“The Tree And The Sky”
Translated by Robin Fulton
There’s a tree walking around in the rain,
it rushes past us in the pouring grey.
It has an errand. It gathers life
out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard.
When the rain stops so does the tree.
There it is, quiet on clear
nights waiting as we do for the moment
when the snowflakes blossom in space.
From Tomas Tranströmer’s New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton (Bloodaxe Books, 2011)
Song based on a poem by Tomas Tranströmer
S.A. Barstow is the solo-project of the Belgian singer-songwriter Teun De Voeght. After his musical adventures as frontman of the band The Shelter Tapes and the duo Drag Rehearsal, it was time for something different.
With S.A. Barstow Teun looks back to his musical heroes like Cohen and Dylan, but also contemporary examples as Bill Callahan and The Tallest Man on Earth are never too far away.
Teun was already working on new songs between the projects. The idea of recording a debut album came with the birth of his sister’s daughter, who is living in Sweden for a couple of years now. As a present he wanted to put a poem of the Swedish poet and Nobel prize winner Tomas Tranströmer to music. He started writing and that one song quickly became a full album, Murmurations.
During the first months of 2012, Teun selected ten poems and went to work. In his small studio, a converted classroom in an old school nearby Ghent, he recorded layer after layer. Due to the subtle arrangements, the acoustic guitar and voice are more prominent. After he recorded the whole album Teun started a series of try-out concerts under the name of S.A. Barstow.
S.A. Barstow is short for ‘Somewhere Around Barstow’. A piece of the opening of the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Gonzo-father Hunter S. Thompson: ‘We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert,…’
Now, a few months later it is finally here. The debut album Murmurations of S.A. Barstow is a fact.
Ten Poems of Tomas Tranströmer
Murmurations is the first album of the solo project S.A. Barstow by singer-songwriter S.A. Barstow. Ten poems of the Swedish poet and Nobel Prize winner Tomas Tranströmer were put to music and brought together in this acoustic anthology. Murmurations is dedicated to his sister’s firstborn, Maud.