The Land, comprised of Judith Klassen and Simon Neufeld, creates music that combines intricate vocal harmonies with guitar, viola, violin, banjo, mandolin, and sometimes organs and synthesizers. The Manitoba-born-and-raised musicians have been together since 1997, forming The Land while living in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Now back in Winnipeg, Klassen and Neufeld are looking forward to sharing their sparse, yearning folk-pop with the prairie folks they know and love.
“St. John’s was a truly inspiring place to live,” said Neufeld. “We did all the recording for this album in our living room with a view of the harbour and the sound of a foghorn in the distance. We were surrounded by city, rocks and ocean, and yet were often reminded of the prairies – the wide open places.” Klassen adds, “after five years away, it is great to play music for people who know what a grain elevator is.”
The CD is manufactured by Earthology Records, a not-for-profit environmental record label. Inserts are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with nontoxic soy-based ink, packaged in 100% reused salvaged jewel cases, shrink-wrapped with environmentally benign LDPE plastic, and shipped with recycled packaging. The CD scraps from manufacturing are recycled into milk cartons. Earthology is located on a geothermal wind-powered organic farm. The recording was mastered by Spencer Crewe in St. John’s.
Judith Klassen is a violist, and recently completed her PhD in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She plays viola, violin, and glockenspiel, and is also a gifted harmonizer, adding deceivingly sparse layers of soft surreality to the music. Simon Neufeld, who plays acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and synthesizer for The Land, also acted as principal recording engineer for their debut release. He recently completed a Master's degree in agriculture at the University of Manitoba and currently works in an organic wheat breeding program.