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Phill McKenna and The Water Signs | Changing Light

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AUSTRALIA - Queensland

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Folk: Folk Pop Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Sound Effects
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Changing Light

by Phill McKenna and The Water Signs

A found sounds project blending beautiful melodic songwriting with rhythm beds and sounds recorded in Australia's urban environment.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Steel & Concrete
4:42 $0.99
2. Hold Me
5:28 $0.99
3. Sleep Tight
3:45 $0.99
4. Finally Found What I Lost
4:14 $0.99
5. Leaves from Autumn Leaves
3:48 $0.99
6. Changing Light
2:20 $0.99
7. Slamming Doors
2:02 $0.99
8. Today I Have to Go Away
3:28 $0.99
9. Still Waiting
3:37 $0.99
10. Smile Like Me
4:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Always with an ear open to the world, Phill McKenna was awarded a ‘Creative Sparks’ grant through The Brisbane City Council & Arts QLD, and tasked with creating an original album, built piece by piece out of random, found sounds recorded around urban Brisbane, Australia. From underneath bridges, to building construction sites, to airport lounges; Phill invites the listener to engage differently with the soundtrack of everyday life, and the inspiration that it provides when we listen with an ear for its hidden rhythms, arcs and hooks. Everything significant. Everything fleeting. Everything connected. These field-recordings created the beds and rhythm tracks for a swag of original songs; and the much anticipated second album from Phill McKenna & The Water Signs.

Three years in the making, the song writing team of Phill McKenna, Clare Kildea and producer Dave Carter combined their folk-based songs around the rhythm and soundscape beds, producing a stunning 10 track album and cementing Phill McKenna & Clare Kildea as premium songsmiths in a city overflowing with celebrated writers and artists.

* * * * *
Track by track, in Phill’s own words:

Phill McKenna & The Water Signs - Changing Light
Track 1 - Steel & Concrete
The opening track heaves (literally) with the sounds of Steel and Concrete. I recorded the ramming of steel and concrete pylons used as foundations in a number of large building projects under construction, sometimes driving around for hours trying to track down the location of the site after hearing the sounds wafting around the suburbs. The song evolved into a narrative about the generation that is exploiting the planet, and the impacts that will be dealt to the generation that is in waiting.
“A generation pleads
A generation not yet seen
While we’re busy making steel & concrete”
Track 2 - Hold Me
This song features the sounds of vehicles passing over one of Brisbane’s famous landmarks -The Story Bridge. At 4am one weekday morning I stood underneath the bridge and recorded the “THUMPS” that are created when vehicles hit the expansion joints on their way across the bridge producing the beautiful syncopated rhythms well known by locals. I wrote the song after reading Tim Winton’s book ‘Breath’, creating two characters driving along Australia’s east coast; as eager for the next wave as they are to bury past demons. The song pulses to the hypnotic rhythm of the bridge thumps; while the sound of bush crickets stridulate like a needle across a vinyl record.

Track 3 - Sleep Tight.
The thing I loved about recording this track was tracking the horn section in my little home in Brisbane. Humidity and heat; everyone was squashed in, with mattresses and homemade soundproofing and microphones spread all over the place.
In a similar fashion to track 2, I recorded the traffic noises of cars crossing the Juliette St Bridge to create the rhythm bed for the song. Hand claps help to create the rhythm I had in my head all along for this song.
Sleep Tight forms part of a trilogy that follows a family based in South East Queensland involved in the Fly in-Fly out workforce in the mining industry. The husband regularly leaves home on a 2 week on-1 week off roster working in the mines in the northern part of the state. The couple struggle to come to terms with a part-time long distance relationship, the impact on their lives and the lives of their kids (see/hear also track 8 and track 9).
“Retreat to Windows
Watching leaves blown across empty streets,
We talk of ordinary lives, in extraordinary times.”

Track 4 - Finally Found What I Lost
This is a song I wrote from the perspective of a good mate of mine who is dealing with advanced lymphoma. This track celebrates the desire for life, Brisbane heat and the iconic flowering Jacaranda trees that line many of our roads, parks and gardens. I recorded the Brisbane sound of summer insects that sing at dusk and into the early evening throughout the warmer months simply by placing a microphone on my outside back deck at home!
I finally found what i lost
With each coming day
Down underneath Jacaranda trees
I finally found what i lost

Track 5 - Leaves from Autumn Trees
Winter in the high country in South East Queensland is cold and clear....perfect location for a love song.

Track 6 - Changing Light
This is the title track of the album, featuring the gorgeous vocals of Clare Kildea singing a reflective song about changing times, changing moods and changing light. I wrote this on a friend’s balcony in the Byron Bay hills as twilight crept along and the shadows began to dance. I love the juxtaposition of the title track being based on visual, rather than the aural sense.

Track 7 - Slamming Doors
There is a great fire escape I found in a big office building, and every time I have used it I just love listening to the sound of the door slam and reflect and reverberate right up the eight floors of smooth concrete surfaces. Tied with other construction sounds, it creates an interesting rhythm bed for this instrumental track featuring Clare Kildea on flute.

Track 8 - Today I Have To Go Away
Second in the Fly in-Fly out trilogy is written from the husband’s perspective as he goes through the process of preparing to leave his family and fly out to Central QLD for work. The brutal cycle of extended periods away, followed by short weeks at home are beginning to take their toll on him, his wife and the kids.
“They all say it’s a great idea at the start
Some people get past the six month mark
Some people just don’t last...
Yeah we all take turns on this merry go round
I’m workin’ up North while my family’s down south
Who’s winning this game ain’t hard to work out”

Track 9 - Still Waiting
Every year in Australia, hundreds of people die at work through tragic accidents. The final track in the Fly in-Fly out trilogy is a haunting song written and sung from the wife’s perspective after a tragic fatal workplace accident occurs at the mine. While coming to terms with the loss of her husband, she feels in limbo and imagines that her husband is still away and will return from Central QLD as he always has.
“It seems to me that you’re still away
And I’m still here waiting
All inside I know you’re gone
But I’m still waiting”

Track 10 - Smile Like Me
That beautiful moment when you see your smile in the face of your own son.....



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