THE WELL

 

 

I slipped a coin into my hand

tossed it over the brim

 

‚ÄėYour wish is at my command,

just let it go,’ come back again

 

the well the well the well the well

runs deeper than the light will tell

 

Travelled far across the land

Earth blanketed in snow and sand

 

Then I took my Ronja to the Sea

To find out what became of me

 

the well the well the well the well

your secrets will you ever spill?

 

A chill it runs in through my veins

so I sink into your springs

 

I am the coin I have a wish!

'Why don’t you be the hook, I’ll be your fish?'

 

the well the well the well the well

is running deep into these hills

 

the well the well the well the well

you look and you will find her, still 

Vocals, composition: Maya McNeil

Piano: Jenny Biddle

Recorded at Sound Station, Galashiels Scotland

Bass: Madhu McNiel

Recorded by McNiel in home studio, of band Space Gardens

 

 

First written on a twilight night facing west, when I was at the precipice of a big change. A break up, a new start, a move, to joy, and further down the path towards inevitable loss of my greatest love.

In one great sense, 'The Well' is an ode to the unknowable vastness within the Earth and the ancient rites and stewards that have gathered, thrived, and learned from holy wells and springs....and the many realms that converge there. On another plain, it came from a dream, of a broken angel sunk into a hotspring, one wing ripped from their mighty back, slouched down in surrender and suckle to the hot water.

And over the years deeper still, the animus of this song of running sediment/sentiment has spilled. Whatever came to the call of my heart and wandering gaze that night, sitting there on the sandy hill in eastern Nevada, gave me keys to a portal in song, that would wrench and mend many a heart who had loved and lost their angel babes, those that arrive here, and leave far too soon, in dog and cat companion form. A love like no other. 

Much of the footage for the home footage video was collected at another precipice in the Mojave desert. One of the guardians of my life, artist and healer Tin Santos, had invited me down to Joshua Tree to be with her and her old man Mr. Bones, a sturdy Chihuahua and longest time companion of her soul.  I was in desperate need of help and a strong loving lense on me to help break a spell I had gotten myself into. 

I crawled down the coast and into a small artist enclave, I was ill and my mind felt on the brink of collapse. We walked the sand, hid from the cold dry wind, hiked nearby Goat Mountain, made art and music, and took care of one another at our different crossroads. The beautiful footage is of my time wandering the Noah Purifoy desert gallery. My time amidst the late great artist's work felt like looking deep in a mirror. 

Originally composed on guitar, I had the utter luck of meeting and making friends with the brilliant Australian songwriter, storyteller, and guitar/piano slayer, Jenny Biddle, during a recent trip back to Scotland. We hunkered down in her sweet little home studio to work out the piano, before making our way to Galashiels to record with David Little at Sound Station Studio. 

Shortly after coming home with this piano track, I woke up one morning with a start, thinking of my friend Madhu Karwhatt McNiel. Madhu is an epic metal/prog rock bassist and tabla player, of the Sacramento based duo Space Gardens. She agreed to join the project, (which was no easy thing to compose to as we, per the flow of the song, did not record to a metronome/beat, so the timing shifts around) and created the essential swelling bass piece of the song. She and her longtime companion and love, Maynard the cat, are featured in the video as well.