Avalanche

A cover version of ‘Avalanche‘ by Leonard Cohen. The song was arranged initially using Garageband on the iPad, and then ported to the desktop version to create the final arrangement, add the vocals and effects.

I’m fascinated by the ‘presets’ in musical software as a starting point for arrangement, I have been since my first electronic instrument. All the note patterns were initially produced from the preset picking and playing of the software – my robotic band of soulless automatons, relentlessly shifting from chord to chord at my command, never dropping a note. I like to force them to change instruments, and subject them to destructive audio processing, but they don’s seem to mind.

The song is notoriously difficult to play on the guitar, and the original is a piece of virtuosity which would be impossible to better. Instead I’ve taken the song to it’s menacing roots, the story of a detested lover at the end of a dying relationship.

Well I stepped into an avalanche,
it covered up my soul;
when I am not this hunchback that you see,
I sleep beneath the golden hill.
You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn, learn to serve me well.

You strike my side by accident
as you go down for your gold.
The cripple here that you clothe and feed
is neither starved nor cold;
he does not ask for your company,
not at the centre, the centre of the world.

When I am on a pedestal,
you did not raise me there.
Your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare.
I myself am the pedestal
for this ugly hump at which you stare.

You who wish to conquer pain,
you must learn what makes me kind;
the crumbs of love that you offer me,
they’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.
Your pain is no credential here,
it’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound.

I have begun to long for you,
I who have no greed;
I have begun to ask for you,
I who have no need.
You say you’ve gone away from me,
but I can feel you when you breathe.

Do not dress in those rags for me,
I know you are not poor;
you don’t love me quite so fiercely now
when you know that you are not sure,
it is your turn, beloved,
it is your flesh that I wear.

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