"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Saturday, 5 July 2014

About 'Let's Talk About Cancer (1st Draft)'

The title of this song is based on a MacMillan Cancer Support advert slogan I misremembered. Maybe the one I thought I was quoting was "It's Okay To Talk About Cancer", or maybe it was another one. I guess it doesn't matter. I first saw the slogan when I took my Dad to one of his final radiotherapy sessions. The artwork for this song is a cameraphone picture I took of his radiotherapy mask, an eternal, medically tailored, sculpted scream.
Around six months before that radiotherapy session, he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. This quickly led to extensive surgery, which involved cutting his throat open ear-to-ear, taking out half his teeth and then removing half of his tongue. There were complications in the surgery.
We had an anxiously quiet, tense Christmas period without him, often visiting him in the Intensive Care Unit. He could not speak. Communicating with him through text-based means was difficult, slow and frustrating for both parties, especially as much of what he had to communicate was founded in pain and confusion. The sounds in this song are meant to simulate the sounds that were surrounding my Dad in the ICU, the sounds produced by the machines keeping him alive.
Sonically, this song is an attempt to empathise with my Dad in that period of his life: alone, horrified, dehumanised, pained, numbed, bored, helpless and confused. It goes without saying (so why say it?) that it's not supposed to be beautiful, enjoyable or exciting in any traditional sense. Lyrically, the song is straightforwardly autobiographical, to the point of relentlessly immature emotional solipsism.
My Dad is currently cancer free, and doing well, but the echos of this explosive period in our family's history still quietly rebound between the people who bore witness.
All of the sounds, other than the singing, beeping and snare drum, were produced by an air conditioning unit, and then manipulated. This was the first song I created using Logic, so I didn't really know what I was doing and I'm not entirely happy with the results. If I have a good reason, I'll make it better.

I'm just trying to get my mother drunk,
I'm just trying to help my headache.

While carrying sound my phone rang,
News from outer-space,It stopped my disco dancing then,
I'll never disco dance again.

No one believes I care.


I'm coming back on here, because I like the blog name and fuck making a tumblr or whatever. (I H8 TUMBLR).

Disregard everything written before this post as a stupid bullshit heap of crap stupid rubbish.

This blog will now purely (or at least mainly) be used for me to write about, and analyse, my own projects, which are already self-obsessed enough to require yet another platform for self-analysis.

...this is that platform...

To clichedly paraphrase some dude that everyone probably misquotes: