Feature: The Orphan, The Poet - 'Translating' Track by Track & EP Stream
For Fans Of: As Cities Burn, Further Seems Forever, Copeland, and Thrice.
This being our second EP, we really wanted to pick up where we left off, showing a more deliberate and mature approach to the five song format. We really tried to focus on writing songs rather than simply arranging interesting parts in succession and praying for cohesion.
The name for the EP first came to me while reading an article on what it means to be an artist. In summary, the author’s point was that in creating anything; a song, a painting, a story, we’re merely grasping at recreating this perfect form which we have in our heads. However, the song in our heads is always more inspiring than the one we end up writing, the painting is always more vivid, and the story is always more dramatic. Thus, we as artists are merely translating these perfect forms into something tangible, though only a shadow of what we’d already created in our minds. I thought that was an appropriate title as it was a hardship I had always felt.
This song was inspired by what I’ve observed as the cyclic nature of human belief. Though it has spiritual undertones, it can really be applied to many things in life. There are things that will always be a part of us no matter how far we bury them in an attempt to forget. The things we’ve buried many times come back into our lives when we need them.
This song was inspired by some thoughts I’d been having in relation to spiritual belief and how it represents itself over the course of our lifetime. I think that there is cycle to most the things we hold true, and that we go through many different stages of skepticism and belief. That said, however, there seems to be certain ideas we can never be rid of so matter how far we distance ourselves from them, and eventually, they always seem to come back full circle.
Looking back, I think this track was quite possibly a product of other songs on this EP and the thoughts I had to work through in writing them.
I think there’s trend of romanticizing conflict in our lives. Conventional Americanism would seem to suggest that self fulfillment (many times at the expense of others) is the greatest thing an individual can attain. This song was written as a reaction to this mindset.
This was one of the first songs we finished for Translating, and I think it bridges the gap between our 2 EP’s pretty well.
This song was probably the first we finished musically but the last to be finished lyrically. I had been thinking about the idea behind the album name and really wanted to incorporate that into one of the songs. I started looking into the root meaning of the word “translating” and found that in Latin, its literal translating was “to carry across”.
I wanted to take the concept of “carrying across” and apply to a person’s identity. Just as an artist has the task of creating art from the preconceived idea in their mind, we as individuals have a very similar burden; we have this idea of ourselves and work to translate that identity outward. The water imagery was used to help exemplify the obstacles we have to overcome and how sometimes we have to choose what we will take with us and what we will let go.
'Black and White Photography'
This is a song that I will always remember when and where I wrote it. My grandfather had just passed away and it was the day of his funeral. I remember sitting down at the piano as I waited for the rest of my family to get ready to go in to the funeral home and this song simply poured out. The words and melody came so naturally it was almost as if I wasn’t writing it myself.
The inspiration for the imagery had come a couple days prior when I attended my grandfathers viewing. There had been a picture of him as a young father holding one of his sons. He was dressed in a suit with suspenders, wearing a wide brimmed fedora. Something about that image captured me. I imagined all the things he needed to teach his son from that moment until the moment where I stood.
I was really surprised when everyone picked this song as our single off the EP. I always thought this song had a lot of potential, but didn’t realize it would be such an instant hit, perhaps because I am too closely tied to the subject.
This song came as the result of very long relationship ending. The focal point lies in the lessons learned about how love functions in our lives and how we can easily turn love into something it’s not. This might be the best thing I’ve ever written:
“I know now that love it not a shield to weather the war, it’s the smallest keepsake we shield from the world.”
'Translating' by The Orphan, The Poet is available now.
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