Here’s our finished song – Save Myself (Run Away)!
I really hope you enjoy the song! A huge thanks to the creative team who helped me bring it to life: Horse McDonald (vocals), Mattie Foulds (production, drums), Kevin McGuire (bass) & Mikey Owers (brass).
#horsemcdonald #kimedgar #songwritingcollaboration #consequences #imstillalive #isavemyself #begintotrust #illdothis #survivor
“Silent, still – to survive”
My second collaboration with Horse, “Save Myself (Run Away)” has come from a very personal, emotional place. Horse was abducted as a child, and what happened to her during that time is blank. To survive, she was silent. She feels that this childhood trauma continues to affect her in many ways, including in relationships, and that the after effects of trauma on people is something that perhaps isn’t generally discussed or understood.
What Horse shared reminded me that trauma can really have a devastating effect on people’s lives. Horse is clearly a motivated, positive, and determined individual despite her experiences, but others perhaps don’t have that inner resilience. A few years back, I worked with young women in Cornton Vale prison in an under 21s choir project. It became clear, after getting to know them, that for many, their offending was by no means the start of their story. Rather, it was a response to their (often traumatic) experiences as a child or teenager. I came away from that experience with a strong sense that we judge (and even incarcerate) people because of their actions, but we often don’t understand what’s caused their behaviour. I felt that many of these young women had already been failed by us, as a society, when we took no notice of the traumas they were experiencing before they began offending.
After talking about Horse’s experience in video chats, we were both keen to shine a light on the issue of trauma and its consequences. Like myself, Horse has a home studio, and worked up a whole vibe and groove for our collaboration using sounds and samples in Logic (a digital audio workstation that I use myself). She also created a strong melody line for the song, some lyrics and a motif around the phrase “run away, run away”. Because I was going to be singing the lead vocals, Horse was keen that I would take all that we’d spoken about and let the story come out of my mouth in a way that made sense to me – so after meeting in another video chat and hearing all the initial ideas (which I was very excited by!) I set to work on developing the lyrics, running them by Horse in writing, and then in a rough recording. We made some further tweaks together – right up to the day of recording the vocals with Mattie Foulds in his home studio (after the drums, keys and synths had been recorded).
I was delighted that unexpectedly, Horse was keen and able to join me for recording my vocals, and also offered to record backing vocals for the song – we had a real sense in developing the song idea that the main character was divided, with some of her coping, and some of her simply wanting to escape it all – and it seemed using both of our voices would be a good way to represent this. By chance, she was already travelling to Edinburgh to perform as a surprise at a wedding, and therefore without any additional environmental impact, she came a day early, came with me to the recording session and then stayed with me, before performing for the wedding the next day.
I learned so much from our time together. Watching Horse recording vocals was an incredible experience; and she was so constructively supportive while I was recording my vocals, that I learned a lot from that, too. On top of this, Horse is quite the storyteller – and she has so many fascinating stories to tell! And she is generous; gently and kindly offering advice and support based on her years of experience in the industry. To go through what she has in her life, and come out the other side of it as a positive, determined and supportive artist and human is quite an achievement. She’s an inspiration.
Watch this space for the final mix of our song, which we hope to share with you by the end of this month….
I’m so pleased to announce my second collaboration is with Horse McDonald! I’ve seen Horse’s powerful and moving live performances many times, and admired her work, her positivity and confidence and her powerful stage presence from afar…but during lockdown, I had my first interactions with her, when she was standing in for Iain Anderson on BBC Radio Scotland and played a few tracks from my album, HELD, which I released in December 2020, including Baby Steps, which features my nieces and nephew – I think she was quite taken with their singing! She was kind enough to get in touch to ask me if there was anything I’d like mentioned along with the plays – a generous effort that I really appreciated. And again, somehow an imaginary wall between myself and one of my heroes seemed to break down…
By the end of this month, I’ll expand on my notes here, and share with you some reflections on my collaboration with Horse for the Consequences project, as well as the song we write in collaboration. I look forward to seeing you then!