During the past few years I’ve been keeping out of mischief by recording material which I then launch upon an unsuspecting world via Distrokid. To my astonishment, back in the days when statistics were more easily accessible from that site, I found I was getting rather more plays than I had expected. ‘Memories of Water’ began as just such a project, but when Dave expressed an interest in playing the drums on it I suggested we do it as Airbridge. To this end, the weaker of my songs could be weeded out and replaced with Dave’s, thus making it more of a band effort.
Contrary to a recent-ish podcast featuring ex-member Edward Percival, I never wanted to be the Band Writer. The whole philosophy behind Airbridge was to explore the personal musical boundaries of as many of the band members who cared to put ideas forward. I was, and remain, of the opinion that variety is the spice of life.
Dave, at this point, had aquired a drum studio – the house of a friend who was working away and needed someone to mind his home in his absence. So the process began, with me sending sound-files to Dave, who’d put the drums on and send them back to me.
Meanwhile, I had been helping out with a sort of music school-cum-youth orchestra called La Banda Larga here in Roccalbegna. They are essentialy a collection of very promising students of Maddalena Pastorelli and Jason Crompton, two local music teachers who met and married while teaching in Ramalla. (Hey! Was that a flattened fifth or another bomb?) Obviously, I invited them into the fun-and-games that was to become ‘Memories’, and their contributions have expanded the overall sound of the album as much as Dave’s. So, with three proper musicians to help, my amateur doodles became something rather more.
However, the Coming of Covid was soon upon us, and Dave’s friend had to return sooner than expected. Dave lost his drum studio, and the intended last song, ‘Grande Finale’, remains a demo on my computer. Ironically, it also means that Dave’s songs don’t have drums on them. They do, however, have his lyrical acoustic (6 and 12 string) playing, which, when asked to add things my end, I was anxious to preserve. Later, he was to add some quite expressive electric guitar of his own, and a rather juicy fuzzed organ solo to ‘Canterbury Kate’.
Jason and Maddalena were able to keep teaching by use of smartphones, and they just didn’t have the time to offer any of their own compositions this time round. However, I have been able to record some of Jason’s material for the next project. Dave’s friend, Martin Cook, a professional illustrator, has been an Airbridge fan since… well… before he was born, and it was he who, besides constructing a beautiful cover/booklet, persuaded us to go for a full-on release on cd. So, with the help of mastering engineer John Hughes, here it is….