West of the Sun by Bobby Dunn

The baton of inspiration is a wonderful thing. It passes from artist to artist, musician to musician, forming a family tree of creations. Most of the time it jumps, without the knowledge of the original artists, from stranger to stranger and from generation to generation.

But occasionally it is passed amongst contemporaries and, better still, friends. When this happens there can be a palpable excitement and electricity in the air, as new collaborations and creations are born.

The phrase ‘West of the Sun’ came to me while I was reading Haruki Murakami‘s book, ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun‘. The words conveyed a wonderful sense of chasing the sun, unable to overtake…always heading for the horizon towards a world that is always just out of reach. A sensation of always striving for more, that perfect image, the perfect trip, the perfect landscape.

And to me it also hints at a world that lives within you, a place that is neither reality or imagination, on the borders of perception…something I hope my photographs also hint at.

And of course there is the image of the lost, romantic soul, wandering the world with a backpack on. A character ever present in the books we read, the films we watch and the songs we listen to.

The multiple nuances and subtleties of what ‘West of the Sun’ means to me can be hard to convey sometimes, but I do my best. I think everyone understands the concept, but occasionally it truly strikes a chord with someone – and when it does it is fascinating to watch.

Bobby Dunn is a friend and cameraman I work with perhaps half a dozen times a year. He is American but lives and works in Strasbourg now. Like so many of us he dreams of writing and performing music…unlike so many of us, he has done something about it. He self released an album – Dusty Attic Memories – a few years ago and regularly performs in packed out venues around Strasbourg.

A couple of months ago I received a text, throbbing with excitement and wonder. Something had clicked and fallen into place. All those subtle depths and nuances of ‘West of the Sun’ had suddenly made sense. His creativity had lit up…he felt like he was on fire…he had spent the last few hours writing a song…inspired by the phrase and my work…would I come over and appear in the video…please?

Attached were a couple of demos, recorded on his phone.

A day later and I was still singing it in my head.

As well as performing at the concert shown above, it was also performed during a two hour radio interview on radio Fréquence Verte. You can listen to it here. (to follow)

All I can say is that passing that baton on is a wonderful feeling and to have had it taken by Bobby is a true honour. I will be going out to shoot the video soon and hope to exhibit in Strasbourg, where of course I will be expecting Bobby to perform…

Lyrics to West of the Sun

People tellin’ me to come.
People askin’ me to stay.
No one tryin’ to tease me to conform;
And it wouldn’t matter anyway.

I keep my eyes on the horizon,
And a full moon lights my way.
I could just leave tomorrow
With a pack on my back and a note to say…

    I’m goin’…west of the sun
    West of the sun,
    I’ll leave at sunrise
    and head for the moon
    Not in a hurry
    To get there soon.
    West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    That’s how I know
    When my day is done.

I don’t mind if I get noticed
And I don’t need to be cool.
Never wanted to star in a movie,
I took my time to play the fool.

Now you’re askin’ me for suggestions;
But you don’t want to hear the truth.
Sometimes the truth can be rejection, my friend;
Sometimes rejection can make you move…

    West of the sun
    West of the sun,
    I’ll leave at sunrise
    and head for the moon
    Not in a hurry
    To get there soon.
    I’m goin’…West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    That’s how I know
    When my day is done.

Solitude does not make me lonely,
And loneliness is just a façade.
Pictures I take are moments only
Pieces of a giant painting by God.

Life is only just a journey,
It’s everything you do.
Your journey has to make you happy, my friend;
Your life has to mean something to you.

    And take it west of the sun
    West of the sun,
    I’ll leave at sunrise
    and head for the moon
    Not in a hurry
    To get there soon.
    West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    West of the sun,
    That’s how I know
    When my day is done.

©BobbyDunn February 2017

Performed Bobby Dunn Acoustic Grooves with Bobby Dunn, Kevin Weiss, Vincent Troesch and Quentin Jud. Filmed by Thomas Cerciat with graphics by Timothé Dunn. Venue was Au Camionneur in Strasbourg.

For news about future concerts by Bobby Dunn Acoustic Grooves, visit his Website.

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