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MP3 JETOPA - Desert Flight

Hong Kong produced mesmerizing instrumental melodies ranging from ethereal grooves, to soulful yearnings squeezed from heart-wrenching relationships. Subtle influences of U2, Beatles, and bands of the 80''s.

12 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Asian, ROCK: Acoustic



Details:
Interview with Jetopa (15 September 2006):

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WHO IS JETOPA?

“Jetopa” is really a one-man band. Thomas A. Schmidt (ASCAP) -- architect, musician, writer, and illustrator -- formed Jetopa as a much-needed creative outlet for surviving the chaos of life in Hong Kong.

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WHY ARE YOU CALLED JETOPA?

Unfortunately, my real name is an extremely common name in places like Germany. Therefore, in an effort to come up with a unique identity for an international audience, I decided to combine the first two letters of my name (Tom) and those of my two sisters -- Jennifer and Pamela -- JETOPA. Afterwards, while doing an Internet search, I then came across a Spanish blog which claimed that the word “jetopa” is actually an obscure Spanish verb meaning “to have found something without having to seek … an unintentional discovery” -- how bizarre is that?

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HOW WAS THE ALBUM MADE?

I recorded the majority of tracks on a PC-based music workstation in my tiny flat in Hong Kong using Cakewalk’s Sonar 5.2. I play guitars, keyboards, sing, and do synth-like sound effects with my mouth on a number of tracks -- I do a great police siren impersonation! The drums and percussion are a combination of royalty-free drum loops, programmable drum machines, and pounding on cardboard boxes. Several of the songs were recorded in past years on various other analogue media, and then later digitized and enhanced with additional layered tracks. In fact, the instrumental piece “Rainy Afternoons” has been a work in progress for the past 20 years -- and it keeps evolving! The manufacturing of the discs, graphic / packaging design, and post-production mastering was done through US-based Discmakers.

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ARE THERE MEANINGS BEHIND EACH OF THE SONGS?

Each of the twelve songs on the CD has various personal meanings, and underlying stories. In fact, the song Desert Flight was named AFTER playing the untitled song on a walkman for hundreds of people while backpacking across the world and surveying what kind of images the music evoked -- almost unanimously, the music conjured up images of flight, speed, expansiveness, and graceful movement for the vast majority of people -- hence the name “Desert Flight”. That really proved to me that music is the “universal language”. I would be interested in hearing how the music affects other people across the world -- therefore, there is a “post-listening” survey available at https://www.tradebit.com for listeners to post their feedback and review the album.

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ONE OF THE SONGS IS IN CHINESE -- DID YOU SING THAT?

Well, my apologies in advance to Mandarin speakers everywhere! While I am self-taught, I still struggle to speak Mandarin despite many years of study -- it’s a fascinating language, and there are so many hidden meanings in various phrases and proverbs, so I tried to do a love song in Chinese composed of various phrases that are used between two lovers.

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WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR CD?

Internationally, Desert Flight is available through the very popular https://www.tradebit.com, and soon as individual downloaded tracks on various download sites. In Hong Kong, the CD is available at various local record stores and boutique shops -- keep your eyes peeled!

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DO YOU PERFORM LIVE IN HONG KONG OR ELSEWHERE?

It was never really my intention to play live venues on a regular basis, but where there are opportunities, I am open to them! I’ve had the great fortune of performing live with Guzheng master Lun Lun Zou in Hong Kong, and it’s quite possible that we may collaborate on more cross-cultural pieces in the future.

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WHERE DID YOU GET THAT COOL IMAGE FOR THE ALBUM COVER?

I was traveling solo through Egypt several years ago in the remote desert oasis of Siwa, where I had the pleasure of spending a few days of absolute solitude in Egypt’s first ecoresort, White Mountain Resort. It was there where I got the strong inspiration of putting out my own CD of my original music. The image on the album cover is of one of the exterior stairways from that fantastic organic handcrafted resort, and the image on the rear cover is a decaying ancient city of mud in Siwa that actually melted during a freak rainstorm years ago -- I can’t wait to go back to chill out in the intense heat! There’s really no other place in the world like it.

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ONE LAST THING -- DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO DO ANOTHER ALBUM?

Definitely.

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