A SENSE OF PLACE
This project was completed
and archived in October 2009.
versions here will not be of the same quality as those included on CDs.
I have a small number of CDs of this project if anyone who knows me
cares to ask for one.
1. Arctic wind
- very experimental
instrumental. The computer seemed to find it hard work creating this.
The original idea was to construct a track solely from my voice. I used
synthesised choirs as a stand-in while I wrote it. However when I had
orchestrated it I realised it was too elabourate to reconstruct with
vocals so I left the choirs.
theme theme - includes
sound recordings made at Chessington in 2007. This was intended as an
affectionate recreation of the atmosphere of a theme park. I listened
quite carefully to music playing at a theme park and tried to write
this song the way theme park music would be written. The ending was
intended to sound the way it does walking away from the theme park with
the music and the crowds fading into the distance behind you.
3. Fine -
original recording session for this song was very difficult
technical gremlins. It was therefore re-recorded. This song was very
loosely based on an episode of the detective series featuring
magician's assistant Jonathan Creek. I felt the plot was unrealistic so
I decided to take a swipe at detective fiction.
little chat - The
original recording of this one was also severely hit by technical
gremlins, so again it was later re-recorded. Later still the
original effects were lost when a faulty plugin was stripped out so
another version had to be made with different effects, and a manually
pitch corrected vocal. Sadly this was based on a real incident, not
quite what was said although a fair amount of it was, but what it felt
in my mind -
written for Oona, lyrics based on her comments during a visit.
Saltcoats was a Scottish seaside resort that used to be a sort of
mini-Blackpool, but today is very quiet. Oona often waxed lyrical about
her youthful memories of it. I suggested she could write me a lyric
about it and she said somewhat sarcastically something like she'd get
right on it. For ages after that I used to ask her how it was going. In
the end she gave me the ten cent tour during a visit there, and I wrote
the lyric based on what she said. She was very nice about it and said
it perfectly recreated the atmosphere of our visit there; but I'd still
have preferred it if she'd written the lyric.
clear water - instrumental. This came together very fast. I
had an idea to use a piano to recreate the feel of water at the
seaside. It felt very easy. I added strings to it to get the feeling of
deep water and later a lighter sound, I forget what now, a music box or
something like that, to represent glinting sunlight and balance the
guide to the city - the title to this came from a science
fiction short story. The place was actually real, though I exaggerated
somewhat. I forget now exactly where it was. I remember walking down a
hill, past a shopping centre as I remember it, to what had been a
beauty spot. The idea musically was to try and write something in the
style of Gilbert & Sullivan.
(oh yeah wow far out) - This was aimed at disco songs with
incomprehensible lyrics. I particularly didn't like one where the
singer said he would get himself connected. He could have been talking
about getting broadband for all I knew.
easy to assemble furniture flat pack blues - I think this
started with the title. I was trying to think of daft titles to write
lyrics for. I kind of like it as it isn't particularly influenced by
anyone else, it's just me. I actually did have problems with a flat
pack some time before and remember hammering a dowel through the back
end of the piece it fitted into, although I didn't screw anything into
shoes blues - this was based very closely on an incident at a
hotel on Lake Garda. The shoes turned up behind a curtain. Pretty much
every word of this is just how it was. You'll notice that the lyric is
strict blues format and even starts "I woke up this morning". I wanted
to try and get a sort of early morning feel into the delivery of the
lyric and the finished track at the beginning. I was very pleased with
the middle 8.
airport - I was actually delayed at Gatwick, though I can't
now remember why. Probably security again. I do remember one passenger
becoming very bitter when told that there would be more news of his
flight back in the terminal building. He tried to get the
representative to apologise for his flight being delayed, but she
wouldn't, probably because she hadn't been told anything.
other rainbow -
the backing vocal on this has
taken a lot of work. It was triggered by the sort of feeling you get
when you've said goodbye to someone at an airport and you're going one
way and they're going the other. The lyrics aren't autobiographical,
it's more just about a feeling really with a lot of poetic license.
issues on this track were overcome by using a different microphone into
voice recorder. This was a sarcastic parody of a series of management
briefings. Sadly quite a lot of it was really pretty much what was said.
14. One more drink
- I had a streaming
cold when I recorded this, which may or may not have been fortuitous.
It was a sequel to One more for the road (the song Sinatra used to
sing). I very rapidly decided I wanted to do something different with
the backing. The piano actually had a script. The rhythm of the piano
part was constructed from what the pianist was thinking (but didn't
say) while the character was talking to him (though I can't now
remember what it was). The orchestration was later altered to
take it still further from the original. You'll notice it balances in
the middle - it's what you might call an A-B-B-A structure.
- this is really more a female perspective than a male
one. I don't
know quite why it came out that way, it just did. It was triggered by a
remark someone made that I'd never seen anyone drunk. I think it's the
best written song on the CD although it's not the one I like listening
(Mumble mumble, Speedway and
Leaving Venice didn't
despite having been specially written for this CD)
chair blues - with apologies to George Harrison. This song
was heavily influenced by (and written not long after hearing) Rocking chair in Hawaii
by George Harrison (off his has last solo album Brainwashed). I've amended
the backing to take it away from the original accoustic
feel and give it a more polished studio produced type sound. Harrison
of course especially later in his career was keen on avoiding what he
saw as over-production. When I wrote this I mainly had in mind some
adverts featuring a black man playing blues (or trying to) on his porch
while sitting in a rocking chair. The lyric started from an odd phrase
that came into my head, I think while I was driving somewhere. I put
the two together and started a lyric about a rocking chair using the
William - Again, this is very largely true and much of it was
written in a cafe in Fort William. Oona was with me at the time,
watching me scribbling furiously. Odd bits were added that had not
happened (such as the fishing), and the chocolate bars were moved from
Glencoe visitor centre (which didn't sell any though that seems to have
been a policy decision), but basically this was pretty much how it was
at Fort William. The museum was closed as it was Sunday, it was too
early in the season for the steam train, the chair lift (or gondola to
be strictly accurate) really was seven miles away, etc.
(One day you'll understand did
not to feature despite probably being the best lyric I've ever written)
Praise the Lord
- this was largely an attack on American policy in the middle east as I
could see that at that time (this was under George Bush Jnr) it was
counter-productive and appeared to be morally indefensible. I was
trying to think about noble upstanding model behaviour, and I thought
of knights and chivalry and King Arthur. Later I realised that it
was knights that fought in the crusades - in the middle east.
day at the seaside
- instrumental. This portrays a day at a seaside resort, from the quiet
early morning, to people arriving, to busy hubub at an amusement
arcade, and then people going home again. Near the end Laughing Man
turns up. I honestly can't remember him or what he was laughing at.
The cover is in CorelDraw Select Edition (7.0) format.
The full 12 page lyric booklet will appear only
with copies of the CD made by me.
cover - back cover.