Interview with Sally Taylor:
What was your mood the day you got this picture? what were you feeling about the task of creating a song from an image? I was indeed excited to receive the photograph. The only request I had it was to be a Black & White image. The moment I saw it I took a big breath of relief. I loved the idea that Sunflowers being so bright & yellow were dark and in contrast in this photograph.
What was your first thought or gut reaction to seeing this picture? What thought/sound/memory/lyric came first? The moment I saw it I took a big breath of relief. I loved the idea that Sunflowers being so bright & yellow were in deep contrast in this photograph. I began a literal view of approaching the song which was taking too long. I’m always suspicious when a song comes to slow because it seems uninspired. BUT I’m suspicious if a song comes to quick because I may have re-written an existing tune. I’m a suspicious and superstitious person I guess about songwriting.
Was there anything specific in the image you were drawn too? The mood of the image was what I finally was drawn too and the feel of the moment it was snapped.
What story did the photograph tell you? That there is always the contrast of simple details around you. The perspective of this image was what I though of while sitting under a tree writing and looking up.
How did you use the image to create this song? I looked at the photograph until I memorized it then after the first try at the literal approach failed I held the image as an intention rather than a photograph inside my mind.
What lyrics came to you first? I can assure you that first comes the music and then comes the waterworks, if the lyrics choke me up while writing them then I know I’m reaching into an honest place. This does not happen all the time, but during this song and the songs I wrote around this period I found an honest place to pull from which was difficult and therapeutic.
What does the song mean to you?
This is a song about missing someone who I spent each day and night around for many many years. Suddenly that person vanished out of the blue leaving without much explanation or warning.
How does that relate to the photograph?
Honestly I use that symbolism of a still photograph, capturing a memory as a poetic license as a way to try and have the listener place a smiling face they once knew inside of their own picture frame.
What is the chorus about?
I always believed that laughter is one of the most important things in a relationship. In this case I was so comfortable to be myself that I really loved to make this gal laugh and laugh out loud she did. I don’t think I laughed for a year after she left. This chorus is very literal to what I was experiencing during the healing of this empty place I suddenly found myself in.
“It’s only when you’re not here Everything’s so unclear Like a ghost on a summer’s day Smiling is hard to do Can’t clown around without you Still in dreams I see your face”