A few months back I happened across my old friend Richard Pike’s new project DEEP LEARNING, a reflective exploration of the great unknown as experienced through the lens of ambient soundscapes. A sucker for the likes of avant-garde artists like Brian Eno and William Basinksi, I thoroughly enjoyed Soft Confidence and found it to be cut from the same cloth.
I’ve never been able to define music, to accurately transcribe the tonal motivations and technical choices. Instead I react from the gut, absorbing and responding to the sounds with emotional openness. When I first heard Firefly however something inside me clicked. There was a visceral undertone to the track that brought me to my knees over and again.
In a matter of time a vision manifested itself out of thin air and wouldn't leave me alone. To explore the agony and the ecstasy of infancy. Life through the eyes of a helpless child. Reaching out to my friends, Al and Anna, I pitched them the idea and were thrilled when they agreed to let me work with Lachie — their beautiful baby boy.
Over the next few weeks I spent an hour at a time with Lachie, building up a rapport and giving him time to grow comfortable with me and my camera. Having never spent any time with an infant I can report that the experience was profound. I couldn’t get over the extensive range of machine-gun emotions. Grief, fear and confusion rapidly manifesting into ecstatic joy and exhilaration before a stream of tears took hold.
It brought back stories that my parents had shared from my first few months on this earth. Experiences that helped me to channel his perspective. Curiousity being the order of the day. Every toy, texture or lonely dust mite an opportunity worth savouring (quite literally!).
As I began to find the story, I was overjoyed to bear witness to the little things that make life shine. In the process I was struck by a moment of truth. I understood this little boy’s choices because we are one and the same. Sure, I’m not (usually) prone to throwing a temper tantrum on a whim but I certainly channel his range of emotions on the inside.
No matter how many grays infiltrate my locks I continue to look up at the world with great delight. A commercial plane emerging out of cloud cover, trees dancing in the wind or a joyful dog making eyes at me while out for a walk with its owner. These moments offer more than a fleeting gust of ecstasy. They’re what life is all about.