Life in Reverb

by Jona Byron

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about

There are so many quotes about time “Time waits for no man.”, “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.” and so on, but one of my favourite quotes on the subject of time is “We may be through with the past, but the past isn't through with us.” by Paul Thomas Anderson. So it proves often true with artistic projects. 

Life in Reverb is my first retrospective album. A massive collection of home recordings and demos made between 1998 - 2005, starting with my first home recordings in Melbourne. I was 26, and in 1998 I began writing and recording my first solo album (Rising the Strays) on two 4-track Tascam tape machines. The first part was made on a machine I borrowed from the University I attended in 1998, the other machine was borrowed from a friend in 1999. It was just me and my Maton acoustic guitar, and my new experiences on paper. 

The past was certainly not finished with me and gradually over time, the early music I made in Melbourne slowly made its way back to me. When I put this compilation together, I didn't posses a single copy of 'Rising the Strays' or even a copy of my 2002 EP 'Songs from the Blue Parade', however Adam Dempsey did. Adam kept everything. He sent me rips of both albums and my dear friend and ex girlfriend, Sarah Corner, gave me copies of some of my other demos before I left Australia in 2010. 

I once had the attitude that no one should hear this era of my songwriting and recording career, that it was a somewhat embarrassing evolution, full of lengthy lo-fi melancholic songs that were better left on some CDRs buried under some books somewhere, to remain forever lost. I was yet to learn the art of audio production, however, back then I was more concerned with capturing the 'vibe' than the quality, and you can often hear this in the recordings...tape hiss and background noise is often present in many of the demos. However, time has a funny way of making you appreciate your roots. I am now 39 years old and this collection boasts 39 songs. That was not planned, funny that. 

It's hard to recall over 12 years of musical evolution and development. However, this is not the start of my recording work, I was fascinated with writing and recording back in Western Australia during my teenage years and early 20's and recorded my own songs using 2 tape deck machines, and I would bounce tracks together that way. But we don't have to go that far back, because my musical journey really began when I arrived in Melbourne, and this is just the first chapter. I recorded a plethora of material during my 12 years in Melbourne, both as a solo artist and with bands such as 'The Dirty Royals', while working on other projects like The boats and Glass Mountain. There is a lot of music in the vaults but not all of it needs to be heard because the recording process is often a songwriter's rite of passage. 

This retrospective album is a collection of audible photographs of a life between 1998 and 2005. A life that was discovering a new city, new friends, new love and new experiences. It was the most important part of my journey in Melbourne because it was the period where I was growing the most as a musician. After 2005, I made new choices, my life took a different turn and I became a different songwriter. But during this era (1998 - 2005) I was hungry and in love with my musical freedom. I was a dreamer and certainly a little lost, but mostly lost in discovering the unknown terrain of musical exploration. - Jona

credits

released November 26, 2011

All instruments, vocals, recordings and mixes created by Jona Byron in various locations throughout Melbourne from 1998 - 2005.

Paul Skelton - Bass on 'Spiritual' and 'Joyful New Parade'
Adam Dempsey - Drums on 'Joyful New Parade'
Sarah Tunnell - Violin on 'Joyful New Parade' and 'Goodbye Blue Monday'
Jake Gordon - Percussion on 'The Way You're Shakin''
Sarah Corner - Backing vocals on 'Mexican Fighting Fish'
Richard Ross - Backing vocals on 'The Way You're Shakin''
Khin Myint - Backing vocal and poem on 'Prayer'

Songs from the Blue Parade recorded March - August 2001 and April 2002 (except 'Swim' recorded live to VHS Feb 2000) mixed by Jona Byron and Adam Dempsey and mastered by Adam Dempsey in 2002. All other material mastered by Jona Byron in Berlin during September - October 2011.

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Jona Byron

Jona Byron (aka Jonathan) is an Australian musician, composer, music producer, film maker and instrumentalist hailing from Melbourne Australia. He is most known for his songs 'Beautiful Bird', 'Joan of Arc' and 'Arm Yourself' from his debut album Extinct Hearts and for his adventures and music created in Iceland during 2010. ... more

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