News & Insights 23 August 2012

The truth is out there…

I’m in the wilderness, in search of inspiration.
This is a pretty common path for artists and writers – look at Bon Iver, for example, who recorded his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in a shack in Wisconsin; or the poet Lord Byron, who once underwent an eight-year self-imposed exile in Europe (although in truth I think that was mainly a voyage of rapacious sexual deviance – stuff that he couldn’t get away with in England. I hasten to add that is not my aim here).
Anyhow, I’m currently in a very remote part of Scotland. I’ll spare you the precise geographical details but, in short, there are more sheep within a ten-mile radius of my cottage than there are franchised coffee outlets. And for a Londoner, that’s quite a shock.
I’m here on a trip somewhere between a mini-break and a creative sabbatical, and I’m about to finish a demo of a song which I’m hoping will end up on the new album. It’s a track called ‘Seventeen’, and it’s about that time in your life when you and your friends all start learning to drive… specifically the moment when somebody passes their test, inherits a crappy old car from their parents and turns up at your house with the engine running – and your tiny teenage minds are all overwhelmed by the strange combination of not knowing where to go, but simultaneously knowing you could go anywhere. A-ha, you see – a metaphor for life.
But enough of all that pretentious nonsense – I’d better get back to finishing my vocal track. There’s a chicken outside the window, and the look on his face says: “That last note was slightly sharp”. Typical bloody chickens. Always sticking their beak in.

Chris Lightyear in the Scottish wilderness: 'Did I leave the gas on? I bloody did. I left the gas on.'I’m in the wilderness, in search of inspiration.

This is a pretty common path for artists and writers – look at Bon Iver, for example, who recorded his debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in a shack in Wisconsin; or the poet Lord Byron, who once underwent an eight-year self-imposed exile in Europe (although in truth I think that was mainly a voyage of rapacious sexual deviance – stuff that he couldn’t get away with in England. I hasten to add that is not my aim here).

Anyhow, I’m currently in a very remote part of Scotland. I’ll spare you the precise geographical details but, in short, there are more sheep within a ten-mile radius of my cottage than there are franchised coffee outlets. And for a Londoner, that’s quite a shock.

I’m here on a trip somewhere between a mini-break and a creative sabbatical, and I’m about to finish a demo of a song which I’m hoping will end up on the new album. It’s a track called ‘Seventeen’, and it’s about that time in your life when you and your friends all start learning to drive… specifically the moment when somebody passes their test, inherits a crappy old car from their parents and turns up at your house with the engine running – and your tiny teenage minds are all overwhelmed by the strange combination of not knowing where to go, but simultaneously knowing you could go anywhere. A-ha, you see – a metaphor for life.

But enough of all that pretentious nonsense – I’d better get back to finishing my vocal track. There’s a chicken outside the window, and the look on his face says: “That last note was slightly sharp”. Typical bloody chickens. Always sticking their beaks in.

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