This peice evolved out of a jam session we had, many years ago. We've tried rebooting it several times - see below for a complete evolutionary tree.
For the longest time, this remained an instrumental, but recently I noticed when I played it in the car on my way to work, I was humming a different melody and lyrics started coming to mind. So, it got revamped, and I think it's the best thing I've done so far.
I think this marks the 50% complete point of the album. Yay!
It was the day that Terry took me flying
Drive the Great South Road to Drury field
Outside the car we stand and watch the gliders
See a flash of sunlight from the keel
A month ago, I tried, but could not end it
Howard Jones was on the stereo
Bailing out before the song was over
She trusted me to never let her go
Feel the vector from the tow-rope's tension
The cockpit lurches with the winch release
Cast aloft in limbo, wind suspension
The breath of God above, the scars beneath
Indicates a left and checks the rear-view
The white Ford changes lanes, the traffic passes
Hands fixed to the wheel, at 10 and 2
Tears refract the light behind her glasses
Stop! Let's roll the backup tape, restore the memories
That's it; the moment that I broke her heart
And for a while, we share the ride with angels
See them smile, and think we've found a home
Dragging at our feet, the Earth is calling
No wings to hold us up, we're falling down
music © 1989-1993 Colin Nicholls & Walter Nicholls, lyrics © 2011 Colin Nicholls
From the archives: The Evolution of a Track
(These tracks have been taken from a series of very old cassette tapes on which we used to record all our ideas, many years ago.)
Solo Flight 1989
I don't know where the rhythm sample came from. Possibly an Icehouse or Mr Mister track. In delicious 12-bit resolution, looping on the Akai X7000 sampler by taping down the low C key. The bass is definitely another sample, I'll assume a note from one of my acoustic guitars. Ethereal pad from the Korg Polysix; drones from the Roland Jupiter 6. Then we jammed for 8 minutes. And then we did it again, only this time we pressed RECORD on the tape deck. It was impossible to stay in time with the looping sample... but somehow, it didn't matter.
I have nothing around today that can emulate those luscious tones from the Polysix... I really should invest in the Korg Legacy VST collection.
Solo Flight 1990
Once the Korg M1 showed up, we gave it another go, using the sequencer and multi-timbral features to best effect. The Roland D-50 lent it's unbeatable "Glass Vox" patch to the mix. But somehow, something was lost in translation. On the plus side, the piece gained a new middle section.
Solo Flight 1993
With multi-track recording at our disposal, I gave this piece another try, using Chapman Stick, guitars, and sequenced drums to push it in a new direction.
And here it stayed for 15 years.
Solo Flight 2008
I remember loading up the TruePianos VST, and experimenting with digital delay effects, playing around, and suddenly I was playing the Solo Flight chords... and sometimes that's all it takes for inspiration to hit.