I've never had more fun working on a record. From start to finish, Geography was one of the most exhilarating, emotional, and enjoyable music projects I've ever done. I worked with many old friends and many new friends to make this record, and it was quite a journey.
"Geography and Other Problems" was nominated for a 2014 San Diego Music Award for Best Pop Album.
Geography & Other Problems
circa August 2011 – October 2011
“Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.”
This quote is attributed to many different authors, but that's not important. Absence indeed sharpens love. I wrote these songs while feeling love like a just-sharpened knife against the grain of my heart. So sharp, that I didn't realize how deeply I'd felt until I saw the blood.
A hand that lingers a half-second too long on your back. A meaningful stare. Long conversations into the wee hours of the night. Falling for someone is always the easy part. It's the rest of life that gets in the way.
I was out of sorts for a solid month and a half. I stared blankly into space. I was high and low, I was up and down, I was so upset, so confused, and I kept it to myself mostly. No one knew the internal turmoil I was experiencing, and I needed it to be that way.
Were my feelings real? Who knows. I don't know. All I know is that I got enough material during those six to eight weeks to carry me creatively for over a year. As my grandfather said, “Lovers are like buses. If you miss one, another will come along in a half hour or so.” Songs, however, are forever. Whenever I “miss the bus,” I always try to catch the song.
Feelings are just... feelings. Butterflies. Ribbons. String. Palpitations. Flushes. Sleepless nights. Flutters. Laughs. Sometimes they're shared. I think 95% of the time they're not. We have occasional moments of mutual shared feelings that are the sweetest moments on earth. But the point is that it's okay to feel things. And it's okay if that doesn't mean anything to anyone but you. If you were in love, and you were the only one who knew it, that's totally all right. It's okay if you love and you carry it with you as a deep secret. I don't know if what I felt was real, or reciprocal. I'm only happy that I allowed myself to feel so deeply. I got so many wonderful songs and wonderful experiences, solitary and shared, from this event in my life, that put so much love in my heart. I was forever changed, and in the end, that's the best I can do.
I thought I was headed in one direction. Indeed these songs were a map, but a map to a different destination. Life has a funny way of imitating art sometimes. I believe these songs breathed life into situations that were not possible before I wrote them. I know the journey was a long and winding one for me...
Enjoy the songs that opened up the world to me...
released 01 January 2014
Tom Dechristofaro – (Cleveland, OH) – guitar, vocals
James Feliciano Rito Salas-Garcia – (San Diego, CA) – tenor saxophone
Karl Hjalmar Nyberg (Malmö, Sweden) – tenor saxophone
Juan Lopez (West Covina, CA) – trumpet, guitar, bass
Rasmus Olsson (Malmö, Sweden) – vocals
Erik Sunding (Malmö, Sweden) – drums, percussion, guitar
Fredrik Sunding (Malmö, Sweden) – bass, guitar
Normandie Wilson (San Diego, CA) – vocals, piano, vibraphone, percussion, drums
Juan Lopez at Casa de Lopez Recordings (West Covina, CA)
and Hit Single Recordings (El Cajon, CA)
Erik Sunding at Discrete Motion Studios
and Tambourine Studios (Malmö, Sweden)
Normandie Wilson at the Habitaint (San Diego, CA)
and the White Rock House (Hurricane, WV)
Mixed by Roy Silverstein at Rarefied Recording (San Diego, CA)
and Erik Sunding at Tambourine Studios (Malmö, Sweden)
Mastered by Bobby Holland (Nashville, TN)
Pre-production: Roy Silverstein
Art/Photography Concept: Normandie Wilson
Photography: Amber Martin, Saans Lena Studios (Ocean Beach, CA)
Design: Gordon Wagner (San Diego, CA) and
Taylor Crawley (San Francisco, CA)
"Don't Use My Words Against Me," "Cold Rain, Malmö," "Meanwhile," and
"Stop My Heart" produced by Erik Sunding and Normandie Wilson
"Mirrors Strung Upon Necklaces" produced by Roy Silverstein and Normandie Wilson
"Boulevard Beaumarchais" and "Before I Go" produced by Juan Lopez and Normandie Wilson
"We Take France," "A Lack of You," and "Your Nights, My Days" produced by Normandie Wilson
Executive Producer: Normandie Wilson
Production would not have been possible without the help of the following individuals:
To everyone who made this record with me. You brought it to life in ways I couldn't imagine. The staff at Tambourine Studios. Cari Cole and the Mind Over Music group. Anna, Fredrik Sunding, Filippa, Pierre, Karl, Rasmus. Walle, Fredrik, Niklas, Erik, and Conor. Roy, Linsey, Juan, Gabe, Tom, Mike, Leia, Randy, Adam. BM2, Monica, DC. Babs, Lynne, Liz, Michael, James, Ellen, Lucas. IcelandAir. Mike Vasquez. Gordon, Taylor, Amber. Keenan, Sammie. The gang that is Red Pony Clock. C'Lesa, and the Divine.
To my best friend. You warm my logical heart.
To everyone who cares. Thank you for listening.