We are the dust of a million patterns that wonders where to go. We go somewhere then go somewhere else, then sometimes back again. I just got back from somewhere – England, to be specific. I tried to get lost in the wonderful culture but was too busy pushing buttons, making strings vibrate, and moving my vocal chords. The moments of doing nothing were few and far between – yet experiential triggers still managed to catapult me into timeless orbits around past memories in odd meditative ways. With that said, the actual work enabled me to put my brain somewhere else for the most part, enough so that I really enjoyed the camaraderie. The band kicked ass! Many laughs and thoughtful conversations were had with my bandmates, the crew, and the people kind enough to introduce themselves to us at the vending table. When you tour you lose track of time in a blur of repetition and focused intent. Thank goodness for good company to break up the numbing pattern of: wake-up – van – load in – set up – play – breakdown – load out – van – sleep – start again. The Sensational Francis Dunnery Band did a hell-of-a job! Backing Francis was Tony Beard on drums, Mike Cassedy on keys, Paul Brown on bass, and myself filling in holes (where needed) with vocals, keys and guitar. Francis is a damn good entertainer with mountains of musical talent. The tour demonstrated this one-two punch; the crowds responded because of it, with impact and authentic energy. It’s quite a rush to be playing at rock band volume and still hear and feel the voice of the crowd singing along with you! Here's a link to the album we played - it was a 2.5 hour show!!
The whole trip was an intense string of dates (all the more poignant for not being home for the Presidential inauguration). By the time I got home I was pretty beat and ready to jump headfirst into an empty swimming pool. On the way home I caught the ever-annoying airplane bug and have surrendered to its growing strength over the past few days. I hope Nyquil will do the trick. Let the sweet blue/green concoction put me in an opiate deep sleep tonight!
Beside the abundance of ‘catching up’ I needed to do this week I wanted to get two more songs done from my album. I apologize for not being able to keep up with the regularly scheduled program. I managed to get back on the horse in a fevered session of dehydration and shaky hands earlier today and, with this post, have made the next two songs available.
I’m only going to release ten songs for this album; I knew this fact upon the release of the 6th song. Like I’ve said in earlier posts, I’m letting the songs dictate the procedure and specifics in which they are thrown into the global collective melee. They are being released the same way they were written, i.e., little to no pretense and planning. I’ll release the last two next week along with a beautiful video (if my generous friend Bill can get the edit finished). From there I hope to knock out another album, with the objective of a hard copy version and perhaps a hard copy version of these first ten. I’m thinking out loud so I’ll see where the songs take me.
The two songs this week are Song for Summer and Like Fading Stars, both harmonically new for me and yet obviously part of my milieu. I hope you like them. Song for Summer features Big Des once again on drums. I’ll attach a photo below of us cutting the drums (I got him out of his bedroom long enough to play on this song). Des crystallized the song for me by playing the big tom-tom groove. It immediately gave the song the rhythmic energy I was hoping for. It is perfect! Leo Koperdraat from Fractal Mirror was kind enough to add his wonderful baritone voice for some backing vocal color. Again, perfect and just what I was looking for to add weight to the lyrics. Speaking of Leo, he and his better half made the trip across the channel (from the Netherlands to London) to see Big Des and the band at Bush Hall. It was great to finally meet my transatlantic friend and his wife! Beautiful people!
Back to the songs: The second song, Like Fading Stars, features Jim Hines playing a beautifully understated groove for my song. I used my very old piano with a damper on the strings to lull the listener into the quietness of the song opening. These songs are deep and full of emotional triggers for me and I hope you can find your own meaning within them. I know I cried many times as these lines materialized into melodies. Maybe you’ll get something out of them as well.
Thank you to Big Des (Francis), Jim Hines, and Leo for adding their talent to these songs. They really helped take the songs to somewhere I would not have been able to go on my own. Speaking of going elsewhere, it’s interesting (with hindsight) that I see these songs as songs about going away, going elsewhere, and somewhere else. I think we all have – at various times in our lives – that impassioned wish to find a place other than the one we are currently in. “The grass is always greener…” is a cliché because of its psychological ubiquity. Perhaps this is why I have a soft spot for songs like Stephen Sondheim’s and Leonard Berstein’s, Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us), from West Side Story. The band Sun Kill Moon (Mark Kozelek) does a brilliant version of this song. I actually have a song called There Was a Place for Us from my Last of the Curlews album. It’s weird how consciousness works. There always seems to be a longing for something ‘better’ in our finite existence. A place where we can live, forgive, find peace and open air (as the Sondheim lyrics implore)… “somehow, some day, somewhere.” We can try to find it by changing orbit and claiming freedom, but I think Sondheim really thought that place was within us rather than externally found.
I hope you find that place
Brett William Kull ~ 28 January, 2017