Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from Bloom de Wilde, London based singer-songwriter, producer and visual artist.
It all started by accident. I was trying to write some words and melodies for the band I was in – of course you should never “try” to do these things. So to distract myself I started meditating with some instruments – a fender Rhodes mostly, but also a harmonium, a piano, a guitar. Sometimes I so happened to press record on my phone recorder. Or in fact, my body did – my mind had nothing to do with it. (The body is clever like that. )
Anyway, at some point I realized I had a collection of sketches. They seemed to be channeled straight from the Universe. Messages from my Universe self to my human self. (My human self is a clown named Henk and my Universe self is Oo , and Oo is an Instrument of Imaginative Revelations. ) I started working on these sketches. Whilst doing the dishes, whilst walking in the woods with my child, whilst nursing her to sleep, whilst travelling to gigs, whilst being awake when all others were sleeping.
When this constellation of songs was ready, I went in the studio with my drummer, and we recorded 9 songs in 3 days, all live. But when I listened back to the material, I started to hear all this other colourful stuff. Trumpets, of course. Gamelan. Some Kora. Strings. Cats. Household items and other objects and trees whispering their joyful secrets.
“Here we are and we and everything in this world has a Soul and you are our Soul Siren.“ So of course, I could only comply.
When I write songs, I am an instrument.
When I arrange and produce, I am a painter.
So here is my first constellation of colourful songs.
Six exuberant life affirming songs, channeled straight from the universe.
They are letters from the Universe, to the people and cats that are closest to my heart.
Soul Siren – for D../Oo: I am a soul siren, I am in love with the universe and reveal the soul of things and lure them out./ Yellow, sky blue
A few years ago I did a solo gig in de Nieuwe Anita Amsterdam. It was one of those magical ones in which time does not seem to exist and you can crawl into each note, each tone, each colour. At the end of the gig I was joined by my friend Scale, who is a most excellent beatbox human sound machine from Belgium, and we decided to improvise a few tunes. We had prepared nothing, and each beat, chord, word and note was spontaneously channeled straight from the Universe. Afterwards, to my surprise, he sent me this video. ( you can see it here: )So here is a genuine peep in the kitchen – this is my favourite way of writing a song. I transcribed it and then filled in the words, I do this by not-doing; just listening whilst doing other things. I play it in my mind-radio, and slowly all the words come into focus. Everything is already there, I am just the instrument that captures it, the one that listens. What is that I am singing at the end of the chorus? Slowly it became clear. (I think I was doing the washing up.) Of course, it could only be one thing: Soul Siren.
I might have been thinking about a boy when I channeled this song. But the boy was merely the key to the realm of creative consciousness. So it goes with muses, they open the door and out comes the universe.
Soul Siren is a love letter to the Universe.
It’s about that feeling when something is just about to happen – you have been through something intense and you have overcome it and now your heart is racing with a gentle excitement. You seem to be outside of time, in a state of liminal bliss of the yet unknown soon to unfold. You wake up and the play of golden light trickling through shapes of trees invites you to open the curtains immediately, and greet the world with your smiling heart. Everything you hear, see, smell and feel sings to you; radiates with life, with colour, with soul. And now imagine you can be the truest essence of yourself; no fear or doubt or conditioning or anyone else telling you what you can or can’t do; you are Infinite, you are the Universe, and you and everything in this universe are connected – each thing in this universe contains all the other things in this universe. Your heart is ablaze, aglow, you are ready.
./I have this thing called synaesthesia – which means all my senses are delightfully intertwined. Colours numbers sounds words tastes smells melodies shapes textures lightintensiiittttieees- my world is a continuous interconnected kaleidoscope of the senses. So here we are in my kitchen (i am cooking an actual dish as I type this) and soul siren is a lemon yellow with light-blue and cloud pattern coloured song, with some summer morning sparkle light intensity. (There are also some other colours of course , and we shall eat them.)
Do & Be – for S, S, K ./Oo: I am god and when I just do&be I am the all one. we are the universe perceiving itself from infinite subjective perspectives./ Cobalt blue, gold, red, green
Do & Be was originally a piano song. It’s melody came out quite easily, but it took a while to fill in the words. Lots of lame words and no, this is just not quite right…’Sifting through the particles of …?’ No no no. like looking for your glasses when they are actually just on your head. ‘How do I catch these arrows on my bow?’ it was just on the tip of my tongue….’It’s so obvious!’ I thought, ‘It drives me crazy!’
Until I sat in the kitchen with my guitar one evening and my daughter Sesame wanted me to sing for her, and voila, everything just fell into place. Of course. Sleepers should be dreamers, oh I know. Just Do&Be & Do do be dooooooo, wahoooooo[There is my bookshelf in the video of Do&Be, which is also in the fridge in Soul Siren and of course on the cover of the EP – my “larder of inspiration” as there is nothing I enjoy more in my nonmusic nonchildren noncookingfood nondrawingormakingvideotime than devouring books. Look closely and you may find something of interest there, they have all been handpicked.]
Atlas Cassandra – for B. ./Oo : I am a being outside of time and space, I see the future, carry the sky./ Black white red blue gold
Atlas (/ˈætləs/; Greek: Ἄτλας, Átlas) was a Titan condemned to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity after the Titanomachy.
Cassandra (Ancient Greek: Κασσάνδρα), was cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed.
Atlas Cassandra lives outside of time and space. Carries around the sky like a crystal ball. Sees it all yet can’t stop what is on it’s way. Whispers the secrets of the Universe. “Love of my life, I see you now, you are always with me. I know now what you have always known, I see what you have always seen. I am you and you are me, lost forever deep in a dream.”
This started with a piano, and a melancholic heart full of reminiscence. Someone I loved so so much, a long time ago; but then I could not see, not understand, and now, of course, having experienced it all from the other side, I understood everything. So it goes.
Production wise, this is my most uncompromised vision, combining the elements that I consider most defining for my background, taste and personality.
Oh and first it was called Alas, Atlas!
./././…gold, red, blue deep brown blacks as sky with stars and lilac skies and golden light and white, soft and light.[Gamelan dream awakens from a gamelan dream melancholic but fierce love lorn heavy metal ballad epitomizes the Union of Duality. ]
Rock, Plant & Animal – for S&D ./Oo: I am a floral warrior protector of the realm of RPA, all things have a soul and the heart is the key to that realm./ green pink yellow
It started with a quote I found from a book by Rudolf Steiner. “In what I see, something lies hidden I do not see.” It resonated deeply within me: for yes indeed, in every seed a flower or plant already awaits! And as I looked around I saw myself surrounded by so many things that had things hidden within them one could not see. I thought about this, with a guitar in hand, and quickly pressed the record button on my phone recorder. Out came this song. It is the song I have been trying to write for all my life, it has had many guises, and within them, this song already lay hidden – It took just 5 minutes to write and yet it has taken me about 20 years to live it first. But then time is a funny thing; it is not lineair but circular, of course. (And then soon after I discovered within me also something lay hidden; a new human being.)
This is my dream : the word I want my children and their children to grow up in.
A world where people are kind and generous to all earthlings, human or animal, and look after the planet and its plant life with love and care. No being needs to suffer to feed another, because there is enough (as there has always been!) to nurture and nourish everyone. No animal will have to die or suffer for human sensory pleasure; the thought of this is inconceivable. The air is clean and wonderful; bikes are abundant, cars hardly necessary and always electric or magnetic or solar paneled, but mostly people travel by bike, train or tram. Big corporations no longer exist, and people look back with astonishment to the old-fashioned days in which people were willing to stab each other in the back for profit. Every child learns how to grow plants and vegetables in a sustainable way. There is harmony, all children are loved and flourish in developing themselves according to their truest essence. The notion of male and female in such dualistic terms no longer exists; human beings dress in whatever they feel comfortable and happy in; each person is an individual and free to express themselves as such. People of all colours and shapes and sizes are beautifully mixed and blended and all our differences and similarities are joyfully celebrated. Life is simple, delightful, harmonious. We are all one.
What is your dream?
Of course there is some Kurt Cobain in there. And Kurt Vonnegut. Or is that another song?
Animal Spirit – for L&J. ./Oo: I am a merciless awakening Oracle from the realm of lucid riddles, driven by the art the heart the magic and the marvelous./ Pink orange gold
Since I was 16 I have been collecting and fixing old harmoniums (harmonia for the faffs). I fell in love with that bellowy woolly sound, the heavy breathing, the squeeky pedals. The fact that most of them have something a bit wrong with them, each one slightly wonky with it’s own character.
In the Netherlands it was always easier to find them than in London; but I was given one, so beautiful but so old it was tuned to a ever so slightly different key. Not quite Bb. It was on this one I wrote Animal Spirit.
Strangely enough, and a very rare occurrence: the lyrics of this existed before it became a song. I wrote them when I was in art school and was asked to write a manifesto.
So one day I found myself meditating on the harmonium, and putting these words to song. And then a melody in my head. Maybe someone else would have sung: “la la lala la”, but I meowed. It’s not the first time I meowed in a song and I very much doubt it will be the last.
The version on this album was all done to tape, with the full band, in one take. Some small dubs, tweaks, and swooshes were done afterwards but it was mostly just this; which is just how i like it.
Pale Moon, Golden Light – for BWL ./Oo: I am an instrument of imaginative revelations, Claire de lune, your private clown, a romantic bastard./ White blue gold black with stars
Once upon a time I found an old ships piano. It was so wonky and out of tune, that every time I wanted to play it I had to tune it by hand. We are talking about a piano here, not a guitar. So this was tricky. I loved it so much, it sounded more like a prepared piano and when one day I broke a string, I wept.
This song was written on that piano, and I wrote this for myself, to Oo, the clown, Pierrot le Fou Claire de Lune, your private clown, Romantic Bastard pur sang. Boys, always many beautiful boys, but who’s here? I’m here. Half a soul / een halve zool met zn ziel onder haar arm, half a sole with her soul under her arm./ I write candle lit letters to the universe with a feather, avec ma plume, nom de plume, je m’appelle Oo …
I recorded this at the cowshed but I was so ill, of course this always happens. I sounded like Tom Waits. I love Tom waits, but I am not him. Joe Leach, cowshed wizard and engineer, gave me a concoction of ginger, lemon, and raw garlic. Luckily the smell of my breath wasn’t recorded, but it worked to chase Tom away.
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