Red City Deep Blue Sky

This piece is dedicated to the memory of a Liverpool friend, Carol Joelson. She went to school with my partner, Janet, and was part of a circle of friends from Kirkby who’ve stayed in touch ever since.  Carol was very special, very funny, clever and warm. Much loved and much missed. So … This is also for her partner Darrell, and their daughters, Ruby and Sadie.

If you’d like to help the Trussell Trust with the hunger and homelessness in austerity Britain , you can download the track at Bandcamp and pay any amount. I’ll make sure it gets to them.

This is how it was made. In March 2019, staying with Janet in Liverpool, in an apartment with a wonderful view, I made some time lapse films of clouds on my phone, looking out over the Liver Buildings and across the Mersey to Birkenhead. Liverpool is a beautiful and photogenic city at the best of times but the wide vista of river and sky against these buildings was lovely. I was supposed to be working but the sky was a big distraction. So, for this piece the images came first, which is not the usual way round. The one thing that was usual was the very slow pace in pulling it all together, involving multiple versions over many months. In the end, my friend, songwriter and musician Jack Hayter, took a listen during the early part of lockdown in 2020 and offered to add a pedal steel part, which basically lifted the whole thing up a level! All that was left was the mixing which again took ages until the intervention of yet another friend, musician and composer, David Julyan. I think his is the decisive version and if I don’t stick with it, it will be another year before I post it! Jack then tweaked some of the mastering at the last, and off it went, finally ready for upload in time for November 22nd, Carol’s birthday. Thanks to Jack and David for making this much better.

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