Eye of the Storm
Written: February 2018
Recorded: February 2021
Credits: Liam Johnson (guitalele, bass)
In August 2017, I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as the guitarist for a musical, which incidentally where I met my boyfriend Benjamin Jackson. One day after the performance, we went for a walk around the city where I stumbled across a guitar shop. Abiding by the code of guitarists everywhere, I refused to simply walk past it and went straight inside. Among the instruments in there was a £70 guitalele - a ukulele with 6 strings tuned similarly to a guitar. I fell in love with the idea of having a mini guitar to play around with so I bought it and took it back to our accommodation.
I knew very early on that I wanted to write something specifically for the guitalele. Hunting for the unique qualities of the guitalele that separate it from the guitar, I made the most of my time exploring lots of different shapes and possibilities. Then I had the idea of writing a piece of music for it that made the instrument sound bigger and more epic than the instrument itself. Something that started calm and serene but finished with a bang. The musical ideas started coming to me until the finish piece was made.
It took me a while to come up with a suitable name for the piece. After playing the piece to a relative one day, she told me that it conjured up the image of a storm or a tornado. Given that my ukulele was a matte black, the idea of a dark storm coming in suddenly felt appropriate and therefore Eye of the Storm was born. To add extra depth, I decided to add a bass line that similarly starts off subdued and ends frantically. However, the piece stands up on its own with just the guitalele and packs just as much punch as a regular guitar tune. And yes, those fast parts took forever to record!