Making ‘The Year, She Turns’ – August
August 23, 2017. No comments.
A man and a woman, each searching for their truth and their treasure… Inspired by the sea, and the moon.
When it came to recording the song for August, I decided to push the boat out a little more… Three months into my self-imposed, self-taught home recording course, I experimented with more overdubs by playing both picked and strummed guitars, as well as harps. I say harps, but it was the same harp… just treated like a bass. My big lever harp has a range close to a piano and is such a resonant instrument it can muddy the sound. So I recorded the bass harp part separately, leaning over and damping the low notes with the other hand as I played. Then I worked out a harp pattern (that involved crossing the left hand over the right hand to reach the high notes) using repeated pedal notes over the changing harmonies which could float clearly above… like sunlight on the sea.
‘August Moon’ was written on the guitar and is fairly simple harmonically except for the flattened seventh chord. I wanted to add some poignancy to the line ‘Like the light on the waves fell in the beginning of time’ by slipping into a modal feel for a moment. This sounds more contrived than it really is when I am doing it… hunting around for the right notes to match the feeling I want to convey… The eighth song of the year, it was the perfect moment for a time signature change and it is the only song on the album in ¾ time. With it’s folky feel I knew just the person to ask to be the special guest for the month.
In a former life I was one half of the duo Jenny Crook & Henry Sears. We toured in Germany, Holland and the UK, re-inventing traditional music and making up new music that sounded traditional… and released an album called Chasing the Dawn which you can check out and download HERE.
I knew that Henry would do a fantastic job on this song but he has long been living in West Wales where he has been renovating houses, running choirs, and goodness knows what else… However, most summers he comes back to the area to teach violin at The Bath Folk Festival and the Summer School happened to coincide with me recording this track. Henry was delighted to help out with some fiddle and harmonies (how the tables had turned… back in those days, he would be the one recording us both) and I was delighted with the end result.
‘August Moon’ is essentially a love song, but it also talks about our own soul searching journey’s. With the lunar eclipse and the solar eclipse this month – in the sky, on the news, in our lives, there has been a tidal wave of change… Storms hit, tides turn. It’s a turbulent world out there. We need to keep our eyes on that lighthouse, and the love that is guiding us home.
Listen to AUGUST MOON