Veronique Bouchet and I have collaborated remotely on this song. Here’s the story behind it.
In August last year I took part in the Singing & Songwriting Retreat run by Paola Vera and Pete Churchill in the Gironde, south-west France. I was looking through mementos of that inspirational event. One of the exercises was a brainstorm session in which we listed a whole range of proverbs, sayings and phrases that might suggest ideas for new compositions. I chose ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and knocked out a tune and lyrics in about half an hour (it shows). Revisiting this example of musical doggerel, it struck me that it might have some merit, particularly in the current climate of estrangement. In the meantime, Veronique and I had been working out ways in which we could collaborate at a distance to build songs from her vocal recordings and my instrumental tracks. We decided to test the technology on the Retreat piece, and it seems to work. Here is the result – Absent minded by me and Veronique, the Socially Distanced Duo.