Well quite a lot as it happens. I'm on the way to The Tyrone Guthrie Center soon to finish the final compilation files [looks like 24 viable songs, some over 7 minutes long....don't ask!] for the new album. I must say that after waiting so long to finish this I'm annoyed at myself that it wasn't done sooner. It's difficult to go back and re-energize work that you didn't bother to finish. The upside is that now I'm forced to see the songs as part of a much bigger and significant concept, well significant to me that is.
Having lived in the center of Dublin for over a decade puts you in a position of being knowledgeable whether you like it or not. The economic situation is playing havoc with the middle-classes. They don't know what to do with themselves or what to plan for. They have produced a generation of serial university students, too many of whom can't read, spell or show any interest in anything other than the culture of "gimme it now, I want it on 4 separate devices and I want to share it with a virtual community of people who are too damned lazy to pick up the phone!" The rich are still rich and the poor never heard the Celtic Tiger roar anyway. You can't borrow money to streamline your business or develop your product but the banks will give you money to do up your bathroom. It's a very uncertain time in Dublin and the natural optimism of the people here [immigrants and Dubs] is taking a hammering from a government who are out of touch with the people and completely in thrall to Europe.
There's an enterprising artist in Smithfield living in a brand new empty office space made out of bricks of shredded money - around €1.4 billion. He gave me a brick of €50,000 little bits wrapped in cellophane "for the mantelpiece!".
The city is very old and you get the sense that no matter how many drunken kids populate it at the weekends or how many homeless and drug addicts litter the tourist areas, there's a wise old lady who comes out on a Sunday morning ignoring the detritus and wanders her green spaces and the Georgian squares. It's a beautiful place despite the “craic” messing it up. Not an Irish word by the way, rather an Englishism based on “cracking up” or “to crack a smile”…the words to Danny Boy were written by an English Barrister…St. Patrick was actually born in the North of England. All available on Wiki!
The concept of the new album is based on the city and how it lives and breathes despite us and our ridiculous worries. It further contrasts and acknowledges my own desire to celebrate the pastoral part of my life, probably because I was brought up in the countryside. I would like to use the word juxtaposes here but my Architectural background won’t allow it. Many of my former colleagues in college used it to justify all sorts of nonsense. One very prominent contemporary of mine famously used it to cover the fact that he had no storage facilities in his restaurant and several of his doors didn’t lead to anything, except for the one that merrily allowed you to walk through and plummet to your death. He got an A.
So in a roundabout way that sort of vaguely explains where I’m going with these recordings. Or possibly not.
Other news is that the project with Ian has had to go on hold for the moment. He’s moving to Italy in a few months and as soon as he’s settled we’ll start looking at it again.
That’s it for now. I’ll probably have something less long-winded to say about my progress next week.
Or possibly not.