Coming back to the demo track for 'Pink' after giving my ears a rest, I realised something needed to change. I wanted a more 'folky' sound, an arrangement to reinforce the story telling, and something to tie it to the rest of the EP. I decided the main accompaniment should be guitar, not piano, so I called on a bandmate and longterm collaborator Ford Collier. Together we sat down and listened to the previous version of the track and I explained the sound I wanted - melodic, punchy but full, and we worked out the guitar part.
'Collaborating forced me to articulate what I heard the song sounding like'
We also made structural changes; extending the chords of the chorus to make instrumental sections and Ford took aspects of the original tune to form the intro riff. The changes we had made left gaps in the arrangement for tunes and also during the long build a chance for some spoken word. Knowing Ford is an excellent whistle player I asked him to fill some of these gaps, and through some interjections from myself a tune was composed.
With a verse now also cut from the arrangement, the story of Pink had to be told in another way. I decided to contact another musician friend of mine who has a beautiful way with words and asked her to write me a passage completing the story. I sent the song over to Emma Hetherington, with some more background about Pink, and what she sent back to me perfectly captured the story, although was far too long. I took the aspects of Emma's writing that spoke to me the most, and after recording them, I had a good sense of completion with the song ... as if this was what it had really needed all along.
Collaborating with other artists forced me to articulate what I heard the song sounding like in my own head. This to me, has resulted in a much more coherent piece that I can feel satisfied and pleased with!