PAØ - THE VIEW FROM HALFWAY DOWN
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The Story Behind "TVFHD"
How did this track get created - and what is it about
The View From Halfway Down (TVFHD for short) was the fifth tune I've written for the album (by that time still thinking it's gonna be just an EP) and as some of you may have already recognized, the title itself refers to the Netflix series BoJack Horseman.
We've been binge-watching the series with my girlfriend during the spring COVID lockdown, and the very end of the series (particularly last two episodes) felt so strong it literally left me in a state of a weird inner emptiness for weeks. I've rewatched those episodes many times, but mostly the penultimate one (which eventually gave the track it's title), and as much as it got me down and thinking, it basically made me express all those feelings with music...again.
The name of the episode (and the track) itself refers to the name of a poem that BoJack's childhood hero Secretariat reads as his "farewell performance" right before his death - a poem about suicide by jumping off a bridge and the last thoughts of the falling person, unable to reverse its decision. And despite this all only happens in a BoJack's own hallucination, it mirrors the real events from the series' universe - Secretariat used to be the world champion, a world's fastest horse, but later got caught in a doping affair rendering him a fraud and eventually leading to his grim death after jumping off the bridge.
So, yeah - simply said, the tune basically tries to translate the substance of the poem into music - both the poem and the tune are slowly escalating over time, growing on intensity as the water surface's getting closer and closer, with the tune featuring a little bonus over the poem - that very last part representing the moment when you're already underwater, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness while your lungs are getting filled with water.
For me, this has kind of a deeper personal meaning tho'. I've kept this mostly secret from the world, but there was a time in my life when a suicide started to look like the only logical outcome. It was because of tinnitus - the constant, annoying high-pitched ringing in my ears that never stops. After I got mine "T", I was literally unable to live a one goddamn second without being bugged by the sound and getting my attention drawn to it, and it got me depressed as hell for weeks. As this condition is not well understood by science yet and for most people, it's practically incurable, all I could see by that time was a grim future stripped of all joy and happiness because of that diabolical ringing that wouldn't let me think of anything positive, or basically anything else.
I think that I wouldn't be neither the first nor the last person who would have ended up their life because of this, but luckily, I somehow managed to pull through and I'm still here, still writing music, and still being accompanied by that f**king high-pitched ringing that never goes away and probably never will. The only thing that has changed is that I don't care anymore. I just got used to it and embraced the fact if will stay with me forever - but I'll be able to ignore it, at least for some time. In fact, I'm maybe even a little thankful now. It has been kind of a life changing experience - that kind of experience which makes you stronger in the end.
So if there should be some point, or maybe a lesson, it's probably "never give up". Sometimes, life can be a real bitch, but all those good things are worth fighting for :)