The Edward Esparza Project
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The Edward Esparza Project

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The best kept secret in music


"Mind Rain... A Thinker's Album:"

Mind Rain
Edward Esparza releases a "thinker's album"

by Amy Maestas

Edward Esparza’s life journey, his challenges, his pain and his happiness are, unlike some people, neatly packaged in a sleek plastic case. It’s where he keeps his unbridled creativity, and it is, ultimately, a paean to his life.

Esparza, a lifelong Ignacio resident, has just released his debut music CD – “Mind Rain I & II,” the first of a two-CD set. Fresh from the recording studio, Esparza is working hard to promote his exploratory new album that he hopes will not only sell well, but also serve as a catalyst for anyone with an abundance of creative juices to produce art.

“Mind Rain” is chock-a-block full of instrumental experimentation. It defies any type of categorization, though Esparza knows people will try to find a label for it. Mood music is too general, since it evokes a sense of soothing tunes for relaxation. New Age is too ephemeral and corny. It’s far too involved to be instrumentally generic. Throw out rock, jazz, classical, blues – at least as individual genres. In the end, Esparza’s CD is a work that stands alone – incapable of being pigeonholed yet not so bizarre that it isn’t recognizably influenced by mainstream music.

That being said, Esparza achieved his goal.

“I like the fact that it’s so complicated and it’s not obvious music,” Esparza says. “I wouldn’t be happy if you could categorize it.”

“Mind Rain” is an array of music that showcases Esparza playing the nylon, acoustic and electric guitars, the piano, keyboards, bass, percussion and drums. With the exception of Steve Deika on drums and percussion, Esparza brings the music on the CD together single-handedly. With the melange of instruments, he creates a journey of hope and darkness as the music moves from melodious sonatas akin to the classics to screeching guitar riffs a la Joe Satriani. He effectively blends the wistful songs that evoke introspection and mood swings with the more electrically stimulating ones that may lead to an anxiety-producing crescendo.

Along the way, Esparza overlays social, political and philosophical sound bites. The type and meaning of quotes are as varied as the music. There is Martin Luther King Jr., sharing his now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There is astronaut Neil Armstrong describing the loamy soil and atmosphere as he stepped, for the first time, on the moon. There is the newscaster woefully describing the loss of the New York City skyline and scores of Americans. The sound bites don’t stop there – Esparza also scatters quotes on the CD case, exposing the thoughts and ideas of everyone from William Shakespeare to Jim Morrison.

Somehow, it works, in spite of the risk.

This kind of artistic exploration compels Esparza to describe his music as “intelligent.” He blends his philosophical tastes with his music, hoping to mimic a sort of death and rebirth of his creativity.

“I kind of like how Joseph Campbell (the mystic and popular author) says that death, whether physical or mental, leads to rebirth and regrowth,” Esparza explains.

That concept helped him form a project that pushed the limits of his musical talent. It was just one more challenge of the many he has faced in his life. They haven’t been anything atypical, he says, but because challenges are subjective, Esparza says he used his life lessons to concoct a project that emulates human survival.

“For anyone who has a creative influence in their life and has a desire to do something with themselves, you either ignore it or go with it. The problem is, if you ignore what you are supposed to do – creatively – it leads to bad things.”

Consequently, Esparza says his project was so integral to his well being that he felt as though he had to “regurgitate” in order to be at peace in life. “I had no choice,” he says.

Initially, Esparza’s idea was to create an instrumental CD without the quotes. But as the project progressed, he felt that interjecting the quotes would create a more thought-provoking experience.

“I like to define it as a thinker’s album,” he says. “It’s not about making a political statement or anything. I just think that, as a society, we are just on the edge of self-destruction. But we are also starting to open up to our feelings. I want to get us in touch with those feelings.”

What message people take away from listening doesn’t matter, he adds. Since art is a deeply personal experience, no matter the medium, Esparza expects only that people listen to his music with an open mind and a willingness to explore the unfamiliar.

He admits that his concept is abstract enough that it may limit his audience. Some people don’t instantly connect with his CD.

“Some just don’t get it at all,” he says. “I can’t explain it to them, though. For me, it’s personal. They don’t understand how destruction comes from not doing something with your creativity.”

Yet, Esparza says that he took the risk of creating something so uncharacteristic because of Durango audiences. He puts great stock in local music listeners to appreciate something extraordinary, where an artist has willfully interwoven his soul with his craft – however, peculiar the outcome.

“People are ready for this kind of intelligent music.”

- The Durango Telegraph


MIND RAIN I/II - Released Late 2003
MIND RAIN III/IV - Available Spring/Summer 2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


"...I wanted to create landscapes with my music. These were initially for reasons of escaping solely from myself; ..and like any other lanscapes, I wanted them to be diverse, and travelable. The recording process captured some of these, and I'd like to share these with others. Sometimes dark and gloomy - complicated, sometimes refreshing and enlightening - and simple; chaotic and peaceful; yet always very relavent to the human condition: joy, pain, solitude, ...madness - music is powerful and relatable, and crosses all barriers. I am a thinker, and other thinkers will respond to this music.

These are the creatures that creep into our thoughts in the middle of the night or early in the morning; the one's we try to forget about in our days.

I'd like my music to take one where-ever they may want to go, ...and where-ever they may not."

MIND RAIN I/II/III/IV is a concept of this... thoughts fall as they may within us; without hesitation, without rain; and they lead us to places imaginable, and unimaginable.

"...from the dark, the light"... I hope this epic conveys this successfully to any listener.