While deciding how to record and release my next studio album “A Pair of Dreamers” I decided that Bird Song should stand alone.
Bird Song is inspired by the death of a friend and mentor and also by the lover he left behind. While I only knew Karl Broadie in music circles and only for a couple of years, his warm and generous spirit touched me deeply and like so many others he inspired a belief in myself that I had sometimes struggled to find.
The song started taking form on the back of a napkin as we gathered at Rooty Hill RSL for what was to be a fundraiser to support Karl’s treatment through chemotherapy.
We soon found out that this night was to be a rite of passage and that those of us gathered had the dubious honour of singing him out as he lay “talking with angels” and preparing to leave.
His partner Rachel Webster was there and it was her words that struck me so deeply “Talking with Angels”. I was spell bound by the courage of this woman and indeed Karl for engaging in this last conversation with what I imagined was single minded clarity and devotion. Goodbyes said, songs all sung he was about to go somewhere none of us could go.
I considered how that would feel to know the love of your life still clinging to life by one tenuous thread had committed to letting go even though he knew that meant leaving you behind, had in-fact already said goodbye.
And it’s so hard to fathom at the time but after the pain, life must go on and we must let new love in. We cling to the grief for fear of losing the connection and feel a sense of betrayal when we finally slip out of grief’s grip. But there’s a time to look at what life is giving you not just what it has taken away.
So I imaged what Karl in his clarity and devotion would say to Rachel and what his wishes for her were…and this is Bird Song, a goodbye, a ballad of undying love and a blessing to be happy and free.
Although it’s inspired by a single story it’s relevant to many and my hope is that Bird Song will offer hope and comfort and be an uplifting rather than sad song.
The song was recorded and produced by the amazing Michael Carpenter. He played all the instruments except the acoustic guitar (played by me) and also lent me his voice for a couple of very subtle vocal overlays created to evoke the spirit of Karl. With a voice of similar tone and timbre, these parts sound eerily like Karl Broadie.
When it came to doing the film clip I wanted something stunning, a mini film to accompany the story. I had a very clear image in my head of a story line that involved a woman enveloped by grief who would eventually awaken to the offer of love being made. Michael was able to bring that vision into being even more clearly than I had hoped. I was also very lucky to have a very talented cast Thomas Hespe, Andrijana Miler and Andres Bottino.
It was important to me that the viewer fall in love with the characters, to know them and feel their emotions. I definitely think we achieved this thanks to the brilliant performances of the cast, especially the smouldering brooding of Andrijana who is so believably vulnerable in her grief and her love.
We were also fortunate to have the help of Marie Kyle a fantastic make-up artist and visual artist from “We Dream in Pictures” who offered her services for free.