The Vanishing Mind (Calexico)

I’m slipping into ‘old age’ this weekend, so this song seems quite appropriate :wink:
I’ve done a v. simple acoustic cover of it before, but it’s such a beautiful song I felt it deserved at least the family & friends treatment
Chris excelled himself on this one.
Tor used the fretless bass Santa brought (after just 2 weeks!)
and I even press-ganged the missus into dusting off her flute that she hasn’t played for decades… :smiley:

Here’s the blurb from the YT video:
John Convertino, the drummer of the band Calexico, wrote ‘The Vanishing Mind’ after reading an article on life-term prisoners with Alzheimer’s being looked after by younger inmates, while his mother suffered the same condition.
Mum now lives in a comfortable nursing home in Dublin and has family visits most days. Her memory continues to fade.
The video is edited from old 8mm home movies she took when Dad was alive.

Music: The Vanishing Mind by Calexico

Chris Goldring Guitars, violin
Hans Larsen Drums
Tor Larsen Fretless bass
Geraldine Swift Flute
Brian Larsen Vocals, production


Hi Brian,
This one I tick all the boxes that you find important when you create something that could happen with people… :people_hugging: :rose:

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8mm Larsen, that was beautiful my friend. I have no other words to say. With the song and the old footage and knowing your Mum’s circumstances, I can barely see to type. Nice one. :sunglasses:

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Cheers, Rogier :smiley:
Whenever any of us shares ‘personal’ stuff, folks are (quite rightly) on their best behaviour criticism-wise :laughing:
I am very happy with the process and for the greater part with the outcome as well.
For me the most obvious aspect to improve here would be to move away from mobile phone voice recordings and start learning to use an equaliser. I might ask Hans to see if he can send different stems for the various drum parts (kick, hi-hat, snare, toms etc.) so I can adjust levels, and folk keep talking about ‘plug-ins’ whatever they are.
So, gloves off folks. I’m fine with ‘critical appraisal’, as long as no one mentions I was a chubby toddler :rofl:
And thank you for the Roses, Rogier :smiley:


I could probably sue you for calling me that :rofl:
You’re a sucker for softies.
Mercy, mon ami! :wink:

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That was touching, Brian! I’m glad I read the backstory after having watched the vid and listened… Could someone remove these darn onions around here.

Seriously, it was just beautiful, the footage was so well chosen and suited the piece and the mood. Production captured the essence of the piece. I really like the collab behind it and how you put it all up together.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Brian. :slight_smile:

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That was absolutely fabulous Brian. The entire production was incredible and was everything a song / performance should be. Simply phenomenal sir!

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You never cease to impress and bring out those emotions Mr @brianlarsen !! Well orchestrated production…really set the mood…I’m sure ya did er on purpose! :v::wink: . May your talents flourish even further this year!!!

Lil side note, that solo guitaring sounded sweet…I kinda focused on guitar and vocals. My bad. , :grimacing:

Rock on!

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Okay, that was tough… listening to the song, watching the footage and holding it together :cry: … I mean, ahem, very well done, Brian, nicely arranged and performed by all those involved. All parts were well mixed to compliment the song as a whole, I was thoroughly impressed by everyone’s efforts here and the overall production. Nothing to see here, please carry on… :flushed:

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Wow Brian!!
That was just beautiful!! :clap::raised_hands:t2::clap:

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:joy: :innocent:

You know how to improve yourself chubby!!!

If you really think it is necessary, so me saying that was not necessary I read :grin:… yes, that plug-in that peeps keep talking about all the time??? :roll_eyes:

Nice some dEUS in the early morning :sunglasses:

Greetings and have a good day this last ( one and a half :laughing: )day in the fifties :blush:

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Vielen Dank, @Lisa_S :smiley:
These projects are fun. It only morphed into a ‘tribute’ song after the recording was all done and I was thinking of what video accompaniment to use. There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm by the ‘band’ to contribute even still photos of themselves, so when my brother suggested using one of mum’s old cine films, I took it from there.

Cheers @Eddie_09
Glad you enjoyed it. You’re no stranger to sharing the family stuff yourself :wink:

Haha, Thanks Darren-
Watch this space… :rofl:
And yes, Chris’ slide makes this tune for me.

@nzmetal Aw, ta mate :smiley:
I think I find the situation a lot easier to deal with than many. Having had the opportunity to look after her during the covid years allowed me to say all my goodbyes and thank yous. I’ve already done much of the grieving for the mum I knew, and know my siblings are making sure she’s as comfortable as possible, so all good really.

Mange tak min ven :smiley:

dEUS morning, noon and evening :smiley:
Not till Saturday :wink:


I was looking at a …kuch…certain song of mine and it was downloaded on the 19th :speak_no_evil:
you saved me from a blunder :sweat_smile:…although now it’s getting a little more …well … :shushing_face::joy:

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Wonderful, such a great blend of home movie and music. A real treasure for future generations of your family I suspect. A lovely homage to your mother too. I’d find it impossible to critique the music as it just fits so well with the movie.

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Oh man, Brian! I’m sitting here with tears running down my face :see_no_evil:. Beautiful, overwhelming and full of love for your mom :mending_heart:. Fabulous!

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By the way Brian have a great birthday. You’ll feel exactly as you did when you were 59 !
You are Number 60. Be seeing you ! :partying_face:

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That was so beautiful Brian!
Your mom seems so lovely from all those videos and looks like she’s had an incredible life
My eyes leaked a lot, but I enjoyed watching and listening. Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:
And also, happy milestone birthday :hibiscus: :sunflower:

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You know Brian, you never have ceased to amaze me with your creativity! What an amazing piece of art - I call it art because it’s more than just music!
All of you did an amazing job on such a poignant subject, I really enjoyed and appreciated the performance and passion of your collective creativity and expression.
Phew, lots of big words from me, where did they come from?

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Another gem of a project, Brian. Share the applause with all the musicians, everybody played their part.

I’ve watched many of your family home movies, your edit flowed as a perfect visual accompaniment.

Hard to imagine how much better it would sound if you moved away from using your phone as the mic. The vocals sound pretty good as is. Maybe we will be truly blown away when we hear Brian recorded using a proper mic.

If I was to suggest anything, maybe consider picking up CLA Vocals (currently on sale!). It is good quality, easy to use plugin that provides EQ, compression, revern, and delay with helpful presets to give you a head start.

Drop you vocal into your DAW from your phone, track by track and add this multi fx plugin onto each track. Sure you’ll be pleased with the results you can get.

Otherwise, mix feedback is so subjective. Also influenced by what one listens through. I’m listening through my JBL headset, which is not super HiFi but better than laptop speakers or phone earbuds. I felt at times the lead guitar in the left channel was maybe a wee bit loud. And maybe the vocal could have been raised a wee bit. By wee I expect just 2-3dB adjustments, nothing drastic as it sounded pretty good as is.

Good to hear all is ok with your Mum, all things considered.


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Hehe, this project as well as many other content that you shared has proven the opposite. Next checkup in 10 years time then :wink:

On a serious note, as others have said already, it’s indeed touching to hear the story behind your family & friends project. The choice of the song and especially how you performed it adds a layer of depth. And the home movies make it even more special. The kids are so cute, too, I especially liked the scene with the air mattres in the pool :canoe: :grin:. Calexico is one of my favourite bands, for decades, I like their music and soulful storytelling. A very thoughtful music project of yours.
Enjoy the 'slipping into different age’ this weekend Brian :smiley:

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