WASH: on cleanse and closure
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
WASH was the second-last song recorded for the album FLY (the studio version of my instrumental FLY was the last recording produced). By the time I wrote WASH, a good 5 years had gone by since recording my first studio song. As such, I found myself looking at the world in a slightly different way and along with it, my songwriting style had changed dramatically. I was also spending a lot of time alone at the piano and it helped me create songs in a different way than I had before.
I spent a lot of time writing this song, and I feel it's all the better for it. Some sections were written when I was feeling happy and other sections were written when I was feeling low. By the time the song was finished I had worked out my emotions. And through all the hours, days, weeks and months I spent on perfecting the song on piano, I had put myself through a lot of what some may call mundane, tedious times of practice. All of this, I hope, it reflected in the lyrics of the song.
Below are two video versions of the song. One is a lyric video and the one below it is a full music video I created. Below the music video, you can find my explanations of some of the most incredible influences held over me during the overall creation of the song. You will also find some "easter eggs" I inserted into the song and music video, to pay homage to some of those I look up to.
* I was on a huge James Bond fad. Look at the centre of the metronome - do you see it? A vague but sophisticated tuxedo-like image. Just a little 007 hint.
* "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life": a quote by Berthold Auerbach. He died in 1882 and the quote has surpassed the copywrite protection of 120 years, resting now in the world of public domain. I used Auerbach's quote in the opening phrase of my song. It serves as an amazing lyrical springboard for the song overall and I hope I've done Auerbach justice in my use of his inspiring words.
* "I've Got Music By My Side." Some parts of the song were written when I was feeling depressed. To combat this state, I sought solace in music. One set of music which came to the forefront were several songs written by Julian Lennon. I hung onto every word offered through his positive messages and found myself playing his song "Hold On" on my piano. To pay homage, I used the same opening piano strains that Julian used in the opening of Hold On. Though I had JL in mind, the brief sequence pops up all over the map in many places and I hope are not copywrite-able to only a select few.
* I use the word "refrain" just as how it's meant in the song. However, it is also another homage to Julian Lennon, and in this case also an influence by Paul McCartney in the song Hey Jude: "And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain." But yes! The song is also a reference to music theory and suggests the "refrain" or "bar" found scripted on a music staff.
* I've found the term WASH cropping up in movies and literature. It can suggest baptism and a cleansing of the soul. Absolutely, this is what I am also going for in the song. After a long journey of the soul, doesn't it feel great to wash off all the dust and restart on a bright "note?"