A shitload less understanding than is required!
By boy Brightlulb
Part I - Life
[ These are thoughts that I am thinking out loud to the ether … if you care to read them, be my guest, you might even have something poetic to add to the comments section down the bottom … again, be my guest. They are thoughts that I am contemplating in relation to my album-in-waiting, I like to have some theoretical substance behind my albums, so they sit within a design rather than randomly recorded music that has nothing interesting to bring up. They are not amazingly complex concepts but they are, nevertheless, concepts that have developed in a context that may be wholly alien to you, so take your time in reading them, or skip through merrily and blissfully.
The concepts that I have in my head are ones that come from conversations with people that I have bumped into in my work in Central Australia and the experiences that I had there. I think Central Oz is unique in Australia and, consequently, misunderstood by many people. I worked as a Mental Health nurse in remote Aboriginal communities. Mental Health, by itself, is a very misunderstood area at the best of times. Remote Aboriginal communities are also majorly misunderstood which has led to many poor decisions by successive governments which have complicated the demolition of their cultural integrity. I won’t go into that much. ]
In 2004 I made another hand-made album that was titled “the balloon”. The background concepts of the balloon had been largely influenced by Dante’s La Commedia Divina. Certain phrases and images that Dante used stuck in my mind and I thought about how they might apply to some sort of high-urban fantasy sequence of someone running out of their apartment window and stepping into the space of air between buildings and soaring upwards. It reminded me somehow of a particular scene in Gabriel Garcia Marquez “One hundred years of solitude” where the village’s most beautiful girl was once lying in her bed and she simply flew up and out the window and into the sky. Nothing more is mentioned about her for pretty much the rest of the book, transforming that moment into a simply exquisite mythical scene.
boy Brightlulb was a character that was developing in my head at the time. The balloon itself was something that the boy saw floating gently over the cityscape, past the Russell Hotel and out of sight. It caused wondered in him about what lay beyond the visible landscape of buildings, cars and smog. This was really me wondering how to get the hell out of the urbanised hell that I felt I was surrounded by. Whilst I love cities, another part of me hates them, a small but not insignificant part of me. So I imagined myself willing the balloon to float towards me … or perhaps I just imagined the balloon floating toward me as I sat on the tin roof-dunes of warehouses and apartments. As it came close I stood up and reached for the string dangling downward and I grasped for it.
As I floated over the mountainous buildings, between windows of offices, toward the blue sky, I saw people at desks, board-meets, couriers, I saw hustling and I saw bustling. And I ascended upward.
There was a line from Dante’s Purgatorio which was translated to say “a cloud enclosed us”; myself and the balloon, Dante and Beatrice; the protagonist and the guide. Retrospectively I have the idea that my thoughts were searching for something divine. I was dreaming about what was beyond the reaches of the city. Perhaps I was yearning to explore the world, who the fuck knows?
My life growing up in Melbourne entailed living in suburban and then urban areas, very urban. In lived in three-storey terrace houses with twenty bodies, cheap wine carpets and dimsim dipped in curry dinners. I moved to Sydney warehouses on busy streets with apartments flats towering around, no privacy, only fumes. The one patch of paradise was hanging off the fire escape mid air either accepting how beautiful urban profanities were or wishing my way out. There was a piece in “the balloon” called “Flying out the 3rd storey window”. Suicide is not something that is particularly interesting to everyone … though I’ve met people who think of it all the time. I seem to be a very good coper. The song-title didn’t actually mean that I was flying downwards, more up really. I don’t know how I coped with Sydney. Perhaps I didn’t cope, I just moved to Central Australia, I got the hell out of Sydney.