Thursday, February 26, 2015

BEN LEE - A MIXTAPE FROM BEN LEE - 2015


a dollar well spent!

This album began as an exploration of songwriting. I decided to write songs for different voices, and invite these singers to perform them. My dear friend Sam Spiegel (Squeak E Clean) offered to produced the record I had conceptualized, and we began working on the collaboration in earnest in 1998. 

Over the next 6 or 7 years we continued to record intermittently. All kinds of wonderful musicians came by and offered their help with recording. I should have kept better notes during the sessions but I know you can hear Eric Gardner, James Valentine, Rusty Logsdon and Alfredo Ortiz amongst many others. I am grateful to everyone who played a part in these recordings, large or small, remembered or forgotten. For some years these recording just sat on my hard drive. I have always loved the recordings, but life moved me in other directions and distractions, and the release of the "Mixtape" recordings were temporarily shelved. 

In 2013 I became involved in working with a non-profit called Inkarri Cultural Organization, which aims to preserve and protect ancient cultural wisdom, inspiring a new vision for an awakened humanity. One of the projects that resonated with me deeply is the Q'ero Project - supporting the basic needs, and development, of the Q'ero people of Peru. The Q’ero people are the last living vestige of the ancestral Inca culture. They made themselves known to the world in 1949 and up until that point had remained “in hiding” in an almost inaccessible area of the Andean mountains. The conditions under which they live are incredibly difficult. Inkarri have already helped fund many basic needs of the children in Hatun Q’ero, Q’ero Totorani, Japu, Quico and Marachea, and also of the school in the community of Chrarcapata. 

As someone who believes that our successful journey forward as a humanity is intimately related to our staying connected to the true wisdom of our past, The Q'ero project has become a real passion of mine. The uncontaminated psychological and spiritual information that has been passed down generation to generation by the Q'eros is at risk of being lost if we do not offer our support and protection to their process of integration with the Western world. 

In this spirit, I have decided to dig up my old "Mixtape" recordings and offer them to the world on a "donate what you want" basis, beginning at $1, with all proceeds from this download page going to The Q'ero Project. Obviously, you are free to take these recordings for $1, but please consider this opportunity to support the culture of one the last true ancient wisdom traditions in this ever-modernizing world. 

I hope you enjoy the music and can sense the joy and experimentation with which it was created by Sam and myself. I also hope you embrace the love and concern with which the opportunity to help the Q'eros arrives at your doorstop. 

From my heart to yours, 
Ben

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