5 song demo recorded during the spring and summer of 1986.
Matthew Sigmon - Guitars, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Vocals
Julie Anderson - Keyboards, Vocals
David Howie - Guitar (Remembering), Coronet, Percussion, Vocals
Some details about this work from the Info page:
The Basics’ breakup in late ’85 coincided with the death of Sigmon’s brother, Timothy, in November of that year. Driven by questions of purpose and meaning, and a desire for new opportunities, Matthew and Julie, joined by The Basics' roadie, David Howie, moved to a secluded A-frame home in the Appalachian foothills of North Georgia.
The recent family tragedy had inspired a powerful interest in philosophy and spirituality, a focus that was translated directly to new music and production ideas. Months of intense introspection and recording resulted in a 5 song demo tape under the band name, In The Garden. Only 2 copies were sent out with the second one producing the results they were hoping for.
Some thoughts on the project:
In the Garden is a very special project to me that grew out of an absolutely unique and consequential time of life. It was a departure, a contrast, and coming of age that I’m grateful to have captured as an audio record.
My previous band experience in The Basics was like being part of a big family, a tribe of creative misfits cooperatively testing the world. It was five years spent in the company of best friends, each of us depending on the others to ease the task of carving out an artistic identity in a conservative Midwestern world of “acceptable” social restraint.
The songs we wrote were the result of our efforts to “become” something more than we were, to develop new skills and use them to create a dynamic musical persona. Our dream was to make bold contributions to a medium that was still in its adolescence in 1980, still being made with relatively simple tools, and a vast horizon of unexplored sounds and styles lying in every direction. Like many young people, we were oriented externally, searching outside ourselves for something to discover, and we couldn’t move fast enough down the path to whatever it was we imagined might come next.
When the band broke up in late 1985 just days after my brother’s death, the group dynamic evaporated and my external orientation began to turn inward. Interestingly, from a musical perspective, the necessary technology to make rock music on one’s own, without a full complement of band members, was just becoming available and affordable.
It was an extraordinary moment in the evolution of music technology, bringing tremendous opportunity to any individual with sufficient imagination and skill to craft a musical statement on their own one piece at a time.
With In the Garden, these new circumstances let us explore complex topics more deeply than a band environment would have allowed. At a time when the most profound questions about life and death were out on our table, the recording process could now be an exploring process, a way to seek meaning by working through sonic dynamics and environments. We took the work to heart, devoting ourselves to the goal of making music as direct a conduit as possible for deeper understanding, openness and love.
The typically objective approach to writing “good songs” collapsed and turned inside out as every effort was made to reduce the gap between subjective experience and captured audio. Whatever else the recorded results may be, pleasing or not, these tracks had less separation between intent and form than anything I had produced to date.
The lovely isolation of the 6 or so months in 1986 when this music was made stand in stark contrast to the so-called “connected” world of today with its incessant, inconsequent clamor. It was a tremendous privilege for me to participate in such an endeavor at a time when the trappings of life could allow it.