Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link

Episode 10: On My Way Home, an Immigrant's Lament

May 04, 2021 Peter Link
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 10: On My Way Home, an Immigrant's Lament
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Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 10: On My Way Home, an Immigrant's Lament
May 04, 2021
Peter Link

On My Way Home - An Immigrant’s Lament is a newly released song written, produced and performed by Peter Link. The issues of immigration today are as perplexing a problem as many of the most challenging issues that we, as the human race, face.  Why? Because at the heart of the Immigration problem lies one of our fundamental truths or principles that we all must live by — the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The song is one man’s story of his journey as an Immigrant to America. The song was also made into a music video by videographer, Skye Malone.  In this episode Peter both discusses the evolution of the song and also interviews Skye detailing his creative process in the making of the video.

Watch "On My Way Home" on Vimeo 

Watch "On  My Way Home" on Youtube

Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!

Show Notes Transcript

On My Way Home - An Immigrant’s Lament is a newly released song written, produced and performed by Peter Link. The issues of immigration today are as perplexing a problem as many of the most challenging issues that we, as the human race, face.  Why? Because at the heart of the Immigration problem lies one of our fundamental truths or principles that we all must live by — the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The song is one man’s story of his journey as an Immigrant to America. The song was also made into a music video by videographer, Skye Malone.  In this episode Peter both discusses the evolution of the song and also interviews Skye detailing his creative process in the making of the video.

Watch "On My Way Home" on Vimeo 

Watch "On  My Way Home" on Youtube

Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more about this episode at their website watchfiremusic.com

Join our email list and tell us what you think!

Scattershot Symphony #10

On My Way Home

An Immigrant’s Lament


Welcome to:

Scattershot Symphony

The Music of Peter Link

(That’s me.)


People ask me, “Why “Symphony? You’re not a classical composer.” Well, Wikipedia defines “Symphony” as: an extended musical composition most often written by composers for orchestra – often presented in several movements. 


And so, I bring you the music of a lifetime of composition – often presented in several movements.  That’s the nature of these podcasts – a scattershot look at a lifetime of music …


So, strap on them headphones.  

We’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary. 


So for god sakes, 

(Crowd)

Turn it up!


This week being the tenth episode of this podcast, I prefer to let the music do the talkin’.  However, if you need to know more about me, please visit Wikipedia.com – Peter Link.    


This episode is entitled 

“On My Way Home

An Immigrant’s Lament”


With Guest Artist, Skye Malone


Normally, we’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary. 

Today, it’s about 50/50.

You’ll see why.


Phlutterphase Hang Music Cue


The issues of immigration today are as perplexing a problem as many of the most challenging issues that we, as the human race, face. Consider abortion, the failing environment, the pandemic, the world’s water crisis … Immigration is right up there.


Why? Because at the heart of the Immigration problem lies one of our fundamental truths or principles that we all must live by — the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


On one hand, put yourself in the immigrant’s shoes.  Who would not want the Golden Rule to be the deciding factor in one’s future? As human beings, is it not fundamental to help our fellow man — no matter what their race, religion or color?


On the other hand, how ‘bout the story of the family living on the border between the United States and Mexico who returned from a weekend trip only to find three families of immigrants all camped out, by their pool?


It’s a complex problem, ripe with confusions. 


So, looking at the many issues that we all face as a people going forward, I decided to explore the issue of immigration.  What better way to do this than to put myself into the shoes of one actually going through the experience? And, as usual, I decided to go on this journey of exploration, through the writing of a song.


Though its lyric is of my imagination, it comes from a deep research into 5 or 6 heartbreaking stories of modern day immigrants that I found exploring the Internet.


I wrote the song about a year ago and orchestrated it.  I had a singer in mind for it, but eventually decided to take a shot at the vocal myself because,  in the invention of the central character of the song, I guess I kinda fell in love with the guy, and had a real instinctual feeling about him.


So, I sang it myself.


I didn’t want to do the typical story about the impoverished family coming to the US from somewhere in South or Central America. Rather, I wanted to deal with a different kind of man. 


I enjoyed getting to know him.


First off, let me introduce him to you.


Enter, a man, either Middle Eastern or North African, or perhaps let’s just make him an Everyman.  He’s dressed in an expensive, subtly pinstriped suit, white dress shirt, no tie.  He’s elegant and from all manner, looks to have been a most successful business man, (or perhaps a University professor). However, now, his suit is filthy, perhaps torn, his shirt has been on his back for days (if not weeks) and is dirty and stained, and a rough stubble completes his unshaven presence.

 

This is not a rich man, but not a poor man either.  He’s slightly upper middle class, owned a small business or had tenure as a teacher, had a nice house, a dedicated wife, three great kids – basically, a success story gone bad.  He’s the victim of politics, of a despot, or possibly of an autocratic government gone out of control.  Perhaps there was a coup, a revolution where he and his family were simply innocents caught in the middle.  Perhaps he was a member of the “wrong” men’s club or taught the course in Political Science that differed from the new regime (or the old one) and so he essentially became blacklisted.

 

In the midst of the confusion, in the heat of the coup, he was somehow designated by a new regime as an enemy of the state.  To protect his innocent family, to save his own life, to avoid a prison sentence, he suddenly knew he had to escape, to leave his home and family, to leave work one day and just disappear into the crowd on his way home.  

 

After a long and difficult journey, he makes it, to America, his hope.  But what he finds here, is not at all what he expected.

 

Now, an immigrant, broke and alone, he must begin his life all over.


And so I bring you the journey of this man, this every man, who asks you to listen to his story. Who asks you, to exercise the Golden Rule.


On My Way Home

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Look at this face

Look at these dirty clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

Ah yes, I'm one of those


Just look at this face

Look at these filthy clothes

Look at these worn out shoes


I come to you by land, by sea

On foot, I come

By raft, I come

A refugee

I seek your asylum

A cup of your kindness

I come from a place of nothing but blindness


I run for my life

A flight into exile

A fugitive from the heart of darkness

My lot in life, yes, a refugee

My future, so far, unknown

I live in a chaos that spans the world


I look to find my family

I search to find the man I used to be


I know so well this road of desperation

I carry what little hope that's left

In my frail imagination


And I carry my past life

In this pack up on my back

I carry my past life

In a sack


With all that I've worked for

Gone

All that I've fought for

Gone

And all that I've lived for

Gone


Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home


Look at these hands

So sad what this life can bring

Look at these wasted hands

These hands that have built such things


And look in this heart

This heart of a worthwhile man

Look at this broken heart


I offer you a man of dignity

A fruitful life I've lived

But now, a refugee

I seek your asylum

I seek your compliance

I beg you renounce your thoughts of defiance


What I've left behind...

A life of such promise

A family with its long traditions

But along the way, yes, I've let them go

My future, so far, unknown

To live now in peace is my only need


Each night before I sleep I ask

What wrong I must have done that brought me here


I cannot find the answer to this question

I carry this damning pain of guilt

Like a rancorous obsession


And so I run from my past life

Yeah, from one to the next

Confused and disheartened

So perplexed...


And all that I've loved now

Gone

And all of my dreams now

Gone

My life as I knew it

Gone


Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home


Afghanistan

Somalia

Iraq

Sudan


I come to you, a man

Trying to stay alive

Trying my best to survive

While I'm on my way home

I'm goin' home

Lookin' for a new home

Yes I'm on my way home


Yeah I'm goin' home

I'm goin' home

Ooh I'm goin' home

Aaaaahhhhh

I'm goin' home


Once I had this song mixed, I knew I had something special. It haunted me for a week, as I sent it off to my pal and partner in crime, my masterer, Phil Klum. When he sent it back, finished, I completely freaked out at what he had done that so improved what I had previously thought was perfect. I must have listened to it ten times that night — each time more excited at what Phil had brought to the production.


As I played it for others, nearly everyone who heard it said the same thing. “You should present this song through a music video.”  I concurred.


Joining us today in this podcast is the man we chose to create the video, videographer, Skye Malone.  We had had a number of wonderfully satisfying experiences with Skye who created the trailers that you all have probably seen for Scattershot Symphony. I knew in my heart that this was the guy for it.


Skye, thanks for joining us today.


Skye

Hey thank you Peter! glad to be here.


Peter

I thought you all might like to get an insider’s look at the creation of the video and the process that Skye and I went through.  Had we had the budget to hire an actor and follow him around the world with a camera crew, I suppose that is what we would have done. But we didn’t have that budget in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, so Skye really had his work cut out for him.


Here’s a smattering of the directions I gave him to get him started.


“Skye, there is here, fundamentally, a story to be told, a journey to be taken, but also, along the way, there is a mind, a consciousness and its emotions to be revealed.  The story should be told cinematically, but also surrealism should factor into your work on a major level.  That’s the essence that I so love about your work – your ability to take a moment and find the images that strike the imagination, that strike the heart.  The story, essentially, is one that we all already know too well. The lament of the immigrant.  In a way, that story is already told for you in the lyrics and music.  


So, what I hope to get from you is the emotional subtext of the story – the surrealistic images of his consciousness.  So, what your job would be is to find the images and emotions of his mental journey.  Certainly, images of a war-torn nation, a coup, perhaps, could be used, but also go for his deep loneliness, his frustration, his disappointment, his determination, his will to carry on.  I do believe it is a sojourn into a mind gone a bit mad.”


That was about it. I didn’t want to say too much or over direct him so that he could bring his own very creative mind and thoughts to the project.


So, Skye, was this enough, was it too much, was it too little to get you started?


Skye


Well first and foremost my mindset was not to disappoint. I like to put my best foot out there and of course working in the pandemic there were some restrictions on what could physically be achieved.  You totally gave the motif and detail I needed. I just knew there would have to be a little brainstorming to stitch a story.


Peter

Where do you go to find the imagery used?  Is it free, or does it cost you?


Skye
The imagery I used Is a mix of personal footage and footage from an online resource library I discovered back in school. It does cost me but as a digital artist I need to be stocked with assets ready for any project.




Peter

How difficult was it to work telling this story without the images of a central character?


Skye


In the beginning it was quite difficult. After some time, I realized that I would not find the amount of footage needed to follow one specific man. So, the direction was to kind of play on your words of “an every-man”. I started again this time building a story with men of different ages yet of the same afflicted areas.


Peter

Can you talk to us about your creative process? For instance, where do you start? What do you do first when you sit down with the song? What’s second? What’s third?


Skye


The first thing I do to get my creative anxiety settled is to make sure I have access to my libraries and files. Then I listen to the music. This process takes a bit of time because as I listen my conscious mind automatically depicts images and stories from it. Certain tones and words do develop into specific images. I had a huge problem with daydreaming as a kid but when I stepped into film it actually became a tool. After I get a gut emotional feeling of the image, I like I see how realistically it is to create through editing. Some iddeas stick. Some don’t. Once I have a good…idea of what can be practically done mixed with my imagination, I open adobe suite and begin to edit.


Peter

When do you know when to stop?  When do you say to yourself, “it’s finished.”


Skye


I would say that it’s finished when the cup is just about full…and when I say that I mean that there are just enough cuts, edits, and effects within the video as to not distract from the true essence of what they are watching. So, when I get a sense that I’m being bombarded with too many edits or too many cuts, that is when I sit back and start to think if maybe this is beginning to be the end of the edit. And hopefully you like what you are seeing or if the client likes what they see that’s when I can finally say “alright time for the next step. This step seems to be done.”

Yeah, definitely, not just my decision.


Peter

So, ultimately, it’s not your decision.


Skye

Yeah, definitely not my decision.


Peter

So, when you present me with a first draft, how do you feel?  Nervous? Confident?  Scared?

Skye

One and Two. You always know when you can do better. Something can always be fixed to near perfection. I knew I did the best I could in the draft, but I also knew you might not have liked it.

Peter

And when I came back to you with fixes, or perhaps misconceptions of your work, or even dumb ideas, how do you feel and what do you do about it.  How do you protect your own work from your collaborator, me?


Skye


I feel any information I can collect about a topic can be used in some way and there are many routes to the same goal. Knowing that you poured heart and soul into this song I was open to added ideas or changes. I already laid down the substructure of the video and I felt that was a good foundation. After that point and hearing your suggestions, I was ready to mold the imagery to fit the shoes of your original story.


Peter

When all is said and done, are you happy with the outcome? 


Skye


I am totally happy about the way It came out. The limited budget was a small hurdle that was quickly passed over because “what can you do”. I wanted to put as much as I could with what I had because I believe in what this song represents. I felt good working on it. And for the people that reaaaally give it a watch or listen, they will know too how genuine it is.


Peter

Was working with a limited budget, in very difficult world-wide conditions, frustrating?  What would you do if you had a bigger budget?  More time?


Skye


With a bigger budget, and time there would have definitely been more cinematic footage, with specific looks and maybe an actor.  But I am not sure if the being more specific with imagery evokes more thought or not.


Peter

You’re a young man — just out of college. I’m not. Do you think your generation and the generations before and after you will get this? Be at all inspired by this? Even do something about it?


Skye


I think as the generations move further into the tech age; we lose our attention span. Things need to be tacky and commercialized to catch attention. But there are huge populations of individuals in all generations that just want to slow down. In doing so they watch the world instead of consuming it. Those are the ones that will get it at first, but I believe everyone gets it eventually though. What is good and genuine truly resonates with the people that open their hearts to listen. And this song…and video are things for which many will resonate.

Peter

Anything else you care to talk about?


Skye


I just want to say Thank you again Peter for giving me the opportunity to create something like this with you. And of course, thanks to the staff on team that make it all happen. You know everything that we do has purpose whether it big or small. Justice and Happiness are seeds that need to water. We are given our talents and what better way to use them than as water for the garden. Here you do exactly that.


Peter

All right. Thanks, Skye, for joining us today … and more importantly, for all your great work on this project. I think all of our listeners will appreciate the process of putting together the music video.


We’re gonna do something a bit different here now and add a visual part to this podcast episode.


We’re gonna give our podcast audience an exclusive special bonus viewing of the “On My Way Home” Video before it is released publicly on YouTube.  With just a click or two, you can view it right now.


At the end of this episode we’ll remind you of the link: Just click the link at the end of the Episode Description on your  Podcast platform. You’ll then be invited to join the Scattershot Symphony Family where you can view the video of Skye’s and my work.


Also, please rate and subscribe ...



And thanks to Watchfire Music, Nathan Burgdorff and the entire staff for all your work in producing and promoting this podcast.  

A very special thanks also to Stuart Barefoot, our Associate Producer for all your invaluable knowledge and good vibes.

And a posthumous thanks to Ludwig Van Beethoven for your opening 4 bars.

Julia

(over playout music)

This podcast is presented with loving care by the staff at Watchfire Music. If you liked what you heard, we got lots more where that came from. In the meantime, you can find the songs you just heard on watchfiremusic.com. There you can purchase the singles or albums and have access to all the lyrics. Also, there you will find all previous podcasts and future scheduling.


If you just became a Scattershot fan, 

tell your friends and Stay tuned!


Julia

OK, here’s the link to view the video.  It’s free to all Scattershot listeners. Remember: Just click the link at the end of the Episode Description on your Podcast platform. You’ll then be invited to join the Scattershot Symphony Family where you can view the video of Skye’s and Peter’s work.