r.mason is singer-instrumentalist Rebecca Barritt and guitar player Jonathan Blokmanis. r.mason filters soulful songwriting through explorative moods to cook up a project textured with paradox: lightness and tension, desperation and transcendence. Rebecca has been writing songs since she learned to carry a note at age 4; ever since, music has been her second language and the only constant in her life. She would sit for hours in front of her Sony tape deck, recording songs a cappella until she realized – having begun her formal music training on the violin – that she could learn an instrument to accompany herself. She began teaching herself guitar, then piano – all in service of the cathartic songwriting that helped her make sense of a churning world. Rebecca is driven by a need to understand life’s heartbeat, transforming ineffable experiences and vulnerable emotions into sound. Her songwriting has been shaped by childhood echoes of church music; passion writers like Bob Dylan, Josh Ritter and Kathleen Edwards; singers like Lana Del Ray, Nina Simone and Norah Jones; duos like Angus and Julia Stone; and composers like Eric Satie.
Jonathan is the wizard of pedals and guitars whose alchemy breathes new life into Rebecca’s songs. Jonathan has been studying guitar since sneaking into his older brother’s room to play his prized electric guitar at age 12. His brother put a stop to this by presenting Jonathan with an old 60s Fender Musicmaster Bass guitar, liberated from the high school band room. Jonathan played it all summer and never looked back. Saving all his lawnmowing money, he bought a Fender jazz bass and spent the next year learning the entire mid- to late-70s-era Rush catalogue, plus Led Zeppelin’s first three albums. Other early inspiration came from bands like Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and Radiohead and guitar players like David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Kelly Joe Phelps, Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers and the sonic creativity and unorthodox playing style of Johnny Greenwood; more recent influences include Kevin Morby, Lana Del Ray, Wilco and War on Drugs.
As r. mason, Rebecca and Jonathan weave Rebecca’s textured vocal tones with classically influenced electronic keys and gritty atmospheric guitar, immersing listeners in the heart and depth of their evocative soundscapes.