Filtering by Tag: death

It Feels Like The Apocalypse

I usually start writing a song when I feel I have what I call ‘a good starting point’. It might be a sound, an image or even an entire line.

When I began to write It Feels Like The Apocalypse, I only had its title.

Among all the songs that are part of Songs Of Fear & Agony, It Feels Like The Apocalypse is probably the least personal. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s less important than the others. 

 

We saw their flesh rotting,

Their bones turning to clay.

He said: ‘It’s the apocalypse.’

I said ‘Just a play.’


We walked on the rubble

Of the Tower of Babel

He said: ‘We’ll be history’

I said: ‘Just a fable.’


Yet I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.

 

I think of it as a series of memories related to a friendship that was not meant to last because of an apocalyptic social situation. I think it’s clear, in the verses above, that I’m talking about some sort of war. 

 

My friend was no idiot,

And to me, this was clear.

He just asked me in my dispassion

To comprehend his fear.


My friend transmuted hearts

Made of lead into gold

While I just conjured demons

For fear of getting old.


Now I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.


Why was the narrator’s friend so scared? Well, I wrote this song thinking of him as one of the targets of a violent discriminating government. What do you think will happen to him?

 

The last time I saw him,

He’d been tied up in chains.

They had shattered his head,

They had trodden on his brain.


The last time I heard of him,

I was wrapped up in shame.

I groaned, it was agony,

And I cried out his name.


So I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.

 

The narrator basically tells us that, in front of the reality of death, he finally realised what his friend meant when talking of fear.

Although this song might sound like a social (or even political) lament, the themes I had in mind when I was writing it were much more existential. As it happens, eventually, the song got a life of its own, and it would be difficult for me to say that it doesn’t contain any references to (historical or modern) society.

In a way, it’s funny: I’ve always tried to ignore any kinds of politics, but it seems I can’t do that anymore, not even in my art... Am I too scared?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Maus, Art Spiegelman, 1980 - 1991

Maus, Art Spiegelman, 1980 - 1991

Fear & Agony

I feel I should write a few lines about a song I wrote and recorded around four years ago. Its title is different now, but at the time it was called ‘Captivity’.

Usually, after I finish a song, I don’t really know how important that is going to be. Many songs I genuinely love during the writing process become unbearably dull to my ears after some time, while others I don’t really care of, eventually, end up being my favourite ones. I never know.

The situation of ‘Captivity’ has always been different, though. When I started writing it, I knew it was an important song and, after four years, it still is.

The problem with songs you really love is that you want their recording to sound as good as possible. Unfortunately, although interesting, the recorded version of ‘Captivity’ wasn’t that good. That’s why you won’t find it in my first two EPs.

Fortunately, as it happens many times in our lives, what seemed to be a problem turned out to be a blessing:

‘Captivity’, which is now ‘Fear & Agony’, has become the most important song of the album I’m recording...

And that’s because I feel I’m not done with it...

And I feel I’m not done with it because the energy the song contains hasn’t been released yet!

I’m going to do that soon with the help of a special guest (yes, Hugh Cannon, I’m talking about you),  and this time I won’t make the same mistakes (although I’m sure I will make some others...).

If you’re curious, this is the first stanza:

Can you hear the deep white noise

That heralds the executioner?

It mauls the crags and madly yells:

“Don’t waste your pleas: the sickle’s deaf.”

The main themes are, obviously, ‘fear’ and ‘agony’, but I’ve always felt there’s another one that underlines them...

The picture below comes from ‘Shame’, a film made by Ingmar Bergman in 1968. Four years ago I sampled the first dialogue of the film and added it to the recording of the song. That’s one of the few things that actually worked.

Thanks for reading!

Shame, Ingmar Bergman, 1968

Shame, Ingmar Bergman, 1968

Incantations

Today I’d like to write about a short film I made in 2016 while studying at Pulse College. It’s called ‘Incantations’ (Ireland, 2016). I never really wrote an introduction to it, so I thought I could do it now.

Although I’ve always seen it as a film, ‘Incantations’ might be considered the music video for a song I recorded in 2014.

If I remember well, I composed some of it when I was 16. Back then, I used to play in a (sort of) band (we weren’t that good, but we had lots of ideas). The band didn’t last long, but the song remained, and, ten years later, I decided to finish it. It later became the title track of my second EP.

The song, as it is now, is about the guitarist of my teenage band. He was my best friend and a very talented musician (you can hear his guitar at the very beginning of the song). Unfortunately, he died of cancer when he was 18.

The title ‘Incantations’ is a reference to some of the songs he wrote and ‘Left behind’, and the film revolves around the concepts of death, grief, loneliness and resurrection.

I’ll talk about them again in the future. 

Thanks for reading!

Incantations, Ireland, 2016

Incantations, Ireland, 2016

© Black Art 2019