Silent Crossing album notes:
Produced by Jessie Jacobson & Jarrett Lesko
Mixed by Jessie Jacobson & Jarrett Lesko
Tracks 1, 17: Mixed by Chris Fudurich (2020)
Tracks 2-4: Mixed by Frankie Blue Sposato & Second Language
Mastered by Sonja Brenna
All songs recorded on AKAI 12-track analog tape machine in 1988-1989 except We Stumble, State Of Mind, Heaven’s Gate, Believe, Words Into Action & Remember (Surrender) in 1987. Tracks 2-4 mixed at Control Center studio, 1988.
Jessie Jacobson’s notes on this album:
We couldn’t afford or finagle studio time throughout most of 1988-1989. We had one productive session at 2L producer (Shadow Across The Moon CD) Tony Berg’s Zeitgeist studio in January of 1988 laying down basic tracks for When Les Was More, and new arrangements of Believe and Heaven’s Gate. But Tony was too occupied with paying projects to offer us any further recording time.
Luckily, towards the end of 1987, Jarrett had purchased an AKAI 12-track recorder. It was an unwieldy behemoth with a built-in mixer that recorded on a proprietary Beta-like audio format but unlike the 4-track and 8-track home recorders we’d used up until then for our demos, the tape was thick and the sound quality was excellent.
It was a real game-changer for home recording and we put it to good use immediately, recording the versions of We Stumble, Believe, Heaven’s Gate, State Of Mind, Remember (Surrender) and Words Into Action on this CD.
Despite the fact that our microphones, outboard gear and mixing options were still very primitive, this was the first time we achieved indie release-quality recordings and we were over the moon about it.
David ‘Spiggy’ Miller, guitarist extraordinaire, played with Second Language from September 1987 through July 1988 and features on three songs on this CD (State Of Mind, Believe and Words Into Action). He also co-wrote What More Do You Want?, Swing Time, and Deep while with the band – and is featured on two more tracks on the Shadow Across The Moon double CD.
Following the abortive Zeitgeist sessions, we focused on working Spiggy into the band while booking shows, gigging and composing new material. By late June 1988, we began a series of new 12-track recordings and laid down the majority of the songs on this CD. Sadly, Spiggy left the band in July so the songs were completed without his participation.
During early to mid-1989, Jim Novak was our guest guitarist for live shows, followed by Dan Nolton during the fall. Richie Owens joined the band briefly at the end of that year in time to record a few tracks with us, of which the remake of Without A Net with him on backing vocals features on this album (his other 2L work is found on Shadow Across The Moon). We were all enthusiastic and hoping for a new beginning.
Instead it was the end.
Second Language split up amicably at the start of 1990 and stayed apart for over a year. We then began recording and playing live again from 1991 through 1996 though some members continued to get together on an occasional basis for improvisation sessions up until 1999. Since 2014, Jarrett, Brian and I have been improvising and recording together again sometimes alongside other 2L alumni.
Uncertain Terms [version 2] was written in 1987 and is a completely different song than version 1 (featured on the Youth Is Not For Pleasure album) except for the chorus, which was written in 1984.
State Of Mind appears in the major motion picture 'Burn Your Maps' released in 2019.
Welcome To Paradise [version 1] is the same basic track as version 2 (featured on the Shadow Across The Moon album) without the overdubs that were later added by Richie Owens in 1989.
Remember (Surrender) is a rough mix of a 12-track recording from 1987.
The title of Curtains…I is an anagram for Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, about whom this song was written in 1982, apart from the music and melody for the chorus which was added in 1988.
The three tracks at the end of the CD are Without Annette (an instrumental version of Without A Net featuring some fine slide guitar overdubs by Jarrett), as well as Silent Crosstalk (an outtake of Silent Crossing) and When More Was Less (an outtake of When Les Was More) which are included strictly for the sake of silliness.
The original preferred title for this album was Without A Net, in reference to both the opening track and to the band having produced all these recordings by themselves at home and in rehearsal rooms, but with both the Grateful Dead and Van Halen having used that title for live albums, we opted to go with Silent Crossing.
Listening back from thirty years’ distance, I feel that these tracks hold up well as the album that we would have released at that time and are representative of the band Second Language had become during 1987-1989. We hope it's to your liking.