Monday, June 25, 2018

The Ninth Wave - I Put This Moment Here

For "Watching You Without Me," our narrator is seemingly having an out of body experience. "You watch the clock/ Move the slow hand./ I should have been home/ Hours ago,/ But I'm not here./ But I'm not here." Backmasked, indecipherable vocals express a drenched ghost in her own home, dripping water onto the rug, as her loved one stands watching the ticking hands of the clock, The heart-wrenching tune is that of regret, sorrow: "You can't hear me./ You can't hear what I'm saying to you."

The frenetic "Jig of Life" pushes its way into the picture; our narrator face to face with her future self-urging:  hang on, don’t let go. (Peter Gabriel’s "Don’t Give Up," of course, comes to mind.) And then, amidst this Red Shoes hysteria: "Columbia now nine times the speed of sound." "Roger that, Dan, I've got a solid TACAN locked on, uh, TACAN twenty-three." Communications between NASA and astronaut Dan Brandenstein on the space shuttle Columbia put us in orbit. "This is the point where she's so weak that she relives the experience of the storm that took her in the water, almost from a view looking down on the earth up in the heavens, watching the storm start to form - the storm that eventually took her and that has put her in this situation." "Hello, Earth" is inexplicable sublimity: "Hello, Earth./ (Hello, Earth)/ With just one hand held up high/ I can blot you out, out of sight./ Peek-a-boo, Peek-a-boo, little Earth."

And then, all that built up, now pent-up emotion is released in what, at least to this writer, is among the most beautiful musical endeavors ever created - Barber’s "Adagio" beautiful! "All you sailors,/ ('Get out of the waves! Get out of the water!')/ All life-savers,/ ('Get out of the waves! Get out of the water!')/ All you cruisers,/ ('Get out of the waves! Get out of the water!')/ All you fishermen,/ Head for home./ Go to sleep, little Earth.” For me, a spiritually selective soul, "All you fishermen" conjures up my faith from deep within, an epiphany.

Kate Bush in 1992 on the BBC's Radio 1: "Hello Earth" was a very difficult track to write, as well, because it was... in some ways it was too big for me. [Laughs] And I ended up with this song that had two huge great holes in the choruses, where the drums stopped, and everything stopped, and people would say to me, "What's going to happen in these choruses," and I hadn't got a clue. [The song is played.]

"We had the whole song, it was all there, but these huge, great holes in the choruses. And I knew I wanted to put something in there, and I'd had this idea to put a vocal piece in there, that was like this traditional tune I'd heard used in the film Nosferatu. And really everything I came up with, it with was rubbish really compared to what this piece was saying. So we did some research to find out if it was possible to use it. And it was, so that's what we did, we re-recorded the piece and I kind of made up words that sounded like what I could hear was happening on the original. And suddenly there were these beautiful voices in this chorus that had just been like two black holes. [The song is continued]

"In some ways I thought of it as a lullaby for the Earth. And it was the idea of turning the whole thing upside down and looking at it from completely above. You know, that image of if you were lying in water at night and you were looking up at the sky all the time, I wonder if you wouldn't get the sense of as the stars were reflected in the water, you know, a sense of like, you could be looking up at water that's reflecting the stars from the sky that you're in. And the idea of them looking down at the earth and seeing these storms forming over America and moving around the globe, and they have this like huge fantastically overseeing view of everything, everything is in total perspective. And way, way down there somewhere there's this little dot in the ocean that is them.

And indeed, somewhere in the dark, there is a light. Our narrator has spent the night in open waters, battling for life, and nearly losing. But at first light, she is rescued. Perhaps someone saw, in the blue haze of early dawn, her "little light." With "The Morning Fog," Kate's heroine is rescued. I'm so tired and sad and happy and life is grand and fragile and "D'you know what? I love you more now."

KB: "Well, ['The Morning Fog' was] really meant to be the rescue of the whole situation, where now suddenly out of all this darkness and weight comes light. You know, the weightiness is gone and here's the morning, and it's meant to feel very positive and bright and uplifting from the rest of dense, darkness of the previous track. And although it doesn't say so, in my mind this was the song where they were rescued, where they get pulled out of the water. And it's very much a song of seeing perspective, of really, you know, of being so grateful for everything that you have, that you're never grateful of in ordinary life because you just abuse it totally. And it was also meant to be one of those kind of "thank you and goodnight" songs. You know, the little finale where everyone does a little dance and then the bow and then they leave the stage.