With his new soundtrack for the independent short film Donde Los Terremotos, singer-songwriter Matt Costa provides an awe-inspiring soundscape through the lens of vintage-inspired Latin flair.
Not only scored but co-directed by Costa, the film is in collaboration with clothing company Roark, and features skateboarding icon Jamie Thomas. The unique film captures the spiritual aura of Oaxaca, Mexico, through various adventurous activities and lifestyles. Surfing, skateboarding, climbing, running, and songwriting are all shown throughout the film as a way of connecting with this beautiful Mexican environment.
The journey’s magical realism inspires the songs found on the transcendent score, and it does a stellar job transporting the listener to this Oaxacan dreamscape.
“The idea was to travel to these remote regions in Oaxaca. Some hadn’t been visited in over six years. I had researched religious and cultural ceremonies a lot. I did not think of making a record. I was so focused on envisioning the idea, filming, and then editing that the music was not the main focus originally. Yet I knew there would come a time when the film would hinge on it,” Costa said.
Costa credits Ryan Hitzel, the creative mastermind behind Roark, along with long-time friend Jordan Lovelis with helping put this vision into existence. As a Huntington Beach, California, native, he’s naturally been steeped in the world of skateboarding, and went as far as to say, “I love music but skateboarding is the only thing that keeps me sane.”
Regarding the wrangling of the skate icon that is Thomas, Costa said, “I’ve always been a fan of Jamie Thomas skateboarding. So, to be able to spend some time and get to know him on a personal level was an amazing way to start the trip. Skating around Oaxaca was a wild feeling. Jamie would Acid Drop off of statues in between eating street tamales and skating some very ancient sidewalk gaps.”
With Donde Los Terremotos, we see a new step from Matt Costa, as he reaches a near-mythical sound that gives insight to the profound experience that he went through in Oaxaca. Latin rhythms, reverb-laden guitar lines, and even wind instruments are present throughout this soundtrack. The sonic elements are masterfully placed to capture the serene vibe of southwestern Mexico.
The impact of the music masterfully matches the essence of the film, capturing a feeling that can only be described as profoundly spiritual.
Note* Paul Howard contributed to this article.