There are times when a certain song will spin open our inner spigots unto a trickle or torrent of emotion or, elsewise, inspire us to scramble up the side of an ideological mountain we haven’t climbed before. Maybe, along the way, we’ll become reacquainted with some deeply recessed reminiscence of the heart or are otherwise emboldened to simply reach beyond our own complacency of thought. As a writer who doesn’t always write in silence, I find this frequently to be the case for me personally—on both counts. Then there are other occasions, which I tend to believe are more common to committed musicians as a group, when an idea or an emotional strumming of the heartstrings actually leads to the reverse: the creation of music. The latter is the case for the track above; I began composing it around an idea a couple of months ago. It was just a simple get-me-to-tinkering project. Musically, it’s chiefly an experiment in percussion; it’s definitely more enjoyable with headphones if you’re an audiophile.
Snakeden, in simplest terms, is a track in consideration of what it means to brave the darker basements of ourselves. It’s about skipping through life happily headlong and then, sometimes quite suddenly, finding ourselves slap-cuffed, blindfolded and bounced into that dank and gray-walled backroom of our hearts, trapped there for a while with all our ugly stuff: pride, pain, anger, fear, jealousy, bitterness, insecurity, vengefulness, and the utterly disgusting lie that we cannot rise above their ghastly grasps. While there, we desperately dance in the dim light of airlessly tight quarters, hissing peril writhing underfoot. In no way whatsoever am I to suggest these seductive emotions are healthy; great danger seeks to devour us there. But, if we’re honest, it’s an unwantedly necessary engagement. As with the babe discovering what hot means for the very first time or the morose memories of clawing our way through that first ‘life-threatening’ teenage break-up (so easy now to look upon such things with a smirk and shake of the head), these negative experiences are the nasty vermin that teach us a broom can be used for more than sweeping. Moreover, we sometimes need to quite intentionally, preparedly go there, or allow ourselves to be taken there in our aloneness, not to be consumed but to courageously confront the murderously selfish monsters roaming our own underground, to face what lurks and slinks in the unattended and cobwebbed corners of our minds—and ultimately to battle, beat back and banish those baser beasts. They don’t belong there. Every bright, noble and beautiful thing we’ve ever seen or heard or felt literally pays the rent on the place. It’s about clearing that space, making room for what’s higher, greener, more enlivening and emancipating and worthy. It’s a matter of making the snakeden a has-been.
Of course, we gotta know that going in. And we gotta believe in walking out of a blooming garden where there was the gaping mouth of a cave.