left right left
As a drummer and percussion teacher, I say the words “left” and “right” often. I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what combinations of “left” and “right” are the most efficient way to execute rhythms. My students and I talk about being left-handed or right-handed and how that characteristic affects the way a musician approaches playing the drums. I am very aware of the bipartisan quality of limbs.
In politics, the terms “left wing” and “right wing” date back to the French Revolution. They referred to the physical location of two opposing parties in relation to the king—either to the left or right of his chair. I like to think there was a recognition of the value of both sides, an understanding that left and right are necessarily attached to the same animal.
This is what America has forgotten. We are one animal, and, when we pull away from one another, we are ripping this creature apart.
Since the country’s coasts are predominantly left-leaning and much of its central states are right-leaning, together we are LEFT RIGHT LEFT.
Many of us feel disillusioned, and so we have found ways to voice our opinions in protest. It is tumultuous, but it is also momentous. We are all trying to march forward in our own way, placing one foot in front of the other and chanting, “LEFT RIGHT LEFT.”
I put a lot of thought into the song selection for this album. With the exception of Putter Smith’s compositions, these songs are all part of America’s history. Many are anti-war anthems, and others carry different socio-political messages. I found the subject matter of these songs to still be incredibly relevant—an equally comforting and frustrating realization. On the one hand (let’s say the left), it’s comforting to know our experiences are not historically unique. On the other (now the right), it’s frustrating to see we have not learned from our past mistakes.
I am so grateful for Art Lande and Putter Smith’s wisdom and insight while working on this record. They helped me see some positivity in the current political climate, which I admit was extremely difficult. It’s healthy for Americans to be engaged in these conversations and aware of our government’s actions. We have not been doing this collectively for quite some time. They also reinforced how important and special it is to be musically honest—and to do so unapologetically.
Recording Engineer, Mix, Master:
Paul Tavenner, Big City Recording Studios (Granada Hills, CA)
Artwork: Alexandra Wiesenfeld
Design: Eron Rauch
© Tina Raymond Music (ASCAP) 2017
Tracks 7&8 published by Second Floor Music (ASCAP)
Track 3 published by Kilkhabart Music (BMI)