The Acorn

Family Affairs

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The Acorn - Family Affairs
By Michael BarclayGloria Esperanza Montoya is a radiant, striking woman — likely never more so than when she speaks with immense pride of her only son, Rolf Klausener. And of course, she’s especially pleased with his latest project: his folkie art-rock band the Acorn have just finished an album — Glory Hope Mountain, the title a loose translation of her name — based primarily on her life story.
Listening to her laugh and fawn over her progeny, you’d never guess that she suffers from chronic pain, watched her first husband die of brain cancer, immigrated to Canada from Honduras without knowing either official language, survived a flood, ran away from an abusive father at the age of 12, and barely survived her own birth.
Not that Klausener himself knew many of these stories growing up. "I knew she had a rough life,” he says on the porch of the Ottawa home he shares with Acorn bassist Jeff Debutte. "I knew she was orphaned until she was seven. I knew that her father was not a good father. I knew that she eventually stumbled into Montreal and met my father. But that’s it.”
"He didn’t know nothing about me,” Montoya concurs, in an interview the next day, where she speaks frankly and without regret — much as she did during the eight hours of interviews she did with her son before he started writing the album. "I was ashamed of my life. It’s not that it was pitiful. I take all the good and bad as a learning experience. Whatever I went through in my life, from the day I was born to the struggle that I had, I will not live in the past. I will live in the present. If I have laughter today, then I enjoy that. I wasn’t even crying when Rolfie was interviewing me. Because I could see myself in the bad times I had gone through, but then there was Rolf.”
Witnessing that bond between this mother and her son is inevitably touching, especially when they talk about how music rescued Klausener from teenage depression after he lost his father at age 14. Yet whether or not Klausener would be able to write about her life with distance and perspective — and then translate that into music — is a whole other matter. In the words of an earlier Acorn song, "Heirlooms,” "Sometimes treasures found are treasures best left hidden.”
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Article Published In Oct 07 Issue