21. Six Degrees North
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In 2017 the extended family had a two-week holiday in Sri Lanka. While personally not keen on witnessing crowded chaos, third world poverty, environmental degradation, and unrepaired major damage from the 2004 tsunami, it would have been churlish not to go as it was a special birthday milestone for Elaine. A key ‘chill’ week at the start in the south west was spent in a villa right on the Indian Ocean beach and a pleasant time was had by all nine participants. The title is named after that villa.
I had always intended to write some relevant words to sum up my own experience of the country, but the options were just too many, too wide ranging, and over-earnest.
While trying to write a new song with the always-present (and not as yet met) challenge of using just 3 chords, I came upon the start of this piece, but more chords were soon shouting “use me, use me”. The cruisy feel reflected the feeling of being in that villa ... admittedly behind a security-guarded 10-foot concrete wall separating us from the madness beyond. I devised a soundscape at the start to indicate arriving at Colombo airport, the assault on the senses in the street, the inevitable tuk-tuk ride, and the sanctuary of the villa and the pounding ocean washing away the stress.