I’m back in Japan, just around the same time as last year. The weather is completely different this time. 21℃ mid afternoon. T-shirt weather, as we say at home. I’ve one gig behind me and again I’m left wondering what these lovely people see/ hear in me. Because listen they do. Scarily so.
Mind you, you learn a lot about yourself and your art in this country. Freed of, deserted by all the musical and lyrical frames of reference that cloud the issue in the English speaking countries, Ireland in particular, you’re left with nothing but the sound you make and the way you look. There is no shared cultural memory which has made so many of my songs resonate with the Irish diaspora and those other cultures it has intermingled with. No musical commonality that I can see beyond, I suppose, a shared love of the best in American music of the past century which has also left its mark on me. A response therefore is visceral, fundamentally human, instinctive. When it comes.. and come it does in spades, I come face to face with myself in a way I never do elsewhere. I end up feeling more human, a basic individual giving voice to a spirit as old as time. But in truth I’m as far from fully understanding what it is as ever…and end up forced to accept that whatever the signal is, it’s bigger and more complex, yet primitive and universal than my take on it.