We are all travellers with a one way ticket for our own unique journey through life – and our choices define us. Music has dominated my journey, intensifying my experience. Music I have loved throughout the years echoes here and there in what I do. It could not be otherwise.
I remember running home when I was a young boy to play the latest recordings by my favourite artistes – rock n roll alchemists who could combine simple chords with big attitude, and produce musical gold. Incredibly their recordings sound as wonderful and compelling today as they did then! As music evolved albums became the focus for most of us. Picking up a new album of songs was a big event. We would sit and play the songs through in a single sitting, often several times. As we listened we would pore over the cover artwork, song lyrics, sleeve notes- trying to absorb every nuance, to get to the “heart” of the music and those who created it. I doubt anyone listens to music in this fashion today. In the Age of the Download, where so much information is a “click” away, a massive choice of games and entertainment compete for our attention, so it is little wonder that many people have a short attention span. I intend no criticism – I accept that times change.
Is it possible that we have sacrificed our sense of wonder in return for instant entertainment on demand? If so, did anyone notice?
It was precisely by devoting time to listen in the way we used to do that I learned a little about construction, dynamics and the language musicians were speaking as they created their magic. I listened in awe to great songwriters. I soon began to devour books about the musicians and songwriters I most respected, to gain insight into how they worked. Like many of my generation, I delved into musical history, exploring the roots in order to better understand context. Today my library contains many biographies not only of musicians but also writers, film makers and other creative “travellers”. Fascinating as they are I have long realised that while we might learn from each other we each must write our own story. These songs may be regarded as a page in my story.
I believe that any art-form must somehow transcend its techniques to find its “truth”. So it is that the greatest music may transport us beyond chords, harmonies, arrangements/ time signatures etc. taking us to a place of pure emotional and spiritual joy. This is the true power of this extraordinary mercurial stuff I tried so hard to understand, and this is the jewel we reach for when writing a song, or series of songs like these.
Having read this is it possible you might wish to listen through to these songs in sequence as I intended? I hope you do! If you are reading this, by pausing here you are allowing me into your journey for a moment. May I invite you to travel with me for the next hour or so? Make yourself comfortable. Shall we start in the Land of the Night Games?