“THE TUNNEL AND THE CLEARING” VIDEOS
December 29, 2021 § Leave a comment
“THE TUNNEL AND THE CLEARING” – PART I – THE TUNNEL
Shot in my studio last week, this is the first part of the song which gives the title to my 7th album and symbolizes for me the entire album and the life experience it retraces. There is no way out but through the tunnel (I apologize that this is dangerously close to a recent Nike slogan I saw in a massive sports shop here in Barcelona). Somehow I can never get to play those staccato chords with utmost regularity, but I try to take a generous view of my shortcomings as a player and see this as a reflection of what it’s like to go through the tunnel: you’re kind of shaking and you’re just doing your best. The gritty sound comes only from the Farfisa emulation of the Yamaha Reface YC combined with the Roland RE-201 Space Echo lovingly overhauled by Soundgas. Nothing else. Space Echo is 100% wet and panned 25% Left against the Farfisa, panned 25% right, to give the whole thing subtle stereo.
“THE TUNNEL AND THE CLEARING” – PART II – THE CLEARING
When I found the first chords to this song, in august 2020, roughly 3 months after starting work on my 7th album, I almost instantaneously got the image of a tunnel and a clearing at the end of it, and realized this would be the title not just of that particular song, but of the whole album.Even though I always work from the ground up through playing my instruments, there is also a more “conceptual” layer to what I do, especially when I’ve been working for several months and material needs to be organized in a coherent whole. From the start and by necessity, the “core” of the album was clearly to reflect the extreme emotions and sensations caused by breakup and the forced changes this brings to one’s life, and for this song, it was clear that the existence of both the tunnel *and* the clearing would have to be translated musically (and in this case without lyrics).
The change from the gritty Farfisa sound to the almost mellotron-like quality of the Hammond through the Space Echo was one way of doing this, sonically. Compositionally, introduce subtle changes to the main theme of the song as exposed in its first part: adding a few notes to a motif, changing the order of those notes, changing one note within a chord, then introducing completely new chords – all meant to be a musical representation of what it’s like to slowly be shifting and expanding your thoughts, and to see the first glimpse of what it might feel like to start feeling better.
When Luis Torroja shot the mini-documentary on my album, we ended with “The Crossing” in darkness, with just a few flashlights and the lights from my machines. Luis was so enthusiastic that he just kept shooting more material based purely on the pulsating lights of the machines and synchronized it to the second part of “The Tunnel and the Clearing”. I can’t think of a more wonderful visual representation of the very real magic of machines and of the love I have for them, as precious tools that allow me not just to make music, but to literally feel better and live a better life. I hope you will enjoy it too.