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Date: Fri Aug 16 03:14:35 1985
Subject: The Dreaming
> Another point you brought up is that you would be a Kate Bush fan even if she didn't make music. My question is, "would you be a Kate Bush fan if she didn't sing?"
I don't know what you mean. I'd be a Kate Bush fan if she was just a poet who wrote her words down on paper, and there was nothing to listen to at all. Her poetry is just that good! It's difficult to imagine what Kate's music would be like if she hadn't been born with or developed such a wonderful voice. I'm sure she would have found some other nearly as good way of expressing herself though.
Or are you saying "Would I be a Kate Bush fan if she didn't have any lyrics?"? I certainly would be! It's the music that caught my attention first, not the lyrics.
> You may not agree, but it seems to me that even though "The Dreaming" is complicated, layered, and all that other great stuff, if you took away the vocals, on most of the songs you wouldn't be left with very much; the music does not stand on its own.
I'm not sure what you mean here either. The vocals are part of the music. You could replace Kate's vocals with a non-vocal instrument and still get something great, I'm sure.
Have you ever heard the instrumental version of "The Dreaming". All of the lead vocals are missing. The digerido is missing. Some of the background vocals are missing, but some are left in. It's still amazingly great. I like it as much as the album version!
Also, there are all sorts of non-vocal instrumentals that are just stunningly great. The guitar in "Pull Out The Pin"! The digerido in "The Dreaming"! Eberhard Weber's bass in "Houdini" and the violins! The Planxty stuff in "Night of the Swallow", etc., etc.!
> I find it really amazing that she was able to do such an interesting, complex, layered album without using very much music, since most people rely on the music for those things.
What's all the complexity, if it isn't music? I think that there's more music crammed into all the layers of "The Dreaming" than on any ten normal albums! Sometimes when I listen to "The Dreaming", I ignore the vocals, and just listen to the background stuff. Even then there's too much to be able to absorb it all. Paying attention to just one instrument can be really neat, or the interplay between just two.
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 85 03:54:22 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: Re: What is a digeridu?
It is a humongous woodwind! I always thought it was the whistling sound though.... but now that you mention it, maybe it's the sound that continues on into "Night of The Swallow". Is that what you think it is?
In any case, it's an aborigine instrument, and is basically just a long tube of wood that has been hollowed out by termites. There is a special technique for playing it, and it requires blowing through it continuously. In order to play it you have to learn how to breath in through your nose while simultaneously breathing out through your mouth (how this is done, I know not).
On "The Dreaming", the digeridu is played by Rolf Harris, who is a world expert on aborigine music. He is also the person who did "Tie Me Kangeroo Down", but he's also done at least some really excellent music. The song "The Dreaming" was inspired by a song by Rolf Harris called "Sun Arise" (which was covered by Alice Cooper, though I haven't heard his version). If you ever hear the song, you will imediately recognize the similarities.
"Dangle devils in a bottle and push them from
The Pull Of The Bush"
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 85 12:19:48 PDT
From: ihnp4!sdcsvax!sdcc13!valerie (Valerie Polichar)
The breathing technique used to play the digeridu is known as "circular breathing" and is used for other instruments as well, including the trumpet and the voice.
It is possible (but highly difficult and very controversial), and is generally taught only at an advanced stage of musical study.
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 85 12:14:43 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: What a digeridu sounds like
Here's something from net.music:
> A digeridu makes a noise like god's own bronx cheer -- a cross between a hoopie cushion and Mt. St. Helens.
Wow! That's a *PERFECT* description of the sound that continues on into "Night Of The Swallow"! Now I am completely enlightened! Before I had thought that that sound was made by some sort of heavy machinery (since digging machines are mentioned in the song "The Dreaming"). I never knew the Aborigines were into industrial music....
"Dig, dig, dig away"
From: Doug Alan <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 89 11:29:52 EDT
Subject: Rolf Harris and Sun Arise
Well, I wish people wouldn't make definitive statements (Jon!) without knowing the Whole Story. "The Dreaming" rips off its beat from the song "Sun Arise" by Rolf Harris, who is the author of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down", by the way. Rolf Harris even appears on the song "The Dreaming" playing the digerido. Rolf Harris, in turn, stole the rhythm from the Aborigines, who use this rhythm quite extensively. Kate was quite aware of the origins of the rhythm when she borrowed it from Rolf Harris.
I haven't been able to find a record containing Rolf Harris performing "Sun Arise" but I do own an Alice Cooper record where he covers "Sun Arise". (I also have a very poor recording of Rolf Harris's original version from the radio -- the beat is exactly the same as on "The Dreaming".)
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 90 15:46 PDT
Subject: Rolf Harris
Stephen Thomas asks, in re his and Jeff's transcription project:
> What was the name of the Rolf Harris song, and what's its significance?
The title of the song is indeed Sun Arise. It was a major novelty hit in England in 1962, or a little later. It was first heard by Kate on the radio when she was very little, but her brother Paddy bought the single at some point thereafter, and the sound of Sun Arise became firmly ingrained in Kate's childhood consciousness. On a December 31, 1980 BBC radio programme she brought a copy and played it over the air. The Dreaming's rhythmic pulse, dijeridu drone, phras-ing--even its imagery of shafts of sunlight hitting the Aborigine lands--all are directly influenced by Rolf Harris's Sun Arise.
In the U.S. Harris scored a minor pop hit with another of his characteristic Australian recordings of ca. 1962: Tie Me Kangaroo Down. The reason all the interviewers raise their eyebrows at the mention of Harris's name in connection with Kate's records is that in more recent years Harris has made a quite different reputation for himself as a children's television personality. As usual, their despicable smugness is undermined by their ignorance.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Williams)
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1992 15:08:31 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Electro-acustic Dreaming
Fiona McQuarrie on Kate sheet music:
> I just bought the sheet music book for The Sensual World at a clearance sale, and, boy, am I glad I didn't pay full price for it ($30.00 CDN). The transcriptions of the songs consist of the melody line and guitar chords. No bass, no orchestration, only the barest of "other stuff" (e.g. the line that runs under the spoken opening of The Fog).
That describes almost every piece of "pop" sheet music I have ever seen, "Piano for the One-Fingered" and guitar chords. I have only seen one true transcription of a piece of Kate's music; an "electro-acoustic transcription" of The Dreaming commissioned by International Musician and Recording World magazine to accompany their interview of Kate.
It had every part transcribed as completely as possible, including the sheep's. If someone has this, GIFs of the pages would make a fine addition to the archives.
From: email@example.com (Douglas Alan)
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 05:34:36 GMT
Subject: The End of "The Dreaming"
> Can anyone identify/translate the aboriginal line at the end of "The Dreaming"?
They are lyrics from an Aboriginal song entitled "Aeroplane, Aeroplane", which is perhaps the earliest Aboriginal song about an aeroplane. Unfortunately, I do not know what the lyrics are. My source is John Carder Bush, who when I asked remembered the source, but not the exact content of the lyrics.
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 17:08:41 -0500
From: cbullard@HiWAAY.net (Len Bullard)
Subject: The Dreaming
|> "The bush" in this context actually refers to those parts of Australia not yet covered with desert, mountains, cement, bitumen, open-cut mines, log trucks, old nuclear test sites, beach umbrellas, etc.
That would have been my guess given the abo context of The Dreaming. However, in the interview (which I saw only once about a decade ago), she said it was a game they played. Frewer was kidding her about it in a *salacious* way. It's been quite a while and I could be wrong. The memory goes as the pressed byopia comes. Sigh... droopy eyes and all.
Maybe someone out there has a tape of that interview. I could never find it again and it was an interesting bit because he was pressing harder than I have seen many do with Kate and she was giving as good as she got. I bet she is hard to argue with and get anywhere.
On to "Night Of The Swallow"
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996