“Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air”
So goes the first line of Pink Floyd’s song echoes taken from their album meddle I like the tune and Albatrosses too this is a continuation on that theme.
I have listened to the music of Pink Floyd since I can remember and probably a little bit before that too as some of what I remember is not clear as some of the Pink Floyd that I have listened too. I have not had so much to do with Albatrosses just some dreams and a couple of paintings when they gave me inspiration and still are the dreams are interesting flying over restless heaving oceans and seeking always seeking for something lost or that which is not yet found.
It is said that the wandering Albatross mates for life that is to say that it is like finding its soul mate the twin flame with which both souls can nurture and grow together and so on and into the next life wherever that may take them.
The only connection Pink Floyd has with these magnificent sea birds is in one line of one song, from an album released in 1971 and might it be said this writing.
Back when I was a child which is not really so long ago, I remember there was a short lived comic going under the title of buddy it was never actually that good but it did have a couple of free gifts once or twice and this made it worth the while of buying the thing I seem to remember there was a short piece about John McEnroe the tennis player and how he rose to fame or whatever I recall a drawing of him laying up against a wall listening to music through headphones with one of those speech bubbles saying. “Pink Floyd are a great band.”
Now this was back in 1981 so a little while ago now how I have remembered that is anyone’s guess though some people claim to recall the moment of their birth.
Whenever I first heard the band’s music is another matter altogether and what that music was is something else entirely, one could make faint guesses working on what albums were released and when though that would be pretty pointless for a start there was not much music in the family either because there was no one there all the children got sent boarding school from an early age and what the parents listened to if anything was another matter altogether there was certainly no guitar or drum kit involved in it so it must have been out of home and more than likely at school or somewhere as not having a radio made for a rather quiet life especially when it came to music, which being a slightly sad thing is nothing to regret and could indeed be something to rejoice in.
The Albatrosses are some of the longest lived of all bird species many living upward of fifty years or more.
With a wingspan of nearly twelve feet the great Albatrosses easily have the largest wingspan of any bird and it is this wingspan that enables them to enjoy prolonged flight without needing to flap its wings once travelling 22 metres or more for every metre of drop, this ability enables the Albatross to travel upwards of 1,000km a day indeed the only times when the bird does flap its wings is taking off and landing, it being ill designed for continuous powered flight lacking the muscles and energy for such activity,this does make them dependent on ocean waves and currents and often they are forced to rest upon the ocean wave whilst waiting for the weather to pick up again.
Since the bands acrimonious split in 1985 or whenever it was there has been very little mention of seabirds in their music, either as solo artists or as a band though you may like to correct me here if I am mistaken. Maybe it’s time to get down and do some serious listening and take notes where necessary. Here are the lyrics in case anyone has forgotten them.
Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine
And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the where’s or why’s
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light
Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
And no one speaks
And no one tries
And no one flies around the sun
Life is simply gaily fallen
Upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning
And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.
Back in the day sailors considered it very bad luck to kill one of these sea birds the reason being that they were the souls of dead sailors drowned at sea.
Albatrosses have been described as “the most legendary of all birds”. An albatross is a central emblem in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge where a sailor kills an albatross and is punished by having an albatross hanging around his neck.
Writing something about the band, though not as other books may have it the history the arguments and all the rest of it is though necessary at times boring and repetitive how many times does the history of the world need to be repeated ? Actually this is not the history of the world it is something more important than that as I have said my personal history of the band goes back a long way, though it was only at sixteen that I really started listening to the bands music properly when I was 16. Since then I do not think there has been a single week where I have not listened to their music at least once to some this may sound a little boring, is there anything else he listens to? Sure there is, I am just not writing about it here. There is more to this piece of work than just writing, it has been decided to include a little bit of art work as well. These are just two of the bits of work I have created centred on the band, the cuttings were obtained from an advert in a popular collectors magazine about 20 years ago yes that long maybe even a little bit more, unhappily the person who did all the cutting out of sometimes very small snippets of paper is now forgotten, a box set of artwork has also been created comprising found and recovered objects as well as mail art used in a end of year art show brief. As a whole the entire project is entitled ‘ Thank you. ’ not so much to the band but more to whom made it all possible without whose scissors this would never have even begun. It may as well be pointed out that at the time of using the cuttings service this artist was not an artist and would have laughed at any such absurd idea as doing something creative with his old bits of newspaper.
Whether I shall post the poem I have written, is another matter altogether.
This is only a small bit of writing here and more is in the pipeline however it would be nice to post a couple of pieces of art work as well the first one has been exhibited several times and has received mention at the Oxford Open held at Modern Art Oxford early in 2008 it was a sadness not being able to attend the opening evening due to a bout of Pancreatitis that was not much fun, seeing this on the wall later and listening to people talking about it was a thousand times better. Getting it mentioned in the review with my name next to it was even better.
Because the evening is drawing on and there is more to be written elsewhere it is time to post one more picture here.
I shall write more on this man another day