Liner Notes for
A Ripple in Time
[Note: Nicholas's notes in gold text]
In a certain sense, I will always think of this collection of songs as a tribute to the lifelong friendship and continuing collaboration of Nicholas and myself.
Most of the songs take up once again the theme of the passage of time, or the "chronos complex" evident in many of our compositions.
A romantic theme of reincarnation as well as the phenomenon of déjà vu, which most of us have experienced at one time or another. Many of the thoughts and images are perhaps residual ripples of the old Technicolor romance/adventure films like Captain Blood, Sea Hawk, The Mark of Zorro and movies of that basic swashbuckling genre that both Nicholas and I watched and delighted in as children.
I originally composed music to Robert's lyrics which, though in the mode of where my song structure was at at that time, didn't properly, in my opinion, enhance the theme of the song. It was to be a few years until I would sit down with the lyrics and this melody line would evolve.
Angel of Love:
I cannot exactly recall today the precise inspiration for this surreal set of lyrics. I did, however, create several pen and ink figure drawings that did coincide with the lyrics at the time. Only one of the drawings still exists. The others fell prey to one of my periodic artwork purges. I often find that I have more art than I can use personally, and I eradicate or give away that which no longer means much to me.
This lyric was specifically composed for the occasion of my second marriage. Nicholas also composed an organ processional for the same occasion and dedicated the piece to us as a gift.
Wedding Song (Instrumental):
I had written notation for a piano accompaniment of the vocals of "Wedding Song" for use during the wedding ceremony. It wasn't until preparing the songs for this album that I found the notation sheet. When played without the vocals it seemed to stand well on its own and Robert and I thought it would make a nice addition after the song. It was slightly later that the idea came to me to repeat the piano part with a light string background.
Essentially a ballad on the passing of time and mortality, both in nature and in mankind.
The arpeggiated pattern and chord progression of this guitar instrumental developed one evening just as I had picked up the guitar to play. Just one of those times when the muse has treated me well. The "bridge" chords were developed a bit later, but the essence of the song came quickly.
Somewhere In The Night:
This is a literal description of lovemaking from start to finish. I originally wrote this as a prose poem and never even thought of it in terms of a song lyric. It originally appeared in a small chapbook of prose poems: "Beginnings". I was quite surprised and elated when Nicholas sent me the scratch disc version of it. Despite there being no rhyming to the poem, it worked so well with the baroque melody that Nicholas fitted to the words. It is one of the songs that both of us really enjoy performing.
I was looking through Robert's chapbook "Beginnings" and though the poem of "Somewhere in the Night" was more free-flowing and non-rhyming than a strict set of song lyrics, it seemed an intriguing idea for a song. Sitting down with the guitar, though, the music wove itself out of the poem at one sitting. The instrumental bridge melody of the song was composed for French Horn as my son was an excellent horn player in high school and I wanted him to use his virtuosity to enhance the song. Unfortunately, by the time the song was written, he had, as most teens do, given up playing the instrument and I was never able to coax him into even playing it once.
Ripples To A Pond:
This was written as a simple love ballad set against the emergence of springtime in the 1970s when I lived in Chicago.
This is a ballad describing a border town of the same name, metaphorically, as a woman. An account, "A Tale of Two Cities", will give the reader some background to the song and can be read at: Info--History.
Early on when this song was written, it was just six verses played and sung straight through. When working on the material for this album, I thought of inserting a bridge of guitar chords in the middle of the song between verse three and four. Then, literally the night before leaving New Mexico to fly to Chicago to record the album, I sat down with my twelve-string guitar while listening to a recording of the song and created the acoustic "lead" guitar part over the chords. It was one of those spontaneous moves with which I was extremely excited and quite pleased.
A return to the theme of time and mortality. This is one of our songs that when I perform it or listen to a recording of it, I never fail to recall and feel the images and sensibilities I experienced when I was inspired to write it.
The use of the deep strings of the twelve-string guitar was a new twist to this song which enhanced the dark, somber mood of the lyrics.
When I wrote the melody of this instrumental, the entire song originally consisted of the first part and the quickened second part of the song. After playing it for a few days I developed the third part where the theme is more of a lead and the alternate "B" theme became abbreviated.
The first real song Nicholas and I collaborated on. Even today, so many years on, I continue to enjoy the ambiance of candle light, especially at twilight as it wards off the descending darkness with its warm glow.
The theme of this simple lyric poem always evoked a mood which took my imagination to the delicate intricacies of a room in a villa in Spain. Thus the Spanish flavor to the melody.
Book Of Misery:
A love song of missed opportunities; a perennial love ballad theme.
A Note On The LP Album:
I was very pleased with the finished product: The gatefold painting by Nicholas, the stamped metallic Changes logo with the barbed-wire heart (suggested by producer Jeffrey Cornille of White Label), the beautiful white vinyl on the 700 copies, and the blue vinyl on the 77 special-issued copies. Interestingly, the two photos (past and present) appearing on the back cover were both taken on Easter Sunday about half a century apart! The early one was taken on the north side of Chicago in the area known as Bucktown, and the other one was taken on a street in Manhattan, NY when we performed at the "Black Easter" performance.
--R. N. Taylor
--December 5th, 2006