Sunday 22 August 2010

The Wide Open Sea: Part.2

The Wide Open Sea comprises of eight sections. Here is a brief account of their contents:-

Part 1: The Sea Is My Blood
An atmospheric introduction conveys dazzling sunlight, playing across the surface of the restless ocean, the tumbling power of the crashing waves then at other times, the pummeling rain and the fathoms beneath.

Jacques is aboard The Askoy. He feels at one with the sea, the rain and stars. 

Part 2: From Cradle To Calvary
He is voyaging to Les Marquises islands. It is a highly emotional time for Jacques because he knows that his remaining time is short. He has deliberately occupied his thoughts with the physical tasks of navigating and sailing these waters and also inevitably allowing himself to reflect upon his achievements in his remarkable life.

Jacques feels as though the intensity of his thoughts are somehow scoring a deep mark across the very canvas of life itself! Such is his passion.

However, he suspects something is profoundly wrong with his situation but he can't put his finger on what it is. Despite his grim prognosis, he feels bursting full of life out here at sea but still he wonders... how can that possibly be?

Part 3: The Pleasures And The Dreams of Men
Jacques recalls playing to packed out audiences in Paris 1964. He remembers the zenith of his fame, those intense performances and the profound impact he made. His physical delivery and the acting out of each character and story. The making of a myth and the building of his legend.

David Longdon recording the Accordion for 'The Pleasures and the Dreams of Men'
Aubitt Studio, Southampton: July 2010
Photograph by Amy Mumford

Part 4: The Harbour Lights
Jacques draws inspiration from the people and sings directly to us.  His songs contain acute observations of how we live. He reflects our lives, our hopes, fears and dreams and we recognise ourselves in his music. Jacques fully understands and accepts the responsibility of what he represents.

He finds poetry in the lives of the young, the old, the foolish, the brave, the beautiful, the ugly, the poor and the wealthy alike, as each of us play out our given time on the carousel of life.

Part 5: Far Beyond The Cardinal Points
Jacques has increasing suspicions that all is not as it should be. How long exactly has he been at sea? He feels strangely absent and yet entirely present. How can this be?

Part 6: I'm So Very Far From Here
There are points on his voyage when Jacques feels so far removed from himself, his home, his life and those he has loved and those who have loved him.

How can he recall so much and in such vivid detail? It is as if he is physically present in these scenarios. How does he know he is bound for Calvary?

Part 7: Let Us Speak Of Love
Jacques knows it will not be long before his life comes to an end. He concludes that whatever his circumstances, the most essential thing is to have lived life, to have made a difference to the lives of others,  to have loved and to be loved in return.

Exactly at this point, Jacques experiences a deja vu moment and gently the edges begin to soften and blur once again as a slow comforting forgetfulness descends......

The ache in his chest reins him back in once more, back to his duties aboard the Askoy and his recollections.

Part 8: Calvary - The Sea Is My Blood (Reprise)
What Jacques has an inkling of but does not actually know is this....

Jacques Brel est Mort!

The Jacques Brel featured in The Wide Open Sea is not really Jacques Brel at all. Jacques Brel died in 1978 and is buried in Calvary cemetery. 'Our' Jacques was created from the powerful life force ebbing from the 'real' Jacques whilst he sailed his last voyage to Les Marquises.

Forever cauterised and suspended by magnetic fields, held within the elements. Some may say he is a spectre, an apparition or merely just another ghost story from the wide open sea.

Jacques is a trace*. A residue left behind. Fated to be forever played and replayed over and over. Aware and yet unaware. Here and yet elsewhere.

Jacques is still out there...

Still so far away from himself...

One with the sea, the rain and the stars...

*Trace. Now then BBT fans. Heads up! This is important! What we have here is a seed and from this seed has grown our Big Big Thing! (Shhhhhh.................... not a word to anyone!.....................)

1 comment:

  1. Hi David!
    I just recently was turned on to the music of BBT and was wondering - if "The Wide Open Sea" were on the album The Difference Machine, where would it have been placed? Same with other session B-side, "Brambling"?
    And if "The Wide Open Sea" had made it to TDM, would "From The Wide Open Sea" been on the album at all?
    Thanks and cheers and cannot wait to hear more from you and the rest of BBT!