"Disco Tree" was actually the first track that ever came through - in fact a long time before the rest of the music did, back in 2007. I just didn't realise what it would become at the time. I had come back to Dublin that autumn after finishing my fashion degree in London that summer and it was a very creative time. Free of the suffocating turmoil of constant project deadlines, my mind was very open and I had a renewed enthusiasm to create again. I turned my energies to crystals, jewellery design and photography... I had all sorts of ideas that at 25, I believed I had all the time in the world to put into action and so, I was open to every distraction at the same time. Back in the Dublin scene, there was always a techno gig or all-night party to go to in a basement flat in Rathmines or famous/infamous houses with open-door policies such as Hang Tough and The Minge... Living with one of my best friends, Ruth, just off Baggot St, it was a very crazy and fun time. We were in that magical in-between phase that felt like a crisis on the edge of nowhere in many ways but also every week brought new adventures, memories, inspiration and connections that would become relevant years later and one of those things was the concept and words for "Disco Tree".
October has always been one of my favourite times of the year. We are approaching the period when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest (hello Halloween!) and therefore, we are more open to inspiration from above. In its last fight against change, nature takes on such beautiful vivid colours and calls us out to bask in its golden hour and we cherish such moments in the knowledge that the elements will soon become much harsher. It was therefore one late October afternoon that I found myself wandering around a local park on my own, having been lured away from the concrete pavements by the trees, which had become rather spindly. Gently swaying in the breeze, they looked like they were reaching out to the grey sky in praise of silver linings or in some sort of mystical dance. Disco Trees. That's what they looked like, I thought. They looked so bare and I decided that I needed to replace their leaves with disco balls. I just so happened to have some disco baubles in my bag (yes, I was a magpie at the time) and I placed one on a branch and gazed at the fragmented reflections of the branches in the mirrored facets. As I stood back to capture the beautiful juxtaposition between chintz and nature on my camera, I heard a song in the air. "Come with me to the disco tree, where everyone dances wild and free to a beat in the breeze they cannot see." It wasn't really a song, more like a rap but not quite a rap either... more like a chant. I had always written poetry so "hearing" words form around visions was nothing new but they did not come through in musical form. Was the tree singing to me? Was it in the wind? I wanted to dance but as it was around 4pm and I was alone with no music (apart from that in my head), I silently removed the mirrored bauble and walked away from the Disco Tree instead.
The vision of the Disco Tree always stayed with me and the concept of a beautiful nurturing tree calling people to dance around it is something I always wanted to recreate. These were thoughts that stayed with me but I did nothing with until that pivotal Good Friday afternoon nearly 8 years later when I lay down a beat in my iPad that I thought sounded like treetops swaying in the breeze and it was then when the Disco Tree chant came back to me... This was it. This track would be called "Disco Tree" and if I created enough tracks to form an album, its message would be the heart and name of it. And so I wrote down the rest of the words that came through and the rest of the track formed over the following weeks... I have never considered myself a rapper or any type of vocalist but who else would I get to rap about a tree? Well maybe there are lots of people out there who would and could do it much better than me but for this first version, I knew it would have to be me... It was part of the calling and part of the challenge to deliver these words in the rhythm I heard in the wind that day in Dublin 10 years ago:
Come with me to the Disco Tree
Where everyone dances wild and free
To a beat in the breeze they cannot see.
Listen to the sound of the woodwind tune
That channels a message from the moon
For the blades of grass to stand up tall
Arise from your slumber, hear the call!
Raise your hands to the silver sky that holds a spell for you and I.
"Catch the magic!" hear it cry.
Now we feel it. Soon we'll fly!
And those who hear from near and far
Will cross land and sea to get where we are.
This is the call of the Disco Tree.
It's where I am.
It's where I'll be.
As the words began to come through around Halloween, it is no wonder that they are quite pagan... This track is a pantheist calling. It urges people to let go, follow the nature's messages, trust in the mysteries of its magic and embark on the journey to the Disco Tree, wherever that is for them personally. The Disco Tree for me was the shining beacon that called me to create music, and each track and sound was part of the journey to reach it but I think the Disco Tree can really stand for anything anywhere and if we align ourselves with nature (our own and that of our surroundings), it will be easier to reach.
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