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Chrys Bocast: Listen

Seeker Song

(Daniel Johnson featuring Chrys Bocast)
May 23, 2015
Daniel Johnson inspired by Chris Bocast

This is Daniel's take on the song:

"The origin of the song is a little unusual for me but it was in keeping with the rest of the songs on the album, Sicko, in that it was based in a found sound or, in this case, inspired by another piece of music. As a musician in his late 30s with hardly a fan base I increasingly ask myself "why create"? And in a world like ours that's so good at distracting the time from us, that question gets harder to answer every day. Ideas pop into my head but is it worth it to toy with them? A refrigerator repairman prints me out a receipt from a portable printer on his hip and the sound it makes is so alien and syncopated that I record it with my phone and think: should I take this into the studio and make a beat with it or go catch up on Game of Thrones? (I made the beat. It's the basis of the track "Down With You.")

So making this record was my own little private war. 9 battles against laziness and sublime entertainment that were won, even if they're the last I'll ever win. Seeker Song is a perfect example… I was sitting in my car eating Chipotle and listening to the end of your episode on Seekers. A poem was read at the end over Chris's gorgeous guitar track and the whole thing stopped me cold. A melody started coming to me and I thought: I want to write a song over this exact guitar track as a bed. Use it as a sample. I found Chris through your site and mentioned the idea before I spent too much time on it and he gave me his blessing. A year went by during which I worked on the song and the record. Seeker became a piano ballad that gets swallowed by fuzz guitar. I sent a rough mix to Chris and he was really encouraging about it and even sent me a flurry of new guitar parts he tracked for it to help fill out the end. So now Chris is playing on a song inspired by and written on top of his backwards guitar reworking of your show's theme. And that's the whole diagram of this strange cross-pollinated piece of music." 

This is Chrys' take: the guitar on the original piece is ebow - just me playing live through a patch I wrote on an Eventide Pitch Factor (sorry, no backward tricks, Daniel). At one point in the original track, the Eventide actually misfires on a harmony; interestingly, Daniel chose this one spot to lead the song. But that's just the technical side...

As for interpretation, like all great songs it forges individual meanings in different listeners. But for me, this work is nothing less than a resounding anthem for trangendered people and all the existential frustrations they have to deal with in their search for themselves. I first heard the rough mix after I had decided to embrace my own transgender feelings, and every line was heart-rending. It left me in tears then, when I was literally "all dressed up, no place to go", and it breaks my heart still. I can only hope it touches a few people in the same way.

Seeker Song (lyrics by Daniel Johnson)

 

I’ve been seeking my city that I’ll never find

I’ve been planning an escape from a state of mind

I’ve been rowing my boat through a sea of light

Been spitting at storms, all bark no bite

 

I’ve been walking on water if I don’t look down

Learning how to let go, learning how to drown

I’ve been spending my money, oh it makes me weak

Spending all of my hope on impossibilities

 

I’ve been angrier than most, more thoughtful than some

I’ve been hungry and full, been smart, been dumb

I’ve been windshield fluid in the super white snow

I’ve been all dressed up, no place to go