Hailing from the shores of London though of Danish and American descent, Cameron McLain packed his bags at the age of 18 to cross the ocean and to study Religion and Philosophy at Princeton University. During his time at Princeton he became a regular attendee of a community music night (The Beginning and the End) hosted by his friend Nicole Velasco and it was at these weekly late night communions that his songwriting really began to take place.
“The whole experience at Princeton, certain things going on in my life at the time, and everything I was reading left me feeling a bit isolated. I became very interested in Buddhism. To be honest, I was just confused and needed to put it down on paper. I wasn’t performing, just writing a lot of songs and poems, and not really expecting anyone to hear them.”
Cameron, who has always composed music and written songs for others, one night, found himself an unexpected performer. “Nicole got me to sing something one night at The Beginning and the End and it all kind of began from there.” In August 2010, Cameron recorded a live EP, The Grace and the Grit, with his friends from the Princeton Jazz Ensemble.
Following graduation he returned home to London and spent his days studying composition and writing songs: “I had all these things I wanted to say about the world and I felt that they were best said through words and music so I tried to learn as much as I could about both. I just needed some time to sit down and let it all take shape.”
In the fall of 2011 Cameron returned to New York where he met Charles Newman (Magnetic Fields, Soko) out at a gig one night. Becoming quick friends they spent the winter months holed up in Charles’ studio tweaking arrangements, adding harmonies and instruments over Cameron’s songs which then grew into his debhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifut album, The Visitation.
The Visitation is a unique musical statement, which manages to draw on different musical styles while creating a unified musical world where humor, tragedy, and sensuality are all equally present. Cameron’s warm and soulful voice narrates this world and carries us through it by the hand. The Visitation will be released in October of 2011 under the moniker Mandala and will be followed by an extensive US tour.
For the live show Cameron is joined by the gifted Martin Nevin and Sean Mullins who both recently graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. Together they bring The Visitation to the live stage and form Mandala.
Check out his video for “Blue Darkening”
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