texture, tension, release, repeat.
r.mason is singer-instrumentalist Rebecca Barritt and guitar player Jonathan Blokmanis. r.mason filters soulful songwriting through explorative moods to cook up a project textured with paradox: lightness and tension, desperation and transcendence. Rebecca has been writing songs since she learned to carry a note at age 4; ever since, music has been her second language and the only constant in her life. She would sit for hours in front of her Sony tape deck, recording songs a cappella until she realized – having begun her formal music training on the violin – that she could learn an instrument to accompany herself. She began teaching herself guitar, then piano – all in service of the cathartic songwriting that helped her make sense of a churning world. Rebecca is driven by a need to understand life’s heartbeat, transforming ineffable experiences and vulnerable emotions into sound. Her songwriting has been shaped by childhood echoes of church music; passion writers like Bob Dylan, Josh Ritter and Kathleen Edwards; singers like Lana Del Ray, Nina Simone and Norah Jones; duos like Angus and Julia Stone; and composers like Eric Satie.
Jonathan is the wizard of pedals and guitars whose alchemy breathes new life into Rebecca’s songs. Jonathan has been studying guitar since sneaking into his older brother’s room to play his prized electric guitar at age 12. His brother put a stop to this by presenting Jonathan with an old 60s Fender Musicmaster Bass guitar, liberated from the high school band room. Jonathan played it all summer and never looked back. Saving all his lawnmowing money, he bought a Fender jazz bass and spent the next year learning the entire mid- to late-70s-era Rush catalogue, plus Led Zeppelin’s first three albums. Other early inspiration came from bands like Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and Radiohead and guitar players like David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Kelly Joe Phelps, Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers and the sonic creativity and unorthodox playing style of Johnny Greenwood; more recent influences include Kevin Morby, Wilco and War on Drugs.
As r.mason, Rebecca and Jonathan weave Rebecca’s textured vocal tones with classically influenced electronic keys and gritty atmospheric guitar, immersing listeners in the heart and depth of their evocative soundscapes.
rains too loud for t.v.
let the rain be louder than t.v.
The concept of "rains too loud for t.v." comes from the inspiration that life is always multi-dimensional and so much bigger than a 2 dimensional t.v., or uni-dimensional interactions where a person is not able to be real or authentic. There is so much pressure in our culture to be a people who don't disrupt. Perhaps in theory we tell ourselves we will speak up about authenticity but then we go to dinner parties or hang out in larger groups and do whatever we can to not ruffle any feathers; to please the person we are talking to.
My mother-in-law came home from a weekend getaway in a west coast winter with my father-in-law and she announced, "we were trying to watch a movie and the rain was so loud, we couldn't hear the t.v. over the rain". And so too should our authenticity shine through over the uni-dimensional world we often live in. Why? Because at the very least, it is more interesting. And at the most, when we fail to do this, we lose a chance to understand ourselves and the people around us by attempting to impress for the sake of saving face.
The consequences of saving face for me and many others I know, has been severe mental health trauma, depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia and the list goes on. All the songs in the album pull from the need to be true to yourself. To listen to the world around you. To be multi-dimensional. To find what and who you love and cling to it.
Let the rain be louder than the t.v.
To Everyone Part of
rains too loud for t.v.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this collaborative effort; it is my connection with each and every one of you that has made this project come alive. Thank you everyone at Barnhouse Sound Productions, to John Flatman for documenting this ride, to Christian Down for your sorcery and bringing this home, Colin Craveiro for making us all feel like we are not alone, to Adam Vaang for his unmatched art and photography, to Brittany Mason for adding her voice, to Surkeus Records for their faith and support, to our families for taking on all the extra work so we can do this, to Jon Blokmanis for standing with me and creating soundscapes you usually only dream about. This has been a dream come true working with such an incredible group of people who believe in, “rains too loud for t.v.” as much as I do. Thank you from my very core.
A special thanks to anyone who sets aside time to listen. You’ve got all of me.
All songs written by Rebecca
Guitars, bass guitar, pedal steel by Jon Blokmanis,
Acoustic guitar on rains too loud for t.v. by Rebecca
Keys, organ, synth by Rebecca
Drums by Marshall Wildman
Lead vocals by Rebecca
Back-up vocals by Brittany Mason
Back-up vocals on rains too loud for t.v. by Colin Craveiro
Engineering on l.a. wannabe, beaches, rains too loud for t.v. by Justin Lapointe
Engineering on painted, things i say by Christian Down
Mixed by Christian Down
Mastered by Curt Poem
Produced by Jon Blokmanis and Rebecca
Production on painted by Christian Down
Post production credit, Justin Lapointe
Recorded at Barnhouse Sound Productions (l.a. wannabe, beaches, rains too loud for t.v.)
Photography by Adam Vaang