Casa di Elgar

Early morning of day 2 in Elgar’s house, an absurd tumbledown high-ceilinged studio with many a nook and cranny secreted somewhere inside an enormous shrub in the south downs. An aga in the kitchen, a ping-pong table in the rec room, and a £20 note bearing the face of the man himself (his moustache makes forgery harder, apparently*) in a small glass case beside my bed. Yesterday was successful: worked all day on a new tune called ‘Summerhouse’, which I’m pretty happy with. I haven’t done a song-in-a-day since ‘OK, so that happened’ in 2009, and this really did come out of nowhere – I had a hummed melody for it (which I sang into my phone last week, walking down to Shepherd’s Bush after being inspired at a Kimya Dawson concert) but the rest all happened between 8:30am and 7:30pm. It’s a good feeling. Then The Dapper Swindler turned up, hitting the studio like some kind of industrial hammer. We jumped repeatedly off a small trampoline into a pile of exercise cushions, and then wrote another new song from scratch. This is a very slightly sillier number called ‘Sebastian and the Snickers’. Hard to imagine that today could equal yesterday in terms of productivity, especially with so much countryside still unexplored around here. But as I type, everyone else is still asleep and the day fizzes with potential. Let’s see what it brings…

*this is awesome, but also apparently oft cited as a reason not to put women on banknotes, so I’m conflicted.


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