L.i.v.e. in Tokyo Bay

That’s L I V E rather than going to live in Tokyo Bay. The Songwriters’ Campfires that I’ve been part of recently had an informal campfire on 31st March – thanks to Katie Whitehouse for facilitating and Dan (no relation) Whitehouse for leading us artistically.

These songwriting Campfires have been inspirational, creatively motivating and fun. The video below is me filming me being filmed. It’s a sideways look at part of the presentation process.

The composition of this song has a long journey. Conceived in 1994 in my “hermitage” in Hiatt Baker Halls of Residence it started life as a short meditative prayer titled “In the Silence of my Soul” for a Magdalen Fellowship group meeting to which I belonged. It was carried forward a few years and grew into a short meditative song following my trip to California as guest of my friend Rev Canon Robin Underhill. I tried singing it once at an informal worship meeting at St Marys Parish Church – but I could never get it to work.

It stayed on the shelf for a good for almost twenty five years until I was inspired to pull it out and inflict it on the world as a back garden song during the Pandemic. Still not wholly satisfying it returned to hibernation. A few weeks ago whilst getting my motley collection of originals into shape in the app “Onsong” – I had a go singing and playing it. To my surprise – having changed the Key Signature to suit different chord shapes – it actually sounded like a respectful, meditative song as intended. I thought, as Easter Day was approaching to present this to the upcoming Campfire. In a dream on Holy Saturday dawn – the title was changed to “In the chaos of my Soul”. Divine contribution was then given and the title became “In the Chaos of my Dreams” And that’s story! In due course I will record it”properly” and release it to the Cosmos.

The Tokyo Bay Campfire was rather fantastic – such great songwriting – a real diversity of material – it’s inspiring. Dan was up to expectations: indeed exceeded those by having to sing in the rain-sodden gloomy dawn and then forced to relocated to a bathroom! Zoom didn’t replicate those ethereal echoes too well – but the songs shone through – a global event!!!!

Next item: My friend Martin Owen put together his version of the Easter Hymn “Now the Green Blade Rises” – I helped with some instrumentation and with the recording and mixing etc. Its’ very much Martin’s and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to help.


Next again: Also this week I “auditioned” at another Residential Home: Castle Troy. It’s quite a large Home in the north of the town. I have to say I was welcomed with joy and gratitude: that was before I sang a note. I confess to being slightly nervous. The residents don’t phase me: they are so pleased to have some fool come to sing to/with them. Most of the time the wonderful staff team are fabulous too. Basically I don’t like to “get in the way”. I’m conscious of my presence may be interrupting a routine. However, I’m the the Residents’ home – so that must be my priority of respect.

In the next few weeks I’m going back in time to recall my experiences at PGL Adventure. I started with them fifty years ago in May. Expect some scandalous self-confession!

Soon, we’re off for our first holiday in at least a decade: The Forest of Dean. A big family get-together!

Spare a thought for those we have lost recently and those they’ve left behind.

Your friend,

Roger (Mr Sparkler sends his best wishes!)

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