Here are a few tidbits of information that inner listeners may find interesting:
- science fiction short stories and novels from my childhood by Ray Bradbury and Frank Herbert.
- A certain historical figure was famous for saying that followers would be “fishers of men”. I’d always been a bit uncomfortable with that wording – after all fishing is just another word for hunting. I had been thinking of the idea of “cultivation”, and I realized that I could use the theme in an esoteric and an exoteric sense: the cultivation of the self, the cultivation of a new life, of participating in the co-authoring of a future. All of that thinking suddenly came together in a simple phrase: “farmers of men”.
Notes on select lyrics:
- “America” is used as a symbolic word – I am referencing not only the human heritage of migration into the physical Americas over thousands of years, but also the “inner Americas”.
- It has been said that women invented agriculture, and in my experience women are often more open to intuition, to work that is more “in service” and selfless, and to self development. I wanted to honour women by predicting that, in large part, it would be they that serve the future.
- “You will be without face, your symbol an empty space”: I’ve spoken in a previous post about the difficulties inherent in a spoken language, and from a semiotics point of view symbols present similar difficulties to understanding. Once again, I would reference Alan Watts and his analysis that we have become a society of menu eaters. Therefore, I suggest that these New Farmers would choose as a symbol an empty space – not tied to any ideology, politic, power play. Just an empty field pregnant with eternal possibility. All that Is emerges from The Void.
- “Hands in lines you’ll breathe starlight”: all the chemical elements are made either within stars or during the death of a stars, the super novae. Oxygen and nitrogen are the 7th and 8th elements in the periodic table. Quite literally, we breathe star stuff. I must give a nod to Carl Sagan and his great series “Cosmos” for presenting this type of information in such a passionate, patient, and giving way.
- “Future lovers of the planetary wife”: A number of ancient cultures give The Earth a feminine gender, The Sun being the masculine unit in that dyad. In the future this song references, the Future Farmers are so sensitive to these energies, so intentionally and consciously enmeshed in the dance of ecology and psycho-physical systems, that they too would be become lovers of the Earth; lovers in the full and multi-dimensional sense of the word.
As a musical artist, most of this idea generation happens very quickly. Once I’ve latched onto a central theme or message, the rest of the work is easy: all I have to do is record what is being dictated. The completed work is crystal clear in my “inner world” – I can see it like a photograph but I have to jump on it very quickly or it fades away. That configuration of possibilities is fleeting and I can just extend its life a little by fixing it in a recording. The music comes very quickly, and I feel that all I have to do is accurately serve what the music is offering me to see.
However, I also try not to be too serious! For example, the early guitar solo is really a bit of a mess, but that’s done on purpose. The Future Farmers will have a highly developed sense of unrestrained play, and that’s the feeling I wanted to channel. This is a world of dreams, dreams made real, of play, play made manifest, of the conviction I have that the future is inviting us to participate as true partners, vibrant lovers, digging deeper than ever before. And, being amazed at the results.