The music from Australian singer-songwriter David Bridie features prominently in my music library. Today’s song Breath is from his debut solo album Act of Free Choice (cover above) released in 2000. Unlike the high-art pop music he composed with his band My Friend The Chocolate Cake his solo music is much more experiential and introspective in nature. He seemed to have been exploring a new world of sound by creating a sonic visual to allow the listener to immerse themselves. It took me considerable time to succumb to these haunting songs from Act of Free Choice including today’s track Breath, but I’m well and truly on board now.
slowly shut your eyelids
feel all overcome
something’s working beautifully
something’s this much fun
but can you taste it
sort through it
bite into it spread it round
you didn’t see it coming
now you just hold your breath
I couldn’t help but think of Australian writer Tim Winton’s words in his book by the same ‘Breath’ which I reviewed here – “It’s funny, but you never really think much about breathing. Until it’s all you ever think about.”
PopMatters described Act of Free Choice ‘as one of the most quintessential Australian albums ever recorded. The album, a blue fog of shuddering drum loops, haunting piano scales and sky-sweeping atmospheres, evokes the lonely stretches of Australia’s outback, while narrating a generation’s worth of political strife’.
David Bridie remarked about his solo music and Act of Free Choice: ‘I love working with sound and I love working with story and Australia has an abundance of both. Some wonderful stories and characters….. And the landscape here is this wide brown land is awe inspiring…It is a large, big sky country. It can kill you at a moment’s notice if you aren’t prepared.. There is an intense beauty as well. The sound is quiet, there are harmonic frequencies in the wind, on the salt lakes… the land over powers you, and it is great respite from the mundane city life.’
1. Wake to Dream: An Interview with David Bridie, Australia’s Best Kept Secret – PopMatters
Hey Matt…first of all I hope you are doing well. I have heard of his name but not his music. I like it…his voice grabs you when you listen to it.
Hi Max, Thanks and my best wishes go out to you and your family as well. We are holding up well. Thank you.
I’m glad you like his voice. We have discussed another song of his but with the group ‘My Friend the Chocolate Cake’ called ‘a Midlife Tale’ which is one of my favourite song’s of his. His solo work seems is more reflective and meditative. I’ll admit it too me a while to like this record.
His voice jumps out because it brightens up the track…it really does. I thought we did but couldn’t place it.
I’m glad you are all doing well. Today we go pick up groceries we ordered…like a miliary maneuver.
I think it was voice which grabbed me from the first moment I heard Bridie’s music.
I know what you mean about it being like a military exercise leaving the house. Here in Colombia they have taken the strangest of steps by allowing women and men to leave on alternate days!
Wow that is odd. I don’t really understand that.
I have to go into a grocery store today and I’m making a list so I can dash from place to place.
Odd indeed. We can’t just keep living in quarantine like this and it’s not like the virus will just disappear. Sooner or later the population at lesser risk will have to confront it and develop an immunity, me thinks or the economy (or what’s left of it) will create more harm than the virus.
Good luck on your little adventure today. I might go out as well after doing a cardio routine here. But I don’t if today they let men or women out. How ridiculous lol
It’s starting to warm up a little here….I hope it helps when the humidity hits.
I guess men and women spit up the crowd a little bit lol.
No the economy won’t keep surviving this. I don’t think we will get out until May at the earliest.
I don’t think we’ll be out here until late June. I hope I am wrong. I think in America people won’t stand for the restrictions after a certain period especially if there is a sense the hospitals aren’t overrun. Sooner or later nearly everyone will be exposed to the virus it seems. Sure thing, I hope the warmer weather and humidity brings relief where you are.
Yea some American’s will but a lot are terrified right now so i think it will be a while. The question will be when will it have to happen?
I like this very much. Never heard of him or the song! The repetition of the melodic line sort of acts like a mantra – and makes it very relaxing and peaceful.
You had heard of Bridie before since you commented on his previous two songs ‘Midlife’s tale’ and ‘Blue Black Sky’ which were posted here. I know sometimes it’s easy to miss things since we are exhausted by so much content in this day and age!
I’m glad you liked it Bruce!
Gosh! So sorry about not cottoning on. Actually I always read your write up before listening, and had read the performer as David Bowie – so when the video played I kept thinking that; it was pretty original even for Bowie!
No, don’t be sorry Bruce, completely understandable. I don’t think Bridie would have been too upset if he and his music were confused for Bowie!
It’s funny, but usually I don’t take much notice of performer’s names. When I was small my mother used to think I was interested in piano players which I wasn’t (apart from Rubinstein!) and I think I developed a block!
My memory is usually like a sieve except when it comes to music and movie trivia.
What a coincidence that I posted a video link to a Rubinstein performance considering how enamored you were with him. I suppose it was bound to happen soon or later considering the amount of classical in my collection and Rubinstein’s 8 decade public career.
I’m most bad when it comes to knowing actors.I have to look them up every time one dies!
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Another great song about breathing is “Breathe” by Alexi Murdoch.
Thank you, I’ll check it out.
That was very mellow with a little touching of haunting, although haunting might be too strong a word. He reminded me of a lot of music, none of which, very unhelpfully, can I list by name! Well, one comes to mind: a more mellow Peter Gabriel, maybe. Not the voice as much as the melody. Thanks for sharing!
In terms of how it affects me I would consider it ‘haunting’ especially if taken in context with the music video. I’m not very familiar with Peter Gabriel although I played his record ‘So’ to death as a youngster.
Yeah, that was the one I was listening to too!
“Don’t give up
‘Cause you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not beaten yet…”
One of my favs.
Yeh, I adored that album when I was younger. I should hear it again. There is one part in it which you made remember thinking – that was spectacular, but I have to hear it again lol
It took me a while to get back. Haha. I hope this message finds you well. The part in ‘Don’t Give up’ I love is when Kate Bush elevates it at 2:50 and then Gabriel goes all out at 3:20. Brilliant.