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Writing 'Slipstream' about life on the river... paying in blood for the perfect sunset...


When Hughie and I first started talking about writing this album together, we both wanted overturn to concept of art as something that had to be made in a studio, shut away and laboured over until it was deemed finished and presentable to the outside world. When writing a song like Slipstream, which is about making a living on the water, it made sense to write in that environment, so that every line might be appropriately salt-tinged and windswept, sun-kissed and mosquito-bitten.

Our conversations with Wallis Lake oyster farmer Casey had given us plenty to think and write about: his dependance on, and duty of care to the river that sustains his livelihood had metaphorical relevance to any important relationship, including relationships between people. Now theres a conversation...

This lakeside writing session was the first time that I got to see the piano trailer in action, and for a little effort setting up, the payoff was spectacular. We were treated to a sunset that looked like an child's painting of what a sunset should be: brilliant, uninhibited streaks of pure colour radiating from the horizon. The clouds that had appeared ominous earlier in the day proved to be a perfect canvas.

The tranquil scene pictured above was unfortunately followed by a horrific massacre, the casualty of which was every inch of bare skin that was vulnerable to mosquito bite. Amidst our romantic ideas of creating art in the landscape, logistics had been overlooked and neither of us had thought to pack mosquito repellant.

This seems to be shortcoming that we come up against regularly in our collaboration.

The air was so thick with the little suckers that you could clap your hands and 10 would fall down dead. I am barely exaggerating. As I recall we were in so much discomfort that we drove away without strapping the piano down. We stopped and rectified this before reaching the main road, then drove in silence to the nearest Woolworths, were we medicated ourselves with Stingoes and 2 minute noodles.

Hughie took a picture of me looking pathetic in the Woolworths carpark, here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

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