Monday, 16 May 2011

Free As Fireflies In May

May has started beautiful and bright, days warm and long. Following this year's challenging beginnings including my Father's death in March, threatening changes in immigration policy, lost friends and heavy strains on my closest relationships (things which have all contributed to songs I'm proud of but which have tended towards the somber) I decided it was due time for an uplifting, feel good song.

Perusing some journals and sketches I was reminded of an all-night beach party last year about this time. I started with some recordings of the sea I'd done in North Fork, Long Island (New York) and did my best to recapture that feeling of promise and an open future that results from a soothing sea under an open night's sky combined with fire, music, good friends, alcohol, fireflies, and so on.
I can't remember seeing any fireflies yet in the UK. I posted a note about this on the wall of my Facebook page and apparently they are rare (but not completely absent) here. There are lots of them this time of year in the US, and in Wowtown of course. They're like swirling little candle flames, usually darting around close to the ground where there's some moist growth. They're one of nature's finest wonders.

I had a second inspiration for a May song. This emerged during a conversation with my friend Curtis Eller. It could have been a title track to an imaginary Japanese science fiction movie in which the body of Osama Bin Laden comes back as a giant monster after being 'buried' in radioactive waters caused by Fukushima. But I already mentioned Fukushima in April's song, so the beach BBQ won out this time. I hope you like it.

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