Watched in shock as Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burned out of control in a raging fire last night. Live on television, the sight was heartbreaking as the beautiful Gothic architecture, well over 800 years old, succumbed to the flames whilst Parisiens looked on in horror.
I'd visited Notre Dame cathedral many years ago when performing with my brother Ian at a Parisian art gallery. I'd also performed at the 'French Church' in London, (which is properly titled the Church of Notre Dame and which contains a symbolic work by Jean Cocteau.)
A long held interest in the esoteric, hermetic aspects of religious architecture, (partly as a result of my past involvement with Rosicrucianism, Martinism and other occult movements,) found much food for thought in the complex symbolism of Notre Dame in Paris, and in its more modest London namesake.
In tandem with this, in the 1980s, I also became a member of an esoteric French Masonic Lodge which met every month in London. It was a very interesting time...
I'd developed a love of, and respect for French culture back in my teenage years as an art student. It was then that I first discovered Jean Cocteau, as well as many other wonderful French artists. In later years, I found that Cocteau had painted a mysterious mural in the Church Of Notre Dame in London, a painting which has been interpreted by some as having Gnostic and esoteric meaning. It was enlightening to see this 'in the flesh' when I performed the 'Opus Illuminatus'/'Altar Pieces' set there.
Paris remains one of my favourite cities, far more beautiful than London, so to see its great cathedral engulfed in flames was devastating. But this morning's television news reveals that the damage, whist still terrible, hasn't destroyed the building as completely as was initially feared and that it may be possible to rebuild and re-create much of what has been lost, (though some precious atrefacts contained in the cathedral's interior are gone forever.)
It will be a massive job costing billions and will take many years to complete, but at least there is hope that this iconic, eight hundred year old edifice may be restored, if not quite to its former 12th century glory, then perhaps to a reasonable semblance of such.
Here at home, the work I began last week on assembling a running order for my next new album has taken a dramatic turn. The album will now no longer be titled 'Vulcan Street', nor will it contain the track of the same name. I hadn't listened to the title track for two or three months but when I heard it whilst attempting to slot it in to the album's running order, I decided it wasn't good enough to warrant a place amongst the other songs. One reason for this was a sound within the drum track which resembled an electro-mechanical relay switching on and off. In isolation it was an interesting sound, or so I thought when recording it. However, in the context of the finished song and its myriad overdubs it sounds like a serious fault or glitch and its incessant clicking gets on my nerves. Perhaps in a different context it might prove interesting but it doesn't work in this song. And the song itself doesn't thrill me so much anyway.
The consequence of all this is that I've dumped the song, and the album's title. So, ‘Vulcan Street' is no more, demolished, gone.
I'll now need to restructure the album's track list and come up with a suitable new title. I have a couple of alternative titles in mind but will sit on them for now and see how things feel once the running order is finally settled.
Some changes to the content of the album too: I discovered a few songs left over from the 'Auditoria' sessions that I'd forgotten about and will try to incorporate a couple of them into this latest album. One of these is the song 'The Woman Of Tomorrow' which I've revisited and remixed. I guess things aren't finished until they're finished...