Lisa Knapp has unveiled her new video for Shipping Song which is taken from her new album Hidden Seam, which was our recent Album of the Month. It’s turning out to be a great year for Lisa who has also been nominated in 3 categories for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award: Folk Singer Of The Year, Best Album and Best Non-Traditional Track for Two Ravens (which Martin Carthy played on).
In her recent interview with Folk Radio UK she talked at length about the track:
“The words are so idiosyncratic that you remember them distinctly, all the weather stuff too, cyclonic 4, squally, showers etc. It creates a mythic place I think. A place always imagined rarely visited.
“Initially I wasn’t really aiming for anything in particular with the song, in that I didn’t really have the sound of the song in my head before hand or anything. I was musing at the time a lot around the concept of water on the planet, how it’s in everything, how we can never be far from this substance, how it exists in every element, as solid as liquid and as gas, and how magnificently water got here in the first place. They say these great oceans hit the planet from space in huge clusters!!
“I can’t really remember the moment I thought of using the Shipping Forecast but I began to mess around with the order of the regions to try to find some sort of rhyme. It was pure coincidence that Gerry and I started jamming one day and as I’d been messing round with it I just blurted it out over some chords Gerry banged out (literally) on the autoharp. It sort of formed itself, then I went off and wrote the middle part using the autoharp. I wanted at that point to express something about the idea of how connected we are to these watery spaces and that the same water flows though us all, generationally, also, and this idea is contained in the title track Hidden Seam as well, I think it’s very poetic that in singing, in speaking and breathing we constantly emit water through our breath which connects to these areas in the Shipping Forecast.
“We then recorded the vocals and autoharp in the studio where Gerry made a completely magical section for the middle with strings and added vocals. I knew that I’d like some sort of programming so some time after I contacted Oliver Cherer as I’d admired his work under his moniker of Dollboy. We had a lovely evening at his flat choosing sounds that fitted my description of ‘pips and squeaks’ basically. A while after that I was ill in bed for a week or so, bored as hell, and I thought I’d really like to see if I could find some recorded sounds and that’s when I came across this amazing 1960′s US Marine recording of creatures and motors from under the sea, the sounds of the porpoises and narwhals and seals really bring the under water thing to life I think. They make me think of all the life under the sea in those amazing regions chanted in the forecast.”