Photo by Reece Jacob
You’re not supposed to have favourites (that’s what all teachers say…but we know it isn’t true). ‘Hush’ is my favourite song on the album, and it’s also my favourite to play live. I see this song as the epitome of what the record is about - unhurried; cold, yet inviting; reflective.
The different sections of the song are all quite different in style (a simple melody with LH accompaniment; a warmer section with block chords; a more elongated, rhythmical melodic section; and a sparse, spacious middle section) and as such the song takes on quite a meandering approach, which I’ve come to love. This was something I wrestled with for a long time - did it all fit together? Had I just written lots of different songs and thrown them haphazardly together?
As I demo’d it, experimented with the structure, and allowed the free nature of the music to develop into something longer in form, it began to feel more comfortable and became the centre-piece of the album, both thematically and in where it sits at track 4. It also concludes side A on the vinyl. I love to perform it live, as it has so much flexibility and scope for development and improvised moments; and in a way, each performance is slightly different. I had the chance to premiere the song on Gold Flake Paint prior to the albums’ release, and this is how I summed it up:
‘“[‘Hush’] represents the feeling of anticipation about a change in season. A sense of waiting is reflected in the sparse melody, whilst the open, free rubato indicates a calming, unhurried shift in the Autumn months ahead; a decreasing pace of life, the prospect of hunkering down away from the encroaching cold; a stillness. Hush.”
Text by Simeon Walker
Simeon Walker is a Leeds-based composer and pianists, who released in November 2017 his first piano solo album "Mono". You find more information about him and his music on his website.