[ This is the second article in my ‘Behind The Scenes’ series, which explores some of the stories, inspirations and meanings behind the songs on the Album]
More than anything else …Tidal Waves is about the power of the female, and the way that power is treated and reacted to in our present day. You could say it’s a feminist song – I don’t really know what that means. But if there was a feminist song on the album, then this would be it.
The woman in the piece is an archetype for the power of the feminine. In my view, the female is much more powerful than our society is generally comfortable with admitting. When you look clearly, it is easy to see that the subjugation of women has it’s roots in fear. Fear of what? Fear of this power. In …Tidal Waves a crowd is confronted by this female archetype, and they react from fear. Her presence makes them uncomfortable, and they want her gone. When she remains, their response escalates until they are stoning her. It is crazy-sad fact that there places in the world where this happens for real. To me, this is an example of socially accepted insanity.
In my own philosophy of life, I believe very strongly in personal freedom. I believe: people should be able to do absolutely anything they want to, as long as they are not harming another human being. There exists no good justification for causing actual harm to another human being because of a thought you hold in your mind. Period.
Throughout the whole piece the rain is falling. The water is a metaphor for the restoration of balance. The greater the resistance to the power of the female, the more the rain falls. (I guess, if the crowd had been a little more zen with her, maybe the song would have been a little more peachy). ;-)
That the woman in the piece has been dreaming of tidal waves is a foreshadowing of what is to come. She is aware of the balancing force of nature and, because of this awareness, is at peace with the pain that the crowd is causing her. This kind of radical acceptance, in the midst of even the most dire circumstances, is an ideal that I greatly aspire to in my own life. Musically, the piece is split into two separate sections with two different key centers. The first section is the story, the second, instrumental section, is the tidal wave that comes and engulfs the world, restoring balance.
It was first written as an instrumental piano sketch during the initial 4 month writing period. It felt incomplete as an instrumental, so I began improvising words over it. Within those words, I found the seeds of the story that would become the core of the piece. The free vocal line emerged from many, many nights of improvisation, a lot of black coffee and a ferocious amount of editing. It went right up to the wire and was finally finished during the week of release.
Side Note: On Monday, I am making the first payment of royalties from the album to VSN, (the charity that I am partnered with). If you are one of the people who have already bought the album, then you should know: you have not only made me a happy artist, but you have also Made a Difference by choosing to shell out your hard-earned cash to a charity that does awesomely incredible work. One thousand times Thankyou. You are My Kind of People.
Together, we are Making The World a Better Place thru Art. And that, my friends, is a beautiful, beautiful thing. ;-)
My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist. If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music. Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.
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