Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 005
Mon, Jan 21, 2013
“The Way You Dream [feat. Michael Stipe & Asha Bhosle]”
1 Giant Leap
If you’re looking rhythmic inspiration, here’s a global trip for your mind, body and all your five senses, that you must experience called 1 Giant Leap. Duncan Bridgeman and his creative partner Jamie Catto spanned the global interviewing philosophers, authors, actors, businessmen, scientists, and, anyone in between. “We’ve gone from musicians to filmmakers to interviewers to political commentators to almost new-age workshop leaders,” Catto told Billboard Magazine. “When you mosaic all these people talking soulfully about death, for example, you get on the surface this incredible amount of diversity. But underneath it, you get this phenomenal unity of soul — the stuff that connects you to me. You get this thing that isn’t exactly a documentary or a pop video, but a great big beautiful artistic mélange. It’s a big spoonful of sugar for quite deep stuff.”
It is deep, quite heady, but the best part of 1 Giant Leap, for me, is the music. My favorite song is “The Way You Dream” with Michael Stipe and Bollywood’s Crown Jewel and the lyrical voice of India, Asha Bhosle. Duncan described how Bhosle came to sing on 1 Giant Leap when he said, “When we met Asha Bhosle by chance in Jaipur after that, we didn’t have anything for her to sing on, because we didn’t know we were going to meet her! But the track with the tabla was still loaded up in the computer, so I played it to her. She liked it and started to sing, and it sounded fantastic, so we did a couple of takes.” Bhosle is the first singing voice we hear soaring through “The Way You Dream,” so beautifully, eternal and free. Her voice is so divine; you can hear why The World Records Academy certified Bhosle as the “Most Recorded Artist” in the world.
And then from Bombay to Athens, GA, Duncan then described Michael Stipe’s contribution to 1 Giant Leap when he said, “We’d written some lyrics to give to people to sing, including somewhere, as a writing exercise, we said ‘Let’s each write a totally personal verse.’ Michael took the first three lines of the verse that Jamie had written about himself, and that gave him something to work from, which he then added to. Then I played him back what we’d recorded with Asha Bhosle, and he started to sing over the top.”
When Stipe sings is where the promise of 1 Giant Leap comes to fruition. The melding of multiple cultures with harmony and song come to light within the sharing of Asha and Michael’s voice reflecting their global connection through the spirit of the music. Stipe said this about working with Bridgwood and Catto, “because of their audacity to take on such an ambitious project. It is so outrageously ambitious. But there was a lot of skill involved in not making it just a patchwork quilt.”
Stipe was the reason I even listened to Duncan and Jamie’s rhythmic excursions. If it wasn’t for Michael I don’t think I would’ve made the journey inside the musical trip that is 1 Giant Leap. You see, Michael Stipe changed my life. When I was a teenager, adrift, with only my love of music as my lyrical shield and R.E.M. was my band. I was such a devoted R.E.M. supporter that I managed to collect any song that included the voiced poetic mumblings of Michael Stipe.
I actually met Stipe after a show in San Antonio. Even back then circa 1987, Stipe was a living enigma, carrying a half bottle of whiskey under his arms, although he wouldn’t sign autographs Michael did shake all of our hands, the group of fans that waited outside by the buses to meet him. I couldn’t believe it, on the way home, listening to my Murmur cassette; I met the voice coming out of my car stereo speaker. I went home and immediately wrote a letter, to our local San Antonio Light newspaper, describing my interaction with one of my idols. Somehow my letter was published the very next week, and that’s what sparked my long dedicated love affair to my craft of writing, that continues lovingly today. And I owe this, thank you, Michael Stipe!
Thankfully my devotion to Michael Stipe moved me to watch this intellectual mind seduction for your senses. Do you need another reason to take the 1 Giant Leap; Duncan described his goal for 1 Giant Leap as, “When we were making the film, we were really interested in the idea of where inspiration comes from, so we asked everyone. And more or less everyone said the same thing. You let go, and it will come to you. You’re not thinking about it, and suddenly, you’ve done something incredible. Just keep your ears and your eyes open, and react when things happen!” With Asha Bhosle and Michael Stipe as your lyrical guides, get ready to experience your dreams coming to life within the sounds of 1 Giant Leap.
The original album version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmGoJuUTx1U
And here’s the uncut film version from the 1 Giant Leap with Tim Booth: