The title was donated by my friend tui of Orla Wren and I wrote a short piece of verse based upon it, intended to be spoken (rather like the Eno/Cluster song ‘Broken Head’). It’s loosely about a river fisherman and a rather low-rent Naiad (river Nymph, that is). He sees her every time he goes fishing and they ought to fall in love, but it never stops raining on him and she spends most of her time asleep, anyway, so the situation remains in stasis. We deliberately kept the music very spartan so that when the pizzicato cello line comes in, mid-way, it creates a real impact. Then the piece drifts off, in waltz time, like a cross between Can’s “Sing Swan Song” and a daydreaming character from The Wind In The Willows. In usual Smile Down style, I sort out the acoustic side and moomLooo creates all the electronic elements. Anita Wernström was the perfect filmmaker for this song. We really needed someone to approach the piece from a maverick and additive point of view, not to be overly respectful. I’ve never seen the point of any film-for-a-song if it only reinforces what’s already there in the song. Anita really runs with the story and brings in her own vivid style of elegant yet forceful physicality. You’ll certainly never look at a goldfish in the same way again.
One Feathered Shoal’ is the opening song on the new album by Anglo-Japanese Magic Realist Pop band, Smile Down Upon Us (titled Smile Down Upon Us 2), released in the UK on Where It’s At Is Where You Are records on 25 March 2016 on deluxe heavyweight vinyl (also available in its Yacca records Japanese cd imprint). This promo film was created by the widely exhibited Swedish performance and multi media artist, Anita Wernström.