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  • Writer's pictureJames Hawken

For a friend

So, everyday, twice a day, we work with our horses. When I say 'work' that means, for quite a large part, wandering around a 5 acre field, pooper scooper in hands, wheeling a wheel barrow, picking up horse shit, sorry, dung! It's actually quite medititive, and wet, windy and cold atm, and it's when I have a chance to do 'thinking'.

Yesterday, my thoughts turned quite melancholic, a bit emotional. I could 'feel' a piece of music gurgling away, a concept beginning to form in my head. I needed to 'write it down', which meant standing in the afore mentioned wind and rain trying to tippidy tap in my phone. It started pouring out, everything I'd been feeling for the last few days.

I knew what I was going to do as soon as I could get in my studio later that day. This is what I wrote on my phone and the track is what I created in a few hours:

I was thinking about the world situation.

About the friends and family we’ve lost in our community over the last few years.

About my friend and colleague in the Cornish language world Matthi, whose cancer has returned for the third time.

About my own health which has forced me to stop doing things I love and put me in a precarious position mentally and Sarah and I financially.

I was standing by the stream in our field. The stream’s movement and sound became the frequency of the universe, the united consciousness of everything. I was on the edge of joining it.

I felt like a child, I wanted to be comforted, told it’s OK, told what to do, to be looked after.

I will write a lullaby to that child, to me. I thought and articulated in Cornish, my mother tongue, imagining words for me and Matthi.

It brought me comfort.

Maybe it will for others!

So, I knew I wanted a 'stream' sound for a bit of ambience. Nothing for it than to get the phone out again and go and 'stank' (Cornish dialect word for walking in a sort of marchy, big stepped kind of way, it's roots in the Cornish language proper) in the stream at the bottom of the field and record it. The sloshing sounds are me trying to a) not fall over b) getting the phone as close to the water and out of the wind as possible. The horses just ignored me of course, they're quite used to Jimpy doing something likely to cause embarrassment to himself (but I am usually on top of Paddy, however precarious that is sometimes!). Did it work? Sort of! I recorded about 3 minutes in total, about 20 seconds was usable. It did get on the track.

By the way, Matthi's output in the Cornish language is massive. He has contributed to the use, promotion and media content in a huge way over many years and his enthusiasm and energy has encouraged many to learn it.

Matthi's music output is also vast, both in Cornish and English and he has represented Cornwall many times at festivals and Celtic gatherings.

I have had the privilege of a friendship with Matthi and contributed to some of his projects for over 20 years.

If you would like to know more, please go here

Loor a gan

An nos a dhalleth

Re bo genes kres

Omri dhe’n haneth

Growedh heb ankresyans

Gans karensa leun

Euthvil vydh a dhos

Gwythys gans teylu dha dhon

Own, nyns eus res

Salow yn dha ji

Pluvek vedhow a dhon dha brederow

Dhe ves, dhe le a vri

Dowr hweg a hebask

Hunros gwir war lann an gover

An nos, kyn fyth hir

Kosk yn ta ow thegenn meur

A moon sings

The night starts

May there be to you peace

Give yourself to the evening

Lie down without disturbance

With complete love

No monster will come

Safe with a family that will carry you

There’s no need for fear

Safe in your house

A soft pillow carries your thoughts

Away, to a place of honour

Sweet water calms

A righteous dream on the edge of the stream

The night, although it may be long

Sleep well my great precious thing

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