Friday, 27 July 2012

Back up to London at the weekend to finish off the vocals for Far and Forgot. Last weekend I was playing the lute at a small festival in Chicester with my friend Mike Hobson. I believe it went well.
All being well, we should get all the vocals for Willow Hill done this weekend, which means things are really beginning to take shape. The drums are pretty well finished and I reckon they sound great; if everything goes to plan (?!@?) the bass tracks will be done the week after next and that just leaves the guitars and some exotics like cor anglais and cello.
A wee bit more about the guitars. Because I tend to write orchestrally, the guitars don't really play very guitary things and are often asked to play weird and wonderful lines that are very tricky but don't sound it. This is very apparent on The Man Who Sold Magic; a very guitar oriented track that doesn't sound like normal guitar stuff, if you catch my drift. It isn't that I don't like guitarish lines, I'm no mean blues player though I say it myself, it's just that I see this music as a gestalt, as the Germans would have it, and the guitars are part of the overall sound. Beedle will have his solos though. My life would be a misery else.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Off to St Ives tomorrow to record three drum tracks with the inimitable Mr. Brooks. Brides of the Wind, The Man Who Sold Magic and Willow Hill. 
I suppose Willow Hill gives the strongest clue to what Far and Forgot is all about, at least as far as I am concerned. 
All my songs are protest songs in one sense, and Willow Hill is a protest against what has become known as reason or rationalism. It's all very well talking about an age of reason, but perhaps we need to ask what is really meant by reason. Willow Hill is a song about magic departing from England; magic and mystery as symbolised and embodied by the faeries. 
I have often got into trouble over my affiliation with the faeries, or the Sidhe, or the Shining One's, or the Tuatha de Danaan. It was at the root, I believe, of my leaving the Enid. Aerie Faerie Nonsense was RJG's insisted name for the second album.
So I suppose Willow Hill is me saying I am not sure that facts are the truth, and what is so very important is that which we do not know; the mystery, or perhaps The Mystery, after all it is probably That Which We Don't Know that is going to save us from ourselves, if anything is. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Well then, here we are. Somewhat later than I would have liked, I own, but nevertheless here we are. "What has been going on?" I hear you ask "How does the album progress and develop?" As with all ventures, there are unexpected little twizzles and turnabouts that cause a chap to deviate. I blame Gurdjieff and his cosmic law of three.
However, the vocals have been done on all but the last track. Brides of the Wind and The Shining Hour are now vocalled, if you will allow such a gerund. As expected, Hils has turned in a sterling performance on both songs and her friend Jenny Russell, has joined her on The Shining Hour. Jenny is a soprano you see, whereas Hils is an alto. The Shining Hour is a duet, almost operatic in in's style and the two voices combined make a lovely sound. If I write so that Hils is at the top of her register, her voice takes on a vulnerable and silvery quality that matches Jenny's soprano beautifully. Jenny can hit a top e flat. That is quite high.
Anyhoo, a word about The Shining Hour. It is a sort of second movement in as much as it takes a minuet and trio form. The story is a re-working of the Tam Lynn/Thomas Rhymer legend where a handsome young blade is whisked away to Fairie by the Queen of Elfin. The King's Daughter, who generally seems to be called Margaret or Janet and always wears a green kirtle, comes across the unfortunate young fellow in a wood or some other appropriate place. Often there roses and all sorts of shenanigans going on, but I will draw a veil over those. So Janet or Margaret vows to rescue your one, and learns that she must wait in a certain spot (the mill bridge in the Shining Hour) at midnight on either May eve or Hallow 'een. This she does and sure enough all goes to plan and she regains her lost love. In the Shining Hour, however, the young chap is a whit disgruntled at being rescued. He was perfectly comfortable in Elfin and the Elfin Queen was no minger. So now it's his turn to wait by the mill bridge until the Elfin Court shall ride again and, hopefully, take him back to the hollow hills with them.
There, that's that explained. On Monday I shall be journeying afar to visit Young Master Brooks and his tubs of thunder. The plan is to get all the drums done on Monday! Wish us luck.
Lots of Love
F xxxx