FINGERSNAP Blackbirds (Full digital release 180814)




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Published on May 26, 2014

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BIOGRAPHY http://fingersnappr.wordpress.com/

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Just as my summers thicken with fears that you are gone,
My happiness is your return when my Decembers dawn;
My nightingale lieutenant, my Aesculus alarm.
And I would that wings of blackbirds would sing me to my dreams,
And I would that wings of blackbirds would sing me to my dreams.

In the low mid winter sun my sorrow at the summer gone
Within your winter song undone. Please be the song to my eternity;
Slip it into the shadow of a life that slowly steals.
And I would that wings of blackbirds would sing me to my dreams,
And I would that wings of blackbirds would sing me to my dreams.

Lewis Campbell (animator): "Having first listened to the track I was struck by its wonderful melancholic tone and its sparse beauty. Something about the atmosphere made me think of a journey that must be taken alone; that at the end of the journey some form of salvation or redemption would be achieved. I wanted to create a visual piece that would complement the ethereal quality, that would exist somewhere between dreams and reality. The beginning of the film has a somewhat embryonic, insular feel to it. The protagonist is then forced out of this secure state into an unfamiliar foreboding place. In the final act he must transform in order to find his place once more."

David McAlmont (singer): "I've worked hard in recent years to free myself from the despair that increasingly preceded my lyric writing. My process was one of hating everything I wrote down until I got to a place of intense self-loathing, whereupon the elusive lyric would appear. I got sick of the weight of that process and determined to find a way that would still require effort, but effort of a more edifying nature. So it is remarkable that Blackbirds still emerged from a despairing place.

Guy and I invested a lot in our first EP: emotion, time, money and optimism; it didn't do as well as we hoped, but it was the point at which we let go and Fingersnap's creative aspirations radically shifted. I insisted that Guy create something that reflected his two years spent studying Baroque harmony. In the meantime I decided to create a Romantic poem for my own enjoyment, based on my changing attitude to a blackbird that woke me in the morning from an Aesculus tree by my bedroom window.

Sadly, Guy found himself in a difficult personal space two January(s) ago, but he emerged from it with an astonishingly original air. The minute I listened to it I knew I was hearing precisely what I longed to hear from Guy. Very quickly I thought of applying lines from my Romantic poem to what he'd written. Guy ratified my decision and Blackbirds took flight. When we performed it in concert something very palpable occurred in the atmosphere. Grapefruit Moon was suddenly supplanted as the most moving song in our set and our audience started mentioning "that song about the bird" after the shows.

The beauty of Blackbirds is its accidental creation: I never expected to use my poem in that way; Guy wasn't thinking about baroque harmony as such, but using his musicianship to negotiate himself out of a dark phase. Lewis' short film is a moving and intuitive addition to our blackbird's flight. It enables me to experience what the audience does when we perform this song live."


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