Monday, 6 June 2011

And Also the Trees

The first “And Also the Trees” song I heard was “Scarlet Arch”. It happened last autumn. At that time I was looking for a new title to translate. I had just discovered the thrill of equi-rhythmic translation, and wanted to find a text with clear structure but beautiful and pensive. Being a long time curehead, I recollected that the name of some band called “AATT” had been mentioned by Robert Smith in one of his interviews. I googled it, and the first link was just “Scarlet Arch”. I knew from the first time I heard it, that it was going to be a long time affection. I didn’t know how strong it would turn out to be though…

So when “Lie in the pale summer heat” turned into “Ляг в выцветший лета жар” I was flooded with a strange feeling, a sort of premonition that not a few times I would wrench my mind trying to catch that elusive drift. Up to now I have translated 38 “AATT” songs. Some translations I hope are good, some I’m afraid are not, but all of them were a real pleasure to do.

Sometimes solutions for translations would come down on me unexpectedly and in odd places. For instance, last November I accompanied my wife on a photo session (she’s a photographer). We climbed up a hill in the suburbs facing rocks and thick forests. It was not too cold but the snow was softly falling and the loose sky lay on hills’ tops. My wife was working and I was staring into the sky and thinking of nothing. The snowflakes were slowly floating in the air, and I felt like I floated too. It was very quiet. Then all of a sudden in one split second I knew how to translate “Stay Away from the Accordion Girl”. I must confess that almost nothing can be compared to that feel. It was pure physical pleasure.

I keep “AATT” music in my car. When I have to spend a lot of time in it waiting for someone, I lean back and listen to the music that touches me deeply. From time to time I drive to a big territory called Khakasia for the same reason as mentioned in the previous paragraph. It’s a vast land of steppes and hills, unhindered skylines and clouds. It’s very ancient and mysterious. One can find hundreds of “Menghirs” there – big flat stones dug into the earth to mark a grave, an event or esoteric place several thousand years ago. So, it’s almost supernatural witnessing “AATT” songs envelop the stones which were already here when Rome was not even founded!

So, this was really a lucky chance when I remembered that old Robert Smith’s interview… And now I cannot wait for the upcoming album…

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