Thursday, August 2, 2007


Samarkand "Maracanda" MP3

This was in many ways the song that started the whole Samarkand business. I wrote it in one of the practice rooms in the dorms at Berklee in fall 1992. I had just gotten the Zoom 9002 effects, which were incredible at the time. It was the first piece of gear I owned that not only sounded amazing but was small enough to be carried around easily like a Walkman & sounded literally incredible on headphones.

So I found a nice...placid....guitar sound. And the guitar part kind of wrote itself once I turned out the light! Ridiculous, I know. Can you imagine locking yourself in a dark closet with a guitar & some headphones? I'm sure. The music sounded like Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil to me.

The lyrics were a pretentious recollection of a deceased relationship.

This song was originally called "Samarkand." Later I added the "lately I've been thinking" part and retitled it "Maracanda," which was an earlier name for the city Samarkand.

We want to try to do this one properly for the new CD but we have our work cut out for us since the whole thing sounds like nothing but pretentious wank to me now.

I still remember that look on your face
As we wandered through that deserted space
The palaces fallen to disrepair
Smell the decay hanging in the air

For lust of knowing what should not be known
We journey on the golden road

One too many fights brought it all down
There's nothing left of this majestic town
Your knowing glance became a vacant stare
While Maracanda fell into disrepair

Lately I've been thinking
I'd rather not be here
Lately I've been thinking
I'd much rather be there


Darrin said...

Was Maracanda on the green album? Was it Maracanda or Samarkand on that album, if it indeed was on the green album?

Wow... is that a marimba in there? That sounded great. I'm reading a book on the 'complete' Rolling Stones recording sessions at the moment. Honestly, I dig some of the Stones' tunes, but I honestly don't have much of their stuff other than the greatest hits. Anyhoooo... alot of their early hit singles had alot to do with Brian Jones futzing around new instruments, like the sitar (on Paint It, Black) and Under My Thumb where he played marimba (which is why this song reminded of that fact.

And when the hell did you live in Philadeliphia?

*insert Spinal Tap 'Stonehenge' song here*

Darrin said...

Steel drums. Figured it out on the second listen. Or maybe it's marimba. *shrug* Either way... it sounded good in there.

::: said...

Yep, green album = "Samarkand". Last song on side 2. Complete with seagull and ocean sound effects. :)

"Marimba", sort of.... it's one of the presets on the SK-5! Ha. I was listening to a lot of Dead Can Dance at the time & that 'marimba' part was the result.

I lived in Philly from fall 1994 to March 1995. I worked third shift at the Kinko's on Penn (or was it Penn State?)'s campus. Michael Million was out there going to art school & I was doing nothing with my life, so I moved out there. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Too bad I only got to see him like five times in six months! It's okay though, I learned a lot while I was there. I'm not bitter at all, for once.