There are things we undertake in life without ever contemplating the effect it might have on our character, outlook and ambition, from the moment we begin until the moment of its completion for better or for worse we are owned by what we desire.
Making a record has taught me this.
On beginning this process we had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve and how we would achieve it along the way. However that vision got blurred and the components of our initial design replaced many times before we felt comfortable with where we were headed and even then uncertainty plagued us.
The process of making an album may have been different had it not been for the group involved, we who have always been strangers to convention knew best. No, for us I believe it could only have gone this way. We seemed to nurture each and every folly along the way and in many cases it worked, we were seduced by every detail, run ragged by superfluous whims that led us through budding groves capped by dark dead cul-de-sacs and we loved it.
When I look back over that vast expanse of time I remember very little, just brief snatches of insignificant moments that seemed to cling tighter to my memory than the events that changed the course of the process altogether.
One of these moments in particular I can recall. It was a walk I took alone along the cliffs beside the house we had rented for recording in Kerry. The sun hung on the last rung of the day and I was pent up as a result of some trivial altercation that erupted during a guitar take. The orange light seemed to assuage the pensive inclinations of the waves and sooth its flow sounding a hypnotic rhythm on the rocks that poured water on the fire inside me and I lost all my apprehension to the sea. I am not entirely sure why this above over things has stayed with me but it has.
Other memories that have endured the passage of time have been my journeys between the three rooms from which I worked on the lyrics for the record. My work would not cease in transit and streams of words would gush through my head all bidding for inclusion. Once settled I would pour over lyric sheets tying myself in knots to find what I knew I had in mind. I remember the middle 8th from the song ‘A National Light’ it was late and I had spent the weekend in my uncle’s house to finish the song and after a fruitless day I carelessly rearrange a group of words I was working on and it fell into place. I went away for an hour or so to let my ears and mind rest and on my return the feeling I got when listening back is the feeling that for me makes my life worth living.
The point we are at now is somewhat surreal. I know we are here but I am not at all sure how we got here or for that matter where here is. The completion of the record and its subsequent release has robbed us of control and now as we emerge from the secluded wilderness that this process has been it seems ironic that we have arrived at the point we left to get here. The beginning.