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Frombakabush: a message from the producer
Stonetree is not your typical record label; for the last ten years we’ve been producing music where few have ventured. Many ask us: why Stonetree? why Belize? Why local music, why the remoteness? Why... why not?

From the very beginning, I remember being thrilled with the idea of starting a label in my hometown that could produce good quality albums with worldwide appeal. Stonetree is based is Benque Viejo del Carmen, a small town in western Belize. I don’t know…there was something about it, less distractions, simple life and most importantly, TIME. Being able to spend the weeks, the months, the years, whatever it takes. Most Stonetree albums have taken years to complete; I remember once spending almost a week to record a perfect take of a song I really liked. This is a luxury one can only afford living Bakabush.

We started from scratch, there were no studios, no recording engineers, of course; musicians and artists had very limited studio experience, so did I, and many technical “mistakes” were made. Regular wooden houses and cabins were converted into recoding spaces -- we improvised. But the music was there, the songs were there, and that was the focus all along: document and experiment.

Most of the musicians in our albums are non-professionals, for many traditional musicians this has been their first and only recording experience. I have to admit that at times it has been very challenging, having studied music for many years and often being obsessed with perfection, I’ve felt frustrated many times. But one thing is for sure, these albums have soul, and these musicians have made it all happen.

The Stonetree experience has not been about making “hits” and hopes of instant gratification. I’ve always strived to make albums that will stand the test of time, and I believe in some cases we have achieved just that, future Central American classics.

Even though Stonetree has not yet achieved international, commercial success, the response to our music has been very rewarding. Our mission remains the same, and we’ll continue to release good music from this diverse and often forgotten part of the world. Not only to satisfy the increasing cravings from our local fans and visitors, but for the hundreds of “friends of Stonetree” around the world who somehow discovered our beats and were touched. That’s the magic of music, and I can’t thank you enough for all your enthusiasm and support.

We’ll beat on…we’re going for 20.

Ivan Duran
Benque Viejo del Carmen, September 20, 2005

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