Letter to David Crowder

I found this lurking on my computer. It’s an e-mail I wrote to Crowder after hearing “A Collision” for the first time. I’d forgotten the story that went with it. I can’t believe this actually happened to me…

Hey David,

Well, you were right. It was all worth it. The wait, that is. My little bubble envelope with ‘A Collision’ inside it finally made its merry way over the sea to Scotland and into the hands of my local sub-postmistress who lovingly cared for it until I was able to pick it up. Heavens. What can I say? I sat in my lounge with the speakers bounding across the floor and absorbed every bit of it that I could. You have excelled yourselves. Nothing quite prepared me for this. You have captured everything from agony to elation in one unified, majestic work. Holy cow, have you ever! David, you have pregnant songs. By pregnant I do not mean that they are fat and ungainly and have the potential to cause unsightly scarring. I mean that they hold promise and explosive might and beautiful things that will pour out and change the world they interact with.

This has been a week filled with promise. For starters, on Tuesday of last week (The 27th no less!) I got engaged to Naomi. Talk about promise! I am so excited at the prospect of spending life with this woman who stumbled into my life. Amazing, and it’s been a long time coming. Then, there was the anticipation of the CD arriving. Then there was the actual arrival and the subsequent anticipation of getting the thing played. And then there was the unfolding, the revelation and the discovery of further promise in the music. The promise of finding new things in these songs for many moons to come. The promise found in ‘Be lifted or Hope Rising’ (now THAT is a pregnant song).

So I’m sitting there last night in my lounge with, as I say, the speakers bounding around my room, and I listen to the album in its entirety. I have read the notes on the website along with each track and have been absorbed and fulfilled by the experience. However, due to the fact that it is by this time 1.45am, I’m thinking this is a good time to go to bed. So I hop in, set my analogue alarm clock, reach over again and set my second digital alarm clock with the green LCD display (sadly a necessity as I am as loath to leave my bed as I am to enter it at a reasonable time – It’s 1.25am as I write this. Point made), I turn off the light, sink into darkness and the blissful rest of sleep.

Now, the events that follow happened in a very short space of time, but to me it aaaaaallll sloooooowwweddd dooooowwwn liiiiike thiiiiiiisssss. Usually I sleep right through, but last night, I dunno if it was that the album was still whirling round in my head or what, but in any case, in the middle of the night my eyes pop right open. I’m in the house alone, I live alone and nobody stays even particularly near me. So imagine my alarm and consternation when, as my eyes burst into life, I see the outline of another person in the bed next to me. So I do what any normal person would do. I freak out utterly and completely. I scream violently and my body involuntarily jerks into an upright sitting position. This sudden movement has obviously disturbed the slumber of the unknown entity currently inhabiting the other side of my bed, and they too leap up into a sitting position. This is simply too much for me to handle in my fragile state and so I fling my hand out, partly to protect myself from the possibility of attack but largely with the intention of whacking the person in the jaw. At this point I just about break my wrist as my fist makes positive contact with the wall beside me and I realise that my shadowy bed-mate is in fact my own shadow being projected by the green LCD display of the aforementioned digital alarm clock. I have seldom been so embarrassed in my own company.

All of this is to say the following; It’s amazing how we can each be so surprised by something so familiar. That’s pretty much what happened when I listened to ‘A Collision’. As a long-time lover of your music, there are elements there which seem as familiar as my own shadow, but in this context, they are so surprising, so insightful, so startling, so beautiful, so frightening at times that it kicks your senses into a whole new field and your spirit soars and sometimes, just sometimes, you punch a hole in your wall.

For this, my friend, I thank you.

Gum bitheadh sith agus sonas an Spiorad maille riut.
(May the peace and contentment of the Spirit be with you)

Iain MacKinnon

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