Over a year ago, I learned about a documentary film that was in the works, GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth. The film seeks to help people understand how growth is unsustainable. Since I wrote a masters thesis with the same goal, I was really interested in the project and touched base with producer/director/writer Dave Gardner.
Talking with Dave, I offered to contribute some music to the project. It turned out I wasn’t the only musician who ended up making that suggestion. Dave decided to release a special soundtrack album of music inspired by or inspiring the film, including songs relevant to sustainability, consumption, sufficiency, simplicity, overpopulation or urban growth. The album would celebrate Earth Day while also helping raise funds for the production of the film.
Turns out I didn’t have all that many songs that directly expressed these themes. Some I’d written over the years were somewhat relevant, some less so, and most lacked decent recordings. I found myself without enough time to write new songs or even rerecord. Luckily, the song of mine that fit the best was also the one with the best recording: Aggie and Timmy. The song was very much about “how much was enough,” fitting in nicely with the notions of consumption and sufficiency.
I was actually a little concerned about submitting the song, though. Even with its theme, it wasn’t very directly “ecologically” oriented. It was also “kids music,” and I wasn’t sure how well that would go with what Dave had in mind for the album. Finally, it was one of two songs on Everyone's Invited that had technical problems while recording vocals. I’ve always regretted going ahead with those lower audio quality vocal tracks rather than rerecording them. Now here was a chance to contribute to something, and the one song with the best lyrical fit and a decent enough recording itself was compromised in its sound quality. But Dave liked it and included it along with another song as one of two bonus tracks especially for kids.
So now I’ve got a song on an album along with a bunch of interesting and talented musicians, including the iconic folk singer and activist Pete Seeger. Go figure.
Learn more about the GrowthBusters Earth Day 2011 Soundtrack. Remember that proceeds will help fund the film’s completion, and the album is available only for a limited time and in limited quantities. Buy it at the GrowthBusters Store.