Legacy

 

This song was recorded specifically for the film A Humble Station? which was made by Simon Zonenblick and myself. It is sung by Amy-Rose Atkinson.

It arose from an earlier project. In 2014 a suggestion was made to organise an arts event in Sowerby Bridge to celebrate the fact that the town has the deepest canal lock in the country, a fact many local people were unaware of. I wrote a song for the event called The Ballad of Deep Lock. The event never happened and I never recorded the song, but soon after starting work on the film I realised that the music would be perfect for the closing scene of the film, with different words. So I wrote a completely new set of lyrics. I will record The Ballad of Deep Lock in its original form one day.

The music in this song is full of symbolism. The distant church bell in the introduction refers to the Bell Chapel where Patrick Brontė was the preacher at the time Branwell and his famous sisters were born, now in ruins. The song is based on a repeating sequence of five bars whose chords represent in turn foundation, anticipation, disconsolation, hibernation and affirmation. The number five suggests a person who thought out of the box. The lyrics are about the legacy of Branwell and his time. On the fifth verse the focus switches from the industrial to the artistic legacy and there is a subtle change in the chords of the third bar in the sequence (disconsolation) to suggest a more positive legacy. The three electronic flutes in the instrumental section represent Branwell's three sisters, and the final high flute note before the bare chords die away suggests their cry of anguish at his death.

 

 

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