maandag 24 april 2023

Autumn Night, searching for "within"….

I wrote this song when I was just 20, as part of the 1982 "Whirling Dust" concept album. I then realized that I was about to pass from childhood to adulthood, after many years of education and schooling, this was the autumn of the uninhibited, the unsullied, the sincere that I had sung in Funeral's Wedding Day as the funeral of my youth , inspired by Jacques Brel (la Mort), a singer who made a big impression on me at the time. Another important influence was that of George Orwell in 1984, in which systems made all human connection and internalization of love impossible.

Autumn night consists of 3 parts, (1) a long intro, (2) the punk-rock core and (3) a closing phase. In the intro, a “child” is described in the (last) phase to adulthood, with scholastic sound rhyme (s-consonant combination as word beginning: child, scaring, scarlet, scooting, searching, scarlet, skies, scaring, sassy, street, scolds, etc. ). A smart but autistic kid is described, who eventually manages to get through to the top of the tower (school), full of fear and anger, to get winged (graduated): “Scooting through the tower, running to be winged”. Finally in the afterthought, the difficult but stubborn child reviews his childhood (the autumn of education/youth): "a reflected uncrowned king sees the land, a world from within". “Battle” and cold (winter) lie ahead, for there is no soul in the cold school/institutionalized society (emphasized with the sound rhyme at the beginning of the words).

The (chaotic) punk-rock song, arranged polyphonically around a tritone (the devil in music) forms part 2, described from a first person perspective. Here, too, the theme is superficiality, now in seduction, eroticism and success. Appearance (“the way things look”) determines how successful we are in life, not what we really have to offer or say; our individuality (authenticity is easily framed as autistic), our purpose. Strength and originality are easily used against us. Part 3 ends with reflection, with a prayer for a "world without within".

So much for the song. Now that my music-making and poetic children are the age I was at the time of Autumn Night (and Funerals Wedding Day/Whirling Dust), I have reached the age of the autumn of my working life (63). I thought it would be fun to breathe new life into this song, now with them. From my current position it was very easy to put my inspiration back into it. Even more than then, we are trapped in the systems. Connection (real contact) from inspiration has become even more difficult. It's also true that the songs my kids wrote for my new album "Bigger than Life" express this kind of alienating observation/reflection much more strongly than Autumn Night did. However, awareness of the unsustainability of our system world is now much more common than in the early 1980s. More has turned for the better: art and (applied) science can now be propagated together much more than in the past. This has resulted, among other things, in the Inner Development Goals, a call for internalisation, connection and inspiration to prevail over (technological) innovation.

For me, strange as it may sound, it was a dream come true (or a prayer answered), SDG awareness growing, inspiration taking center stage again (IDGs), and recording with my old friend and bandmate Tom and kids is more than I could ever dream as a restless child!

Here's the video.


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