Monday, August 10, 2015

LISTEN: Music Inspired By British Expat's London Memories

Before setting sail (aboard Air Canada) to the United States in 2008, I had spent the better part of a year plying my trade in the heart of London. It was a city I could easily have settled into on a permanent basis had it not been for recession-era work complications. Getting laid off at the height of the economic downturn was the tipping point—not least because it ensured that my wife and I would not be able to pay for her visa application.




Using what was an admittedly sizable redundancy package, we immediately bought two airline tickets to the United States. These, you understand, were one-way.

And so—believe it or not—I have not returned to England or its capital ever since. At least not in the physical sense. I have, however, spent many a fine hour reminiscing about all the things that make London great: Trafalgar Square, West End theatre, Tower Bridge, St. James' Park, the Underground, buskers, Londoners, red buses, black taxis, Banksy artwork, tourists, Buckingham Palace, tourists at Buckingham Palace, and a ridiculously lengthy list of other such elements.

I have every faith that I will one day visit London again. However, to help combat any sense of longing I hold for that particular city, I turned recently to the one thing that continually keeps my sanity in check (besides coffee): music. 

While composing London—embedded in this article above—I indulged in a particularly intense bout of reminiscence, in which the finer aspects of London life came at me faster than a pirate-DVD vendor in Whitechapel. Throughout these, shall we say, "visions", I saw ducks making babies in St. James' park, naked environmentalists negotiating Waterloo Bridge, Beefeaters intimidating visitors at the Tower of London, and Horatio Nelson standing proud atop his very large column in Trafalgar Square.

I also saw regular people—both residents and tourists—galloping across the city for the eight o'clock showing of Les Miserables. People are what make a city. They give it a heartbeat, which—in Londonpounds rapidly between the hours of 8am and 11pm (the city's heart thereafter beats to the sound of kebab house chit-chat).

I saw the Thames, flanked either side by world famous landmark after world famous landmark. The shimmering image of Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, and City Hall all reflecting off the river were of particular note.

For me, though, it is reflections of a different kind—those that occur internally—that further enhance my appreciation for London. For those of you who share this appreciation, I hope that this music will bring you that little bit closer to the city you love so much. Thanks for listening.
This article was written by Laurence Brown. Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana, and writes for BBC America and Anglotopia. He is Editor-in-chief of Lost in the Pond and loves nothing more than to share these articles with anglophiles, expats, and other interested parties on social media. Follow Lost in the Pond on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

2 comments:

Elizabeth West said...

Hey, that's pretty nice! :D
It captures the bustle very nicely, yet has a warmth to it that people who have never been there assume doesn't exist in London (but it very much does).

Now I miss it even more. *sigh*

Samwise said...

gorgeous. i love this!author!morre!

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