Author Archives: Henry Sparks

About Henry Sparks

HENRY SPARKS lives in England, plays guitar, writes and sings songs. His music is informed by experience as a farm hand, pizza slinger, carpenter, architect and lecturer.
 Folk - English and American - and a fascination with song-writing have driven his playing and creativity. Henry was a founder of DIY punk innovators Longport Buzz and roots pioneers Bootfare. He now makes music locally with Canterbury legends The Country Counts, and stateside with The New City Wates and plays in or out at any opportunity.

It is these Visions of Eden…

Sixth Mass Extinction Records were looking for tracks to upload in aid of Extinction Rebellion and Music Declares. I thought: this is a job I could do…So I started work about a month ago. It has been an interesting exploration of what can be done in a small studio under lock down. Richard Navarro was kind enough to bash out a trumpet part for me to download, otherwise all the racket is me except for the drum samples.

I wrote this song with the deforestation of Easter Island in mind (see previous blog) and it was a meditation on what humans do to the environment and how one might deal with it personally. Due to the Corona Virus situation it has taken on another angle as well but the primary concern is the climate crisis which soon will make CV seem like a walk in the park. Visions of Eden was originally recorded by Bootfare on their ‘Where’s London?’ LP (yes vinyl, when it was just becoming obsolete rather than ‘Retro’) in 1989. Recently I dug the song out of the pile to play with a friend at a few XR gatherings and later I continued to play it on my own. At the time it struck me that it had lost nothing over the years and probably gained through circumstance.

Day after day I found myself taking almost more off the recording than I was adding. The ability to make a few well made sounds take up a large amount of the track’s soundscape was interesting; a long way from recording with a cheap SM58 clone mic onto 1/4″ tape. There is a perverse interest in the arrangement in the contrast between the hard gridded material and the messy human contribution. Some of it does not quite fit which I like and there is a lack of resolution about how much it swings. The track is largely ‘dry’ with reverb mainly on the trumpet which seems to me to make the mix more spacious than having reverb tails everywhere filling the gaps ‘between the trees’.

The video was a series of still photos from a walk under Corona Virus lock down from our house on Easter day 2020. Something I love about video is that the sound give one cues for the images and an interpretation of happenings on screen that are not there in the images alone. For instance: An image of a street…then the sound of footsteps getting louder (closer).

I hope you enjoy…I know I have. It will always be these Visions…

 
Visions of Eden
 
In this world of chaos
Time out of mind
In this hell we have created
In the name of mankind
And I want to swim with the Dolphins
I want to sail this crazy sea
Sing from tree to tree
With leaves where leaves should be
But that's all just the dream in my heart
 
It is these visions of Eden that stop me going insane
It is these visions of Eden that help me conquer pain
It is these visions of Eden that help me get up again
 
We have driven down the road
Which every body knows
It's a one way ticket
To the land where nothing grows
And we have our new heroin
We have our new dearth
And all the former reason
Is gone with the earth
And I want to swim with the Dolphins
I want to sail this crazy sea
Sing from tree to tree
With leaves where leaves should be
But that's all just the dream in my heart
 
It is these visions of Eden that stop me going insane
It is these visions of Eden that help me conquer pain
It is these visions of Eden that help me get up again
 
 
Henry Sparks 1989
 
 

Audio will be available from: https://sixthmassrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Or: https://henrysparks.bandcamp.com/track/visions-of-eden-studio-recording