A Traveller’s Guide to Lost and Later Songs #17

For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings.


1/3/12 (1906h) https://on.soundcloud.com/smeMD
 – 22/12/12 (0020h) https://on.soundcloud.com/EPgi6  

Another late developer, more lost than later, “Freediving” took 10 years to record.  
 Mark and I occasionally get together to work on the guitar arrangements, an activity which has come to be known as “The Biscuit Sessions” (these would be mid-week affairs, involving nothing stronger than ginger snaps and PG Tips).  The earliest documented recording of this was 1/3/12 at 1906h, a rough idea we must have bashed out in between biscuits.  A further demo from 22/12/12 (0020h) shows a more realised structure although it was still instrumental at the time (I didn’t yet know what I was writing about). The song felt subtle and elusive, never quite settling and I think back then, we made the mistake of trying to rush it, control it, rather than allow it to breathe and gradually reveal itself.  If you love something, set it free.  If it’s meant to be, it will come back to you.  And it did, around nine years later in the long, echoing days of lockdown when time all of a sudden felt like a surplus (a mirage, I know) and little pockets of hitherto unimaginable breathing space emerged, a coming up for air in the midst of all the horror.  
The music itself made me think of water.  It felt fluid, tidal.  I thought of the intimacy of underwater where the above world becomes muffled and hushed and how, perhaps in that escape lay the appeal of freediving, not an activity I had given much thought to until watching the film “The Big Blue”. I remembered the scene from the film when the two central characters, friends and rivals for the crown of World Freediving Champion, become bored at a glitzy party and, aching to escape the inane cocktail chatter, decide to jump in their host’s swimming pool and hang out down at the bottom of the deep end (see above youtube clip).  I also thought of Kino the pearl diver from Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”, Kino bursting triumphantly from the depths as cupped and glistening in his hands was the oyster in which lay the pearl of the world. Finally, I thought that whatever is or isn’t down there, pearls, tranquility or nothing at all, in the dive alone may be found a freedom which, if we never get our feet wet, we will only ever guess at.

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