I had a song in the bag for the Creative Mornings Rotterdam session on Friday, 15 November – inspired by the theme, LOST. But, unfortunately, I LOST my voice due to a bout of flu with added complications and we had to cancel.
We hope to be able to share a Two Doors Down version of the song with you soon. Meanwhile, here is some of the backstory.
DID YOU KNOW?
“As of the 2000s, a total of roughly 7,000 natively spoken languages existed worldwide. Most of these are minor languages in danger of extinction; one estimate published in 2004 expected that some 90% of the currently spoken languages will have become extinct by 2050.” (wikipedia)
I do believe we can all play a part in rescuing languages from extinction by giving our mother tongue (first language) our full support. Other languages may serve us well, but our mother tongue serves to keep us fully human and connected to our roots and ourselves. That’s what our LOST song, “Mother tongue”, is all about.
Here are the lyrics:
Mother tongue – faded and flickering
Mother tongue – what’s to become of me?
I sold you out to the highest bidder
Mother tongue – I feel so dumb
Mother tongue – I am ashamed to say
I lost respect for you along the way
My heart went cold and I kept my distance
Mother tongue – I did you wrong
You taught me to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’
and helped me to stand on my own two feet.
You taught me to speak up for what’s right and true
and not to be afraid to say ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I’m here for you’
Mother tongue – let’s plan a grand reunion
Mother tongue – I want to recommit
I want to taste all life has to offer
Mother tongue – you hold the key
Join me at the table as much as you are able
I mean to keep you close so you keep me on my toes
Mother, mother tongue
We set up here (in the shade of the tree, next to this huge artwork) and played for about an hour, entertaining the passersby on their way to and from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, with our “straatartiestenvergunnen” (busking licence) at the ready.
The highlight was meeting a father with his very sick little boy who were taking the air in the park next to the children’s hospital where they made regular and lengthy visits for treatment of a serious but repairable birth defect. A plucky dad and a plucky boy.
And here’s Margriet surrounded by all our gear, post-busking.
Open mic in York, U.K. – in support of a charity (Photo: Irene Bom)
Margriet and I hope to take advantage of the good weather in Rotterdam this Saturday and go busking. We have a busking license, but haven’t had time or energy to make use of it till now. (Get in touch if you’d like to know where we’ll be.)
A live recording of Two Doors Down performing “Good Night’s Sleep” at Creative Mornings Rotterdam on 2 August 2019.
The song is inspired by Creative Mornings July’s theme, “End”, and captures something of Irene’s daily struggle to call it quits and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Irene is on the guitar as usual and singing lead vocal, while Margriet adds percussion (bell and shakers), sings harmony and plays the melodica. Notice the audience reaction when Margriet starts playing “Somewhere over the rainbow” at the end.
Good Night’s Sleep
bell signalling midnight
There’s something about the midnight hour
that brings out the worst in me
Not that I’m a party girl
On the contrary
But I struggle to call it quits
And miss out on all the benefits
of a good night’s sleep
My second wind kicks in and them
I’m chasing after something again
I love the flow but as some of you know
It can be an addiction
I wish I could train my brain
to entertain the counterclaim
of a good night’s sleep.
At the end of the day I need to learn to say
Lady, enough is enough
It’s time for bed, you sleepy head
Stop sweating the small stuff
On the far side of my dreams
There’s a better version of me – I’m dying
for a good night’s sleep.
Gotta try me some of
sleeping beauty’s beauty sleep
Last Friday I attended the January event on the theme of ‘Surreal’, and a number of regulars recognized me as part of Two Doors Down. Also, the organisers – including the new host, Lodovico – are keen to have us back sometime soon. So watch this space.
I’m a regular at Creative Mornings Rotterdam. It got me thinking. Could I write a decent song on the theme of the month and would Creative Mornings Rotterdam let Two Doors Down debut the song live at that month’s breakfast lecture?
The Rotterdam Creative Mornings team were willing to indulge me. To date I’ve written 4 songs inspired by Creative Morning themes, and we got to performed 3 of them live. (“I trust my hands” I performed a capella to a gallery owner in Manchester where I was stranded because I’d missed my flight. It happens.)
The 4 songs in our “Creative Mornings Collection” are:
Who will throw me a life line (Theme: anxiety) Curiosity (Theme: curiosity) I trust my hands (Theme: craft) Honest friends (Theme: honesty)
Here is the latest song, “Honest friends”, recorded live at Creative Mornings Rotterdam on 26 October 2018.
Will you tell me the truth
tell me the truth in love? Please share.
I appreciate it when you speak from the heart
It tells me how much you care.
I need honest friends to keep me grounded
Who bring out the best in me
Up close and personal
I need your honest-to-goodness honesty
Will you back me up
back me up when I’m under fire
It’s so good to know I have support
from those who know me and how I’m wired.
Like the pitch and roll of a ship at sea
My life is in constant flux
I need an anchor, a harbour and a lighthouse
People I can trust
Last Tuesday Margriet and I recorded our Art Rocks video, with our friend, Theo Huijgens behind the camera. It all got a bit late, and I forgot my capo, so I had to play a whole other set of chords. Also, my guitar strings need replacing and our voices were a bit shaky. But we did it. And then came the challenge of taking the best bits and tweaking the audio and turning it into a video. Amazing how much I’ve learned in the process.
Here’s the result:
If you like the song, please vote for us on the Art Rocks website.
Note: The artwork on the easel Irene had made years ago.
My Art Rocks 2018 song is finally coming together. I’m calling it “Ramses”.
I was inspired by the life of Ram(e)ses II and his legacy (as Basquiat obviously was), in particular the striking evidence of his love for Nefertari, his first wife. The tomb he built for her in the Valley of the Queens is stunning – a real labour of love. She’s depicted larger than life on some temples too. He called her “the one for whom the sun shines”. Some praise indeed!
Writing the song has taken a bit longer than usual, as I struggled to find a direct link with the painting and the artist. After the Art Rocks workshop day I participated in a few weeks back, I saw a way to pull it all together and I think it works. Here’s hoping the museum judges think so too.
Now onto the final stages of arranging the song, making the video and getting my entry in in time for the closing date, 22 October 2018.
Art Rocks is a bi-annual competition linking fine art and music.
Irene took part in 2012, and has decided to try again. Last Saturday she attended one of the workshops, to gain inspiration and meet some of the other songwriters. She was the oldest of the bunch by far. The youngest was 15, not much older than when she first learned to play the guitar and started writing songs all those years ago.
Irene has selected this painting by Basquiat as her inspiration:
The song is evolving slowly, but she’s making headway. The challenge is to write a song that can stand on its own, but that is clearly inspired by and a response to the artwork. Good luck to all the others taking part.
The organisers hope for 250+ entries this year. Wouldn’t it be great if Irene made the museum round and then got selected for the finals in Paradiso? One can dream, can’t one?
In case you’re interested, here’s the link to Irene’s 2012 entry, “Mirror mirror”.