Catherine Wheel

by TA Walker

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about

My entry for the 2016 NaSoAlMo (National Solo Album Month) Internet songwriting/recording challenge (basically, to write and record at least 29 minutes of original material, plus one cover version if desired, entirely within the month of November). I went for a deliberately "stripped-down" approach this time around - no sequencers or other machines; all guitars and a bit of sampled "mellotron" on one track.

A few notes and thoughts on the making of "Catherine Wheel" can be found on my website: tawalker.co.uk/music/catherine-wheel-2016/

credits

released November 29, 2016

All compositions, guitars and voice by Tim, except "Joey" (written by Nick Drake)
The "mellotron" on "Westonbirt" was played on the iOS app "Super Manetron", with electric guitar via the "MIDI Guitar 2" app
Recorded by Tim on iPhone and iPad (usually with a Line6 Sonic Port VX plugged in) at assorted locations, and mixed by him at Sidingsound I, England, entirely between 1-30 November 2016
Cover: Tim, using the "Flowpaper" iPhone app

For Joy and Naomi xxx

tags

license

about

TA Walker UK

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, often with "electronica" and "prog" inclinations. Will that do?

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Track Name: Overture
[instrumental]
Track Name: Catherine Wheel
Flying sparks
Satellites
Trajectory of
Spinning light
Comet tails through
Circle space
Shattered by a
Touch of grace

Arms that burn
Stay out of reach
Sirens singing
Each to each

All will shake and
Darkness breaks on the
Catherine wheel
All that we know
What lies in shadow
Will be revealed
Burn down so soon
Pour down like rain
Turning no more
Be still again

Here it comes
Around again
Returning, bound
In seasons’ chain
Flames and beauty
Together tied
Spread the fireglow
Far and wide

All will shake...
Track Name: Maybe Something
Maybe if I grab this sheet of paper
All will tumble forth
Think again, remembering a pen
Might capture words of worth
Maybe if I step off this high table
And believe in flight
That will prove enough to stop me
Falling on my face
Track Name: Eggshells
When it’s good, it’s sublime
A convertible drive
Together, the memories good - the injuries healed
Always miss the blind bends
Where we fly off the road
Spinning our wheels in the field

The eggshells I skirt around
Scattered like mines
Never be sure if I’ll crack one this time
Glue back the fragments
To look good as new
Then it tumbles head-first off the wall

We prefer it this way
You’d expect me to say
A forest where sun always shines
The rain plays its part
And clouds where they start from
But you already know what’s on my mind

The eggshells I skirt around...

[bridge]
Do I ask for too much?
A gossamer sculpture
Undone with an unwitting touch

Believe if you can
The breaks are no part of the plan
Hold this piece here - let’s build it anew
Track Name: Westonbirt (interlude)
[instrumental]
Track Name: Down The Lane
Lost down the lane
With dried-out leaves for company
A scarecrow points directions
In his usual way
I believe my home
Cannot be far to go
Any road could take me there
Somewhere I don’t know

Wandering
To and fro
To a place
I don't know
Wondering
What I mean
What are words
But signposts?

Walk with me, just a while
And chase the west wind away
That piece of sun, a sideward smile
That holds the dusk and lengthens day

Last autumn’s leaves
Will dance and evade
The closing of the year
Twisting and turning
Their way down the lane
As if they know their home is here
Track Name: Laughing More
Close your eyes for just a while
Pretend it’s all unreal
As all around us flies apart
The centre, holding still
Dig the diamonds from the coal
And set them in a ring
The gems that send us laughing more
Recalling everything

We cling onto - to make it well
Track Name: Waiting Room (link)
[instrumental]
Track Name: Game Set and Match
Slow off the blocks
Follow the rest
Opponent awaiting your serve
The plan’s on the board
The cards on the beize
Only, you must hold your nerve

The game has been set
The match has been made
The tournament we never knew we had played
A trophy that takes two winners to raise
Lies at the end of the lane

And now experience
Taught me at last
The substitute’s bench makes no home
The best way to win
Refusing to play
No longer an option alone

The game has been set…

From the start we were patient
And planned many moves
Then too soon the hours have flown
But the field is now yours
Your opponent expects you
To place down your winning last stone

The game has been set…