Written by David Paul Jones
Performed by the DPJ Ensemble
David Paul Jones: vocals/ piano
Carolyn Murray-Hamilton: vocals
Steve Kettley: soprano saxophone
Donnie Gillan: cello
Lucy Borthwick: cello
Robin Mason: cello
Carole Melrose: double bass
Neil Sommerville: percussion
Woop-woop: an imaginary place, a place everywhere and nowhere, a place to escape to, a place without time, a place that can be anything you want it to be, where you create your own magic, where anything or nothing can happen...
I was introduced to this ‘woop-woop’ concept by a friend whilst travelling through Australia in Spring 1999 where much of the material for Something There was created based on vocal and piano improvisations which I had recorded at home in Edinburgh.
Mystery and fantasy are at the heart of Something There. The lyrics form a narrative contemplating the wonder and uncertainty of love and life, the sorrow of loss and the ungraspable nature of creation; the lyrics shift between a kind of ‘sound-poetry’ and actual words, where meaning is at times ambiguous but always driven by an underlying sense of wonderment.
Something There is divided into 5 extended songs which more or less run continuously. The orchestration is founded almost entirely on the piano tremolo which ripples and reverberates throughout intertwined with Neil’s sparse yet unforgettable presence on percussion. The melodic aspects are shared between Carolyn’s sensationally rich powerful vocals and my somewhat more distant vocals together with Steve’s soaring soprano saxophone. A constant harmonic depth is provided by Donnie, Lucy, Robin on cello and Carole on bass.
An early version of Something There was commissioned by Cryptic Productions, Glasgow as part of an arts festival based on the work of the Irish writer Samuel Beckett in Autumn 2000; the title is taken from Beckett’s poem Something There (1974). I later developed the original orchestrations throughout 2001 adding Carolyn’s vocals and it is this revised version which is recorded here for Linn Records.
This is my first recording and I owe a huge thanks to the DPJ Ensemble, Philip Hobbs and Calum Malcolm for their inspiring and sensitive craftsmanship throughout the process of performing and recording Something There.
Something There is dedicated to my dad, Pat.
DPJ, Edinburgh July 2002