on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 22 Mrz

Brian Eno and the words of Rick Holland: West Bay (Rick’s letter)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Hello Michael – lovely to hear from you. Your wish is my command.


West Bay —
A home without the memories.
Where waves replace nostalgia
and welcome back the thinker
with every shift in shingle.

Imagine! Alone, on this island,
with only the stones
their timpani and shoots of thoughts
just germinated, free to die
or swim away to grey horizon.
Except you are not alone
near a troop of watching seabird
resting in the day.


story of this poem and this piece of music

I have never had a home town, and I was a very restless young man – still am to a degree – who made friends very easily but also walked away very easily. Buried deep in me was a sadness that became severe in my early twenties, a detachment rooted in my very young experience that was playing itself out in destructive ways as I charged around London and between people without being able to verbalise my pain.

My only confidante in those days was writing, and I used to search for moments of significance like a junky for a fix. This rootlessness and searching would only ever really stop in inebriation, temporarily, or when confronted with the sea. The beach that led me to write this poem is actually not called ‚West Bay‘ but ‚West Bay‘ sounded better than it’s real name, and is a beach further down the Jurassic coast in Dorset from the one about which this was written.

I hope the joy of communing with the sea and with birds – I become fascinated by birds more and more – overrides the melancholy that is undoubtedly underneath the writing. I imagine germinating thoughts wriggling out to join a greater scheme when I read it now, typing it out, and the regal looking gull is still the same power that it was then, while I do not feel the pain of the young man anymore. I would hope listening to it is an oasis of sorts.

We recorded this track initially with Brian reading, the sequence he had written was so heartbreaking and with his reading, the piece was just too sad. We recruited Bronagh and she took the feeling to a different place.

Best wishes and good luck for the show




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