by Cosmos T’err
For most of a decade, Carlotta loitered, half-finished, in the fringes of my songbook. Old-fashioned with modern sensibilities, her presence was staunch, her gaze penetrating, yet musically, her identity remained vague.
From my notes, lyrical phrases grew. Concepts evolved. From the growing verses, which mirrored the golden age of vocal jazz in popular music, rhythms took shape.
The push and pull of the low-meet-high energy urban vibration smeared dim sunsets into litter-strewn horizons, pushing Carlotta further from her own light until her voice and her version of the story is all she has ownership of. Cut and paste impressions of the past create a future with little room to breathe or place for more than careful, or perhaps, well-practiced steps.
If the light that is Carlotta can be dimmed through repeated misuse, who does the user think he is? That’s exactly what Carlotta is telling the listener, the user, the consumer. What is it to want? What is it to fulfill the cycle of need when it only leads to more need? If we are what we eat, who are you?
As the time to record drew near, it became obvious to me, Carlotta is avatar, a safe word, a reference point for two lonely souls, both just trying to find a moment of peace however they can buy it. By mentioning the man by the gate, by saying ‘tell your sister she can wait in the garden,’ Carlotta reminds the man of her moment that she once waited in that garden, and that man by the gate may be keeping her inside as much as he’s keeping others out.