian, aching to return home. He asks the waves to remember him to his friends at home when theyy reach Canadian shores. The version that inspired me came from "Chakazoo" on YouTube: a video of an engineer or ranger in a remote part of Alberta. He's sitting in a barrack or dorm, his uniform on a hook, Bailey's Irish Cream on the sink. He plays a twelve string and sings hauntingly. A different language really changes the sung line. This might have been a completely different track had I started from an English version.

In My Life -- This came together pretty effortlessly. We were playing softly when we recorded. It changed the sound of the instruments, the whole trio sound.

La Puerta Negra - The other corrido on the album. From the Los Tigres Del Norte version. I can imagine scenes in a film when I hear it. It seemed a perfect ending for the CD.


“We’ve been playing three nights a week for two years in a trendy club. We wanted to play music to suit the tastes of the patrons, and also keep things expressive and interesting for ourselves. I’d been bringing recent pop into the group’s performing for a few years, but here was a sudden demand for new material, and lots of it. Over time our ‘bar band’ grew new limbs and feet. It seemed there was a lot of room for ‘loving and leaving’ the songs creatively. A lot of preparation resulted in two days of rather effortless recording -- a nice mix of ‘premeditated murder’ and ‘heat of passion manslaughter’. The youtube clips of the band in the studio look and sound terrific.

There were happy accidents - using a turntablist on ‘All I Really Want’ came from a little listening without the bass during mixing. DJ Rob Swift’s work had knocked me out when I saw the documentary ‘Scratch’. I was thrilled when he jumped in. I emailed him, we were on the phone in an hour, and he completely changed the track’s character. ‘No Surprises’ evolved through performance. The tempo dropped and the song became a sparse, charcoal sketch of Radiohead’s beautiful, tired-of-living ballad. ESC records will be including this album’s version of “The Bends" on a Radiohead Compilation CD. They must have found me through YouTube....

We’ve finished tracking another album, look for it in a few months. I’ll be returning to perform in Scotland this summer. We’ve recently incorporated acoustic versions of tracks by Skrillex, electronica artists Birkwin Jersey and PIXSID. Lately I’m interested in ‘sampling the samples’ - what happens to loop-based tracks when performed live with instruments."

Tangled Up In Blue 5:30
Ersatz Waltz 5:19
The Bends 5:18
[After Bends] 0:18
Mad World 4:49
The Back Seat 5:06
No Surprises 4:32
1234 4:26
[After 1234] 0:06
Code Monkey 3:51
No Woman, No Cry 5:52
All I Really Want (Feat. DJ Rob Swift) 4:26
[After DJ] 0:43

Louis Durra (piano)
Jerry Kalaf (drums)
Larry Steen (bass)

As Leader

Rocket Science 2012
Head Radio Retransmissions: A Tribute to Radiohead 2012 (1 track on ESC compilation CD)
The Best Of All Possible Worlds 2012 (combines 'Tangled Up In Blue' & 'Mad World' EPs)
Tangled Up In Blue 2011 (EP)
Mad World 2011 (EP)
What We Have 2006
Caught! Live and in the Studio 2006 (DVD)
Dreaming 2003

For Other Artists

Moris Tepper ----- A Singer Named Shotgun Throat
Logan Heftel ----- One Day
Sugarplum Fairies ----- (in progress)
Matt Ashkynazo ----- (in progress)
Brenda Osuna ----- (in progress)
Andrew Pandaleon ----- (in progress)
Bennett Brandeis ----- Storytelling
Michael C. Ford/OM 7 ----- 20th Century Goodbye
Roxanne Beck ----- Comes Love
Play It Cool ----- Cast Album
Sad Girl ----- Twenty Years
Moris Tepper ----- Moth To Mouth
Moris Tepper ----- Big Enough To Disappear
Moris Tepper ----- Mudpie
Sam Graham ----- Jazz For Moderns
Sugarplum Fairies ----- Introspective Raincoat Student Music
Sugarplum Fairies ----- Flake
Mystery Band ----- Insert Title Here
Steve Kirwan ----- Steppin' Round The Yellow Brick Road
Eric Anders ----- Not At One
Susan Krebs ----- Jazz Gardener
Jessica Harper ----- Not A Traditional Christmas
Beth Eichel ----- Women Of Spirit
UUSM Choir ----- Vivaldi Gloria
UUSM Choir ----- Fauré Requiem