French Kayaking Music

The set of instrumental pieces entitled French Kayaking Music was written for and inspired by the film Voyagers Without Trace; a documentary about a French trio who kayaked the Green and Colorado rivers in 1938. When Conlee heard that the film’s director Ian McCluskey was looking for original music with a French flavor, a creative relationship was begun. Conlee, currently a member of bands The Decemberists and Black Prairie, was at this time delving deep into French accordion music. She was listening to old recordings and learning the style from books of French Musettes. French Musette music evolved in Paris in the mid-1800’s as melting pot of styles played on the accordion that was popular for dancing in the café’s. Conlee was quickly falling in love with this romantic music. The “Voyagers…” soundtrack project was the perfect opportunity for Jenny to put to paper some original pieces inspired by the genre. Steve Drizos, drummer for Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons and Conlee’s husband and musical collaborator, was brought in as recording engineer and then as producer and composer as well. While McCluskey was sending over scenes to be composed to, the pair realized the need to expand the musical palette. On top of the collection of Musette inspired waltzes there was a need to express the feeling of the old west and the river itself. Conlee added piano pieces that are both somber and whimsical. Drizos then layered drum and percussion tracks and the addition of Jill Coykendall on clarinet […]