Oyster is the first song in a song cycle for the Hermes Experiement. The other two will be premiered in November at a New Dot's concert.
This song was written in response to the photograph Lovescape8 by Thurstan Redding. For me, the hands at the centre of this photograph instantly make it a very tactile image. They give a sense of the rough texture of the bricks they are superimposed on at the same time of as the tenderness and urgency of the way they grasp their lover. The way that the photo seemed to bring a very intimate moment to a public space – an East London street – inspired the subject and nature of Oyster. I turned to poet Octavia Bright, sharing both Thurstan’s Lovescape and my thoughts about it with her. Her sensuous poem Huit(re), which explores moments of sexual pleasure from a female perspective, was adapted especially to relate to this photograph. Oyster weaves together delicate melodic counterpoint and playful dance-like passages, as well as building textural fabric from within the unusual and fascinating instrumental ensemble to support Octavia’s words.
Text by Octavia Bright
Watching you drink me, feeling you think me, I drown in the threads of your thoughts as they struggle to sink me.
Notes trill through my teeth like krill through a reef and I atrophy.
Barnacled bricks stuck limpet slick,
Knuckles are shredded, my blood runs thick,
Breathing the depths of your full fathom eyes, my oyster flesh pinking in sympathy.