Tuesday, March 31, 2009

constant in opal

i recall wandering through a london record shop and seeing the cover of remote luxury, it struck me before i even knew it was the church. when i saw it was a record by the church i bought it immediately but i probably would have got it if it was a band unknown to me as i liked the cover, fickle youth that i was.
constant in opal was a song that i loved so much, i played it and played it over and over, not really understanding it, what was 'constant in opal'
that strange introduction with it's consistent tone that suddenly drops out, the jangle chords and then that strange lead sustained and intruding in, some synth textures with that baseline that weaves through, carrying the whole song.
what was steve singing about, to a 18 year old it was a mystery, i searched and searched that song for meaning but at the end of the day it was just a great song.
then many many years later i'm in australia, and i hear the live version, and the words take shape, like a jigsaw puzzle coming together, i see the picture take form. australia is known for its opals, people still go out prospecting and looking and some of these outback towns are just dusty and thirsty places. but then i realized the song was about a lot more for me, it was about the search within. the mining we do for inner truth and the jewels we find. and how some people search and some transform through that search, others don't find themselves this way.
now i had an even bigger connection to the band, i was also a puzzled traveller. searching looking within myself, attempting to find a jewel, often finding dust.


timetunnel said...

I didn't know about the opals in Australia. I always thought the song's title just a word play with ancient town Constantinople. Now it makes more sense with its double meaning

iseult said...

its inconstant opal switched around

interesting device to link an ancient city with mining in Australian outback - lightning ridge - and the difficult search for self

a play on the inconstancy of opals because their shifting colour comes from a play of light, the refraction of silica, so there is a transience and deception, a search for something that might not be there even when you find the thing itself

opals "transform effortlesly"

"blues and greens" like changing moods or feelings

jealousy and suspicion are blinding, like being a mine shaft where you can't see the opals or yourself

searching greedily is not the way to find yourself, self awareness cannot be bought or found externally

constantinople is a city between east and west, taken over by various empires, given various names, a city with an inconstant history, an everchanging jewel of a city

there's no end to the references

chrome3d said...

constantinople the city...thanks for bringing it out. Never thought it that way!

captain mission said...

constantinople !
good grief i just see that myself. amazing!!