Chosen by DJ Monk
Despite the ongoing lockdown in many parts of the Überverse, we are still receiving a healthy bundle of submissions for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title. Many of them are produced against the background of continuing quarantine conditions in some countries, while others reflect artists being able to return and flex their creative muscles once again.
We have only one video for you this week, and the reason will be very obvious. It comes from prog rock legend Fish and the haunting, poignant and reflective video for the powerful and highly emotional ‘Garden Of Remembrance’, the second single to be lifted from the singer’s forthcoming final solo album, ‘Weltschmerz’ which will be released on 25 September.
The song is a beautifully moving and personal piece and stands as the album’s most poignant and personal moment; a gorgeous piano ballad wrapped in a stirring arrangement that showcases one of the finest vocal performances of Fish’s career. With an ever-increasing awareness of old age and its associated illnesses through the death of his father in 2016 and his elderly mother moving into care with Fish and his wife in January 2019, he was presented with a touchstone for the lyrics of the song. The aptly titled ‘Garden Of Remembrance’ tells the story of a married couple dealing with the early onset of dementia and the resulting issues of a husband who is “lost between the here and now/somewhere that he can’t be found” and his wife. With such a delicate and deeply touching subject matter the emotional delivery borders on heart wrenching, with Fish’s superbly spellbinding and fragile performance. Lyrically, he has dared to enter a very dark personal space where most of us fear to tread and has managed to convey a deep beauty that celebrates life in the fading light of days.
“The song was put together as though we were painting a delicate piece of Royal Doulton china,” comments Fish.
To complement the brave and deeply honest song, its accompanying, extremely beautiful video is equally exceptional. Directed by David Lam and Hannah Thompson (daughter of Fish’s long term collaborator and illustrator Mark Wilkinson), the outdoor shots were filmed at daybreak during lockdown on a deserted beach, a glass wall separating the couple at the heart of the story, who at one point are very briefly reunited. Fish’s intense performance, seated alone in an art gallery lined by artwork from his career, is focused directly on the camera, where he allowed his raw emotion to take hold during the filming, resulting in a genuine tear at a crucial moment.
“The video involved a complicated approach as the whole country went into lockdown just as we were due to start filming,” explains Fish.
“I had to be filmed in front of a white screen in my home and then the gallery around me was created as a miniature 3-D model into which I was magically transported. Meanwhile the couple were filmed on an Essex beach, rather than in Scotland as intended and the gigantic glass wall across the beach was intended to symbolise the separation of the couple. However, it came to take on another meaning as lockdown separated families across the country.
“I was very aware of my mother in her room only 15 metres away and, although not on camera, I felt her presence intensely during the performance. My wife’s hand on my shoulders at the end of the video added to the emotional dynamic, drawing together yet another circle within the story.”
‘Weltschmerz’ will be Fish’s 11th – and final – studio recording, bringing the curtain down on a recording career of more than 40 years – during which he has sold millions of records both as the frontman of Marillion and throughout his three decades as a solo artist. The 84-minute double album is available to pre-order now in multiple formats including double digipak CD with 16 page booklet and as a gatefold 180-gram double vinyl.
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