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CD cover - head thinking This project was completed on 24 November 2008. If anyone wants a copy of the CD from me can they ask for it now please? Reminder: the versions here are not of the same quality as those included on CDs or submitted to song contests.

After completing Mustn't grumble, consisting largely as it did of a meander through some of life's irritations, I wanted to write something more personal and expressive. It was probably only having completed three CDs that I had acquired the confidence to do this. Work on the orchestration started sporadically in December 2007, and in earnest from February 2008. I made a deliberate effort to make the music rhythmically as well as melodically complex. The vocals were recorded from March to July 2008. Editing it took from August until towards the end of November. The last track on it, a very ambitious long instrumental, was the best I had written yet.

1 - Creation - new version uploaded following edits, 24/11/08. This was one of the last to be written. I was looking for something creatively ambitious. It sounds conceited to say it, but that made me think of Sergeant Pepper (the album), which made me think of how I imagined Sergeant Pepper (the fictional band leader), which made me think of a town brass band and a band leader writing something for them. I imagined him having listened to say Haydn's Creation, and thinking, maybe I could try writing something a bit like that. So I wrote a lyric trying to make the big bang sound poetic, and some time later tried to orchestrate it so that the backing musically described what was happening. Any musicians may notice successive key and time signature changes to symbolically mirror the dropping energy level in the expanding universe. And that's how this song came about. I don't think it's at all typical of me, and it's certainly very unlike any popular music I've ever heard.

2 - Organic Jack - new version uploaded following edits, 11/8/08. This is another complaint about getting older. I don't mind having been alive longer, but ageing I'm afraid I don't relish at all. The reference to the lake is the Dead Sea. I keep being bugged by Dead Sea salt salesmen in shopping centres so in the process of writing about something else I took a sideways swipe at them.

3 - Basic BASIC - new version uploaded following edits, 6/10/08. This is a potted history of computer programming. Really. Like a lot of people I have dabbled in computer programming using various languages, but they have followed each other faster and faster. Whatever is fashionable now is out again in five years. Anyone else who has spent any time trying to keep up with this will notice lots of in jokes buried in the lyric.

4 - Cough up - new version uploaded following edits, 9/10/08. I was up at Oona's and she had the television on. At that time she liked to watch shopping channels. This particular one was doing bid shopping, i.e. the price comes down and people ring in. You'll gather I wasn't impressed. It was all there, the ring, the bag, the pots, all I did was write it down really.

5 - Only me - new version uploaded following edits, 12/10/08. This was another one written at Oona's. Strongly influenced by The game by Echo and the Bunnymen. I admired the intensity of that lyric, the way there was lots of it and it just kept coming and coming. I thought I'd like to write something like it. It was actually written very fast, it all came very quickly with lines triggering other lines. I remember scribbling furiously in a notebook and being pretty pleased when I had it all.

6 - I wish - new version uploaded following edits, 13/10/08. This is one of the most personal songs I've ever written. It goes back really to long years spent... well... let's just say, bad times can haunt you for years or decades afterwards. The trouble is, they get into your head, and you're never the same as you would have been, or could have been. It was a dark time. Fortunately things did get better, eventually.

7 - Toleration - new version uploaded following vocal edits, 11/10/08. This started from a remark made at a Christmas dinner. Somebody appeared to be confusing sociability with tolerance. I felt they were clearly different concepts.

8 - You thought, I thought - new version uploaded following vocal edits, 18/10/08. This is another very personal song. It was written following a misunderstanding. I felt frustrated at not being able to communicate successfully how I felt, so I wrote it in a lyric instead.

9 - Tragic - new version uploaded following edits, 16/10/08. This was written in Bluewater shopping centre. Oona was off in a shop looking at goodness knows what and taking a while over it. Coming up the escalator I had heard a record playing. The singer was putting on a great display of emotion and I realised how false it all was.

10 - Think of something else - after hours of work this is finally sounding presentable. New version uploaded following edits, 8/9/08. This was written at the chess tournament at Hastings, shortly before I was due to go for a blood test. I wasn't actually fasting at the time, but I was dreading it. The funny thing was, when it actually came to the fast, it didn't really bother me much. This was how hard I imagined it would be - but it wasn't. Oddly it was influenced by of all people Bob Dylan. He had written a song about a hat, where no matter what direction the lyric went off in it always ended up coming back to the hat, and I liked the circularity of it.  

11 - Table polishing for dogs - New version uploaded following edits, 18/10/08. I'm actually very proud of this one. Stylistically it is highly unusual, containing contrasting styles within the same song, as a deliberate attempt to represent the different cultures being referred to. It was triggered by a case in the Sudan that I gather became notorious - you may remember it. Before then, I had thought that if different cultures tried hard enough to understand each other, they could co-exist. That case convinced me I had been wrong.

12 - JFDI - new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. This was triggered by something that was happening at work at the time, though I can't now remember what it was. What I was trying to argue was that all the statements in the backing vocal (that was me as well, incidentally) are essentially the same. What goes around comes around, and at time of writing it again seems very apt.

13 - Me and you - new version uploaded following edits, 18/9/08. This was an oddity really. I was sitting wondering what to write, and I thought I'd like to write something wistful. For some reason, I don't know why, I thought of my periodic trips to London, usually alone. I thought of walking through the streets, usually towards the half price ticket booth in Leicester Square. I thought of all those people, and how I didn't know them and didn't speak to them. Maybe I could have, but I didn't. I picked up my pen, and the words just came to me: "There are so many people in a city..."

14 - Too late - new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. This was based on a remark I had made years before to someone I knew. Nothing like this had happened recently, so the vocal was purely acting. I gather from Oona it was very convincing acting.

15 - Going - new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08. As you may have gathered I've never been a socialiser, and once in a while - The (other) drinking song for instance - I have felt called upon to try and explain why. This one is trying to explain how pointless and shallow party small talk appears. I simply can't see the point of this sort of thing.

16 - God (did you do it right) - new version uploaded following edits, 23/11/08, and yes all the voices on it really are me. This started off as the last part of The end. Unfortunately it was too long for that, it was too large an idea, and after a while I realised it was a separate song. It would have been the last song, had it not been for Creation and The end of Creation.

17 - The end of Creation (instrumental) - New version uploaded following edits, 2/10/08. Having written about the beginning of Creation, it seemed logical to write about the end of it. This then is the entire history of the universe, from the present moment to its final end. It's structured in sections representing the different stages. The fact that it involved describing unlikely things purely using sounds made it fascinating to write. As with Creation, any musicians will hear more in it than non-musical listeners.

The cover is in CorelDraw Select Edition (7.0) format.  It was posted here for a time but has now been removed as it is rather a large file.
The full 12 page lyric booklet will appear only with copies of the CD made by me.