Today Candice Blackmore of Blackmore's Night CD (she's also the wife of Deep Purple/Rainbow guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore) tells about the song "Darkness" from the new 'Autumn Sky,' which hits stores next Tuesday. Here is the story:
We often get musical inspiration from various sources in our band Blackmore's Night. The writing process usually begins where my writing parnter and husband, Ritchie Blackmore, will hear a traditional song, usually from the 12-1500's, and we will take the melody line of a part of that song and add new instrumentation, new arrangements and new musical parts. Then I add new lyrics and a whole new song is created in the process, while retaining the spirit of the original song from hundreds of years ago.
We are very inspired by traditional melodies and have found great sources of inspiration in regional folk melodies as we tour around the world. Our fans know that we love regional folk music and often compile cds for us to listen to the traditional songs of their area when we arrive in their country. One of the songs on our latest cd is called "Darkness" and originally was a traditional melody from the Brittany area of France. We heard it when a German Renaissance band called Des Geyers rediscovered it and reinvented it as an instrumental called "Britonish". When we heard it, we took that melody and played it on recorders and acoustic guitars and slowed it down and it gave it a very haunting feel. Much different than the original version we heard. In writing lyrics I usually listen to the idea of the music that Ritchie has in mind, and then I go into another room and just breathe that melodyline in. I have to really absorb it and feel it, and often the song will tell me what it wants to be about. I find that if you listen to any instrumental melody, it will paint pictures in your head as to what it wants to be about. So I take those pictures painted by the melody and describe them in visual descriptions. Lyrics are my craft so its very important for me to create a storyline that resonates deeply with the listener but that is also reflective of the melody so it all works together and completes the transporting process. Ultimately I want people to be able to escape stresses of the modern day when they listen to our songs.
Darkness was written as the seasons were changing, the summer days were fading into cold autumn nights and as we live right next to a forest I felt as if that were the perfect setting for such an olden melody. The woods always have deep creative meaning, whether it is for poets, painters, or lyricists and this began no differently. But the woods are a very different place during sunlight than during the night time. Our woods are beautiful but very mysterious and with the moon shining overhead and the ancient rocks hidden around certain bends, it holds energies that are very intense, and can be unnerving at night. We often walk through in our cloaks with lanterns in search of owls that we can hear from our home, calling to the darkness. The lyrics of the song brings us to the mysteries of the forest, how while tossing in the modern comforts of our bedroom at night, we still are drawn to the dark, deep, openness of the forest outside and all of her mysteries seem to call us, to entice us from the very arms of sleep. And though many stories run rampant about the woods and what may or may not have happened there...that which only the trees know, we still feel drawn to walk beneath the ever seeing branches and lose ourselves in the magic of the wood.
The final lyric and the chorus alludes to the fact that in reality, it is mankind -which is often an oxymoron- that we need to escape from. There is so much corruption, lies, jealousy, pettiness, greed surrounding us. Nature is an all accepting and incredible place to be, yet man has a constant source of evil running through him. So, in essence, perhaps to return fully to nature and surrender and become one with it is the only truly peaceful place to be. That us what Darkness is about. The dark of peoples souls far outweighs the scariness of the dark, peaceful and calm night time in the wood
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!