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Posts Tagged ‘Fairport Convention’

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Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

–Who Knows Where the Time Goes, Sandy Denny

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Kind of a convergence of things today. I was looking at some work form 2002, from the period after 9/11. My work at that time went primarily from transparent bright colors painted on a white ground to deeper saturated colors painted on a black ground, which became known as my Dark Work. There was a group of paintings in this series that featured interior scenes with with windows and an occasional open door along with a single red chair.

While these pieces were still being shown in galleries, I began hoarding them a bit, wanting to hold on to them. It felt like there was something personal in them that I didn’t want to share. at that time. Too close to the bone. I have several of these paintings and they are among the untouchables, those pieces that aren’t for sale.

The feeling in them had rhythm and feel that spoke to the bleaker days of this current isolation– a mix of sadness, resignation and longing. A lot of introspection and stillness in them.

At the same time, a friend sent me an email asking if I had heard of a singer named Eva Cassidy. I had heard her name and knew a little about her from years before but hadn’t found the time to listen to her work. She was a gifted singer/songwriter who, while well known in the DC area, never achieved wider recognition before succumbing to melanoma at the tender age of 33 in 1996. After her death, her work took off in the UK and the rest of Europe. Her recording released after her death have sold over ten million copies and have went to the top of the British charts 3 times.

Her music, or rather her voice, often has that same mixture of sadness, resignation, longing and stillness that I see in this group of paintings.

I am playing one of her recordings today, a cover of a Sandy Denny song called Who Knows Where the Time Goes? There is a bit of a convergence in her having recorded this song. Sandy Denny, for those of you who don’t know the name, was a tremendously talented British singer/songwriter, who is hailed as being “the pre-eminent British folk rock singer.” She fronted Fairport Convention for a while, alongside Richard Thompson, and was the only guest singer to ever appear on a Led Zeppelin recording, The Battle of Evermore. 

But she had bouts of depression along with alcohol and drug issues that often caused her physical injury. In late March of 1978, she suffered a fall where she banged her head on concrete. Soon after, she began to experience severe headaches. On April 1, she made her last public appearance with Who Knows Where the Time Goes? being the last song she ever sang in public.

She died on April 21, 1978 from a brain hemorrhage at the age of 31.

Like Eva Cassidy, her renown only grew after her death, with multiple posthumous releases of her work.

Two tragic lives that ended at much too early an age, bonded by this song. Both do haunting versions of it. I think I will listen to it again while I look at the painting at the top.

Have a good day and be thankful for the life that you have.

 

 

 

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