Wednesday, December 16, 2009
(view of the original mission cemetery)
(the mission today, with school to the left)
For a long time now I have been interested in California history and more specifically the California Missions. Lots of people find my interest a little odd and often ask what it is about the missions that attracts me. Here is my answer: the architecture, the art, the history, & the cemeteries. They usually respond with "Cemeteries? How morbid." I can understand this response, but I find the cemeteries so fascinating. So many people connected to the missions buried where they worked and lived.
Sadly at mission Sanbuenaventura the cemetery no longer exists. The people are still resting on the land, but instead of having tombstones mark the lives of so many of these early Californians, they are underneath a school. Above you can see a early shot of the mission with the cemetery untouched. How the powers that be could have decided it was a good idea to place a school on top of a cemetery is beyond me. This fact has always rubbed me the wrong way. So much so that I've written about it a few different times in my music. The most direct being my song "The Mission".
It was written about two years ago at my friend Jason's house while we were discussing the mission cemetery. Him and I would often talk about certain ideas and then start strumming our guitars. Most of the time I would start to think about what we had discussed and a melody would form with certain phrases from our conversation. That is what happened with "The Mission". Two years later I finally got around to making a proper recording which now appears on the "Aimed Arrows" EP. You can listen to "The Mission" below.