Some of you know me more for my writing but my first love is songwriting and poetic texts. Here is a short artistic manifesto followed by an announcement. I hope you find it tittilating!
A song should speak for itself, in needs no explanation. One shouldn’t need to speculate about what it is about, as I am doing here.
A song belongs to the listener: the singer cannot really hear it, in the same way he cannot see his own eyes. The singer is blindfolded, the audience tells him where the donkey is so to speak. He closes his eyes, he let’s go of his intellectual control, he feels the different parts, the head, the tale, the body of the song.
Great songs are born before they are understood, they are prophetic of themselves — in other words: a song can be profound, without the artist knowing why it is so. How else could a baby-faced young delinquent like like Bob Dylan write such deep songs at such a young age. The thing is: Bob Dylan didn’t write the songs. The ‘holy spirit’ burst though his heart and the songs poured through this hands.
When you get older, you become more self-conscious. You have to constantly work, to access that holy eden of creativity. Most singers lose their song by becoming too sure of themselves, they lose the liminal space. But for other artists, the grapes become wine. There is a deepening, in other words.
When I was younger, I had a sort of creative explosion, I wrote hundreds of songs. At that time I didn’t really know what they were about, I just followed my intuition. Today I write more slowly, I am more careful, I don’t beg the muse, I ask her gently — I don’t write out of desperation, but there is more joy involved.
If I compare my earlier work, to the later — I see this difference. When I was young, I was on fire. And I got burnt. And I lost the fire. But the fire never went away. It just became cool, blue, more intentional.
Free the prisoners is an album about freeing myself from my own prison, not anybody else. I wouldn’t dare tell anybody else how to free themselves, but I can testify to my own experience. The prisoners are the songs. They are the sea-gulls caught in the barbed wire that surrounds the ocean of the heart, they need to be released. The prison is the minds self-obsession, the bounded space, which doesn’t let the heart be free.
Leonard Cohen called this the crisis of a song. You don’t sing the blues, unless you are a prisoner, unless you are in crisis. That is: you can’t know joy, unless you have seen the prison walls. You will just remain innocent, but not be wise. You have to lose consciousness to find it again, you have to visit the underworld, before you know the true color of the sky. I hope this, in some small way, helps you find it.
Pre-order the album and book of poetry ‘Free the Prisoners’ here:
YouTube: An early version of the song Free the Prisoners
Credits and Announcement:
Dear friends. Me and my dog Walt (named after Walt Whitman not that other pretender) would like make an announcement. My new album, entitled ‘Free the Prisoners’, will be released in May. Not only that: I will also be releasing a book of poetry — of the same title which is a companion to the album. And, the previously unreleased album ‘Abanstanza’ can also be purchacedc, with my catalogue of other albums at Travellingmusic.
Just a quick thing about the album. It is the first thing I have every done which sounds ‘just right’. And this is thanks to the miraculous musicianship and mastering of a Tansmanain Undertaker who lives in Melboure, and is an obvious master of the dark arts: Ernie Oppenheimer. The other thing of note, besides my songs is the beautiful art work of Daniel Mirante, which will feature on the album cover and also in the book of poems. I’ve followed Daniels art for sometimes and I don’t know how to explain it: but it looks or feels exactly like the ancient kind song I try or dream of writing. And there is also the voice of the earthy voice of Sandrine Michaud adding depth to some of the songs.
About the poems: I’m not sure that they are exactly poems, except that they are written in verse, and they are not exactly prose. They are a sort of map of my heart and brain and guts, and also a statement about what I believe, not in polemic or dogmatic terms, but in metaphysical ones. They are 100 poems written in 100 days, which all had their genesis on my morning commute from Versailles Ivry Sur Seine on the suburb train though Paris. Those moments on the train, were a sort of rebellion against the prison of transportation and menial jobs. They were later edited to remove the dross and sentimentality, although they are still love songs of a sort. I will say no more.
The CD and book of poems is not only music: it is meant to be a visual, a sonic, and a literary experience.
You can either purchase the CD and book, with a bonus album from my catalogue, buy the album separately, or even book a house concert.