Miller’s Lake

Here’s a new song.

This one started life as a poem, some time before COVID. I had a daily practice of writing a couple of pages before breakfast, most of it rubbish, of course. One morning this just wrote itself; I was quite astonished.

A year or so later I asked Gerry Callaghan if he wanted to put it to music as I wasn’t coming up with any ideas. He took a completely different approach to what I expected, but when I wanted to make some changes, Gerry had moved on to other stuff, so I shelved it.

Last year, I was listening a lot to Paul Simon’s Surprise, a collaboration with Brian Eno, where they would often switch musical styles in the middle of a song, similar to the way the Incredible String Band used to. That gave me the key to reworking Miller’s Lake. I chunked what Gerry had written and shifted styles and time signatures. I asked Jen Clark to help me get the sound right. By that time I was chickening out a bit, and tending to smooth over some of the changes. Jen helped me stick to my original impulse and not pussyfoot around.

I’m really pleased with the final piece, years after the original idea.

Where’s Miller’s Lake? No idea. I tend to think of Queenstown in New Zealand.

My lyrics, music by Gerry Callaghan and me. I played the instruments. Jennifer Ellen Clark edited, mixed and mastered it. Stock footage from Getty Images via Cyberlink PowerDirector 365

Photo of Queenstown by the author.

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