Our ocean adventure continues this month with The Ghost King, our February song. 

Over the course of the first two songs, our narrator swims deeper and deeper, moving through fields of bioluminescent creatures. Now, as she walks along the bottom, a gentle rain of man-made debris floats down around her: magazines, chairs, toilets, cups, an entire unopened 6-pack, canvas bags, gloves, nets. It is like walking through a neighborhood hit by a tornado and abandoned by its residents… like someone took a million houses and shook them upside-down until all of their contents fell into the ocean. She wonders who these offerings that fall from the terrestrial world far above are for.

Our song, “The Ghost King,” is still unfinished, though we have posted it to our Bandcamp subscriber page as a work in progress.

FullSizeRenderThis was a hard one for me. I was working on the lyrics down to the wire, wrestling with too many images, both musical and verbal. I spewed 4 pages, and then, at the suggestion of the ever-wise of Jon Evans, changed courses and spontaneously culled it down to 33 words while I was doing a vocal take. I’m pretty sure that eventually I’ll add vocals to the last section of this triptych of a song, but for now, it stands as is.

I’ve chronicled my very circuitous route to writing the lyrics in our Bandcamp update. So if you are a subscriber, and you haven’t gotten your update via email, sign in and check it out. It includes the actual list of anthropogenic marine debris given to me by our ocean advisor, Taylor Heyl, from her research in several canyons off the coast of Massachusetts, some shocking facts about marine debris, some truly uplifting news (!!) about the fate of the ocean’s garbage patches, and a glimpse into the rather elaborate subtext of the song.

FullSizeRender (1)(OK… you all need to know about the uplifting news, as there is so little of it these days. Boyan Slat. Watch his TED talk.)

Again, this song was made in a great game of musical tag: first Matthias laid the groundwork… slow fuzzy keyboard, uncomfortable bass movement, holding off on real drums till after Jeremy Flower had at it, adding harmonic abstractions that pushed it further and further towards the dark side. Then the subtle threat of Jon’s effervescent bass, the inevitable crush of Matthias’ actual drums, and last, my voice… out of time, out of body.

An apt summary of the song from Matthias: 
After awkwardly hosting a birthday party for Siouxsie and the Banshees, the RRR folks go to Stockhausen’s space funeral, and then play a Rush 8-track in the limo on the way to the cemetery (which is consequently at the bottom of a deep sea canyon.).

We’re keeping our songs away from the prying ears of the general public until the our premiere in April of 2017… except for our faithful subscribers. If you’re a subscriber to our Bandcamp feed, you should have received an update on Mar 1st.

If you’re not a subscriber and you’d like to simultaneously take a listen and directly enable the development of this piece, we’d be tickled to have you on board! Your monthly donation goes directly towards helping us clear the decks so we can focus deeply on this work.

And fear not… the folks at Bandcamp have made subscribing very easy for you and for us… Amen!