“By looking deep into the past, you realize that almost everything in this world is connected. Whether connected directly or not, nothing stands alone. If you feel lonely, just remember that you co-exist with others! This is the concept behind the "Wishing Well".”
The Well You Seek
I climbed these gritstone boulders and traced these Parmelia saxatilis lichens for years growing up in the Peak District in Derbyshire. Familiarity grows deep roots when you spend that much time in a place. The lichens plotted maps to unknown worlds, marked where to climb, where to slide and where to pause and wonder. Patterns formed like faces peering out from the sage greens, yellows and blues to greet my imagination. Since all of the rocks had once been unearthed from the disused quarry near by, I'd ask myself if anyone else had ever traced their form in this way or was I the first? Of course the lichens had been the first. Tiny lives in symbiosis. Two organisms working together. A fungi and an alga collaborating to make what we observe to be one form. Collaboration, not competition, is what made these rocks colour with life.
It is very often the act of looking into the past that reveals our interconnection with things. I've since come to suspect that this connection moves in all ways and in all directions if we choose to look closely enough. Or perhaps that should be far enough? Though we may be familiar with solitude we are no less alone than everything that exists. Connection is something I rediscover over and over again and it's a theme that runs throughout 'Fell For The World'.
Years ago I wrote and recorded a track called Putovinya whilst studying to be a sound engineer. Putovinya means journey in Slovenian. It was an ode to Vladamir, my fellow engineer on the project who had left his family in his war torn country to study sound and follow his love of music. I'd decided, in order to challenge us, that the track was to be a musical voyage through the various styles of music I had absorbed over my time so far as a musician. I dragged in every instrument I could lay my hands on to create the track. The collaboration showed me something that I've rarely found since.
I've always written and recorded music alone. It's not particularly intentional, it just works out that way for me. On the rare occasion I'm joined by a fellow writer or performer I relish every second. In the back of my mind I always knew that I wanted to invite my good friend to guest on one song in particular. 'Wishing Well' would not exist if not for Marcelo Andrade. A fellow multi instrumentalist and songwriter Marcelo is a Brazilian meastro. It had been my honour to sing backing vocals on his track 'Coco Pera' from his incredible album 'African tree '. During this recording we had experimented with a couple of other songs and out of these sessions I'd stumbled upon the chords for Wishing Well. I always imagined that Marcelo would be on the track some how and his traditional Brazialin Rebecca ( a relative of the violin ) seemed like the perfect match.
In my late teens I discovered drone music through playing the didgeridoo. In recent years throat singing has become a regular practice ( often sat in the car waiting for traffic ). This interest along with my on going fascination with Indian classical music, singing bowls and gongs led me to a wonderful musician and healer called Celia Beeson based in Bristol. After being entranced by her Sounding Silence sound sessions we quickly found common ground and one day, out of the blue, she very kindly gifted a traditional Indian Tambora to me. The instrument had a sentimental connection to her and it was her wish to pass it along to be played once more. I was honoured, and took great pleasure in recording this Tambora along with my Sitar in the droning depths of the throat singing on 'Wishing Well'.
Collaboration has shaped 'Wishing Well' much like lichen on a rock. However it won't be me who explores it's nuances this time. It's yours to discover now, to play, absorb and create your own worlds in. My only wish is that whoever does stumble upon it, that it nurtures hope. A gentle encouraging reassurance that we are all wonderful beings capable of deep kindness.
Reviewed by Nagamag on
April 2, 2022
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