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Smoke And Cracked Mirrors


by

PeterB7858

 Genre: Acoustic

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Description
Listened to in isolation, this song probably can’t possibly seem to have had it genesis on our recent trip to Alaska and Canada... but there is some warped “holiday” logic to how it developed.

Mountains inspired it. Two in particular...

We hoped to see the highest mountain in the USA, Mt McKinley (20,320 ft; 6,194 m), when we visited Denali National Park in Alaska, but alas the peak was cloud covered and we only saw the base of it. The locals know it as Denali, which means “the high one”. Apparently it is often covered by cloud and you have to be lucky to see it. A quick search of Wikipedia found that “the high one” doesn’t manage to feature in a very long list of the world’s highest mountains...

We also drove past, what is commonly described in local guidebooks to be the highest point in British Columbia, Mt Robson (12,972 ft; 3,954 m), whilst travelling in the Canadian Rockies, and, despite it being quite cloudy on the way, managed to get some reasonable views of the summit (see photo above). Again, a search of the net put us straight though, and we found out that, really, Mount Fairweather (at 15,299 ft; 4,663 m) is the highest point in B.C.

None of the above is, in any way, meant to belittle these mountain’s beauty and prominence in their landscape, after all Australia’s highest hill is just 7,228 ft, but the tendency for locals to pay homage to the mountains familiar to them lead my thoughts along a tortuous path that included gods in the heavens, a Monty Python sketch (“stop groveling”), religions in general and even on to politics...

Religion and politics; what have I done?

Again done in a single take; SM58 for the vocals, AKG Perception 170 for the 1982 Maton CW-80 acoustic guitar. No click tracks were hurt in the making of this song☺

Probably not everyone’s cup of tea...

See what you think.

Peter
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Lyrics
Smoke and Cracked Mirrors (Capo 2)

Intro [C] [F] x2

[C] They're flying out [F] beyond the clouds
[C] Far above the [F] crowds
[Am] The air there is [G] rarified
[F] Their feet don't touch the [G] ground

They're looking down on everything
But, to me, it's plain to see
The cost of their aegis
Is not free

[F] The people want to [G] talk about it
[Em] But they don't want to [F] know
[F] It's easier to just [G] get on with the [Am] show
[F] The smoke and cracked [G] mirrors
[Em] Are designed to [F] deceive
[F] It's not hard to [G] guess what they hope to [Am] achieve
[F] No wonder I'm [G] struggling to [C] believe

[Dm] [Am] [G] [Am]
[Dm] [Am] [F] [G]

From their lofty pedestal
They're musing again
About the humble endeavours
Of mice and of men

But some aren't so certain
We're scanning the skies
It's not hard to see the pain
In our eyes

[F] The people want to [G] talk about it
[Em] But they don't want to [F] know
[F] It's easier to just [G] get on with the [Am] show
[F] The smoke and cracked [G] mirrors
[Em] Are designed to [F] deceive
[F] It's not hard to [G] guess what they hope to [Am] achieve
[F] No wonder I'm [G] struggling to [C] believe

Peter Bowen: October 2012
Song Stats
Hits: 2368
Comments: 52
Fans: 26
Plays: 272
Downloads: 60

Uploaded: Oct 21, 2012 - 06:39:07 AM
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2012 - 06:39:07 AM Last Played: Apr 23, 2017 - 03:10:46 AM
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Creative Commons License:
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Comments
Philip18 said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Smoke and Mirrors
Fine guitar playing, interesting and thought-provoking lyrics and I'm especially impressed by the vocal tone through the SM58 - it has lovely warmth to it. The single take approach works well for this one - gives it extra poignancy. This is excellent, Peter!
Check out my latest song called Silk and Honey
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
SM58
Thanks, Philip. I used the Shure on my last song, too, and I am happy with how it renders my vocals. I did have another guitar and harmonies in mind for this originally but when I had the posted take I decided it worked just as is. Talk soon. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
richard13 said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
I second that emotion:
this IS excellent! My old brain is struggling to be sure it understands what you're singing about but you do it so well, and accompany yourself so beautifully, that I don't really care if I'm sure. First rate song Peter, thanks.
Check out my latest song called one last night with you
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Cryptic caution
Thanks, Richard. The lyrics are supposed to be a bit cryptic (either that or my brain was oxygen starved at the high altitudes). In essence the song is my take on the negative and divisive impacts that religions (in general) have had on society over the years but I had to wrap it up a bit in some mysticism so that I wasn't immediately struck down by ... (insert god of your choice here) ... :-) I appreciate you dropping by for a listen. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
gadzooks said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Smoke And Cracked Mirrors
What a lovely sound you've captured with that acoustic ... just the right touch of verb. Your vocals are crystal clear and sung well. Sure 58 is all I ever use ... it records so well and so warm.This is a real nice listen Peter. Big thumbs up ... the power of simplicity...
Cheers
SG
Check out my latest song called Emoji
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Finally...
Thanks, Stan. Yeah, I was happy with the way the acoustic came out. I FINALLY got around to saving the settings for it so hopefully I won't have to spend hours fiddling with 'verb and EQ in the future. I know you are a '58 fan and I agree with you re its warmth (and versatility). Glad you liked the stripped back approach. Regards, Peter,
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Narad said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Smoke And Cracked Mirrors
B E A U T I F U L !
Check out my latest song called Earthquake
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Thanks
I am glad you enjoyed this one, Harald. Thanks for listening and commenting. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Loob said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Awesome Pete!
Another good track! Picture painted by words...
Check out my latest song called 'Ttil We Meet Again
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Painting
Hi, Freddy. Picture painted by words... Thank you. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
sammydix said 1880 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Smoke
perfect morning song. i'm having breakfast with coffee and gazing at the trees outside my upstairs window as this plays. this helped make me feel the calmest and most peaceful i've felt in quite some time. perfect mood song.
Check out my latest song called Skulk
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Coffee and karma
Glad I could have a positive effect on your morning, Sam. Coffee and karma is good :-) Take care, peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
alackbass said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Smoke And Cracked Mirrors
Well it sure is my cup of tea! Great one!
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Tea for two
Thanks, Andrew. Glad that this brew hit the spot. Kind regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
PaulaMunk said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Your voice
soars beyond these mountain tops. I don't know if I ever recognized that before. Anyway, your singing melts the heart the way an unusual occurrence could melt the snow cap on any high peak. The inspiration is obvious. (It must've been a great trip.) And what a touching analogy in your lyric poetry. Very beautiful. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called O, Shenandoah
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
Without a net
Thank you, Char. I appreciate your kind words re my vocals. You know a thing or two about putting your voice out there without too much of a net as well 😄 I am glad you liked this. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Damroze said 1879 days ago (October 21st, 2012)
No Politician
would come and say, "We know that we are poor, limited, fallible human beings. We are living in darkness, we will try to do our best, but of course not much can be done..." Such a man would not go very far. He must have a kind of utopian charisma. He must lead us to what the French Marxist poet Arangon terms, "Les lendemains qui chantent" — "The tomorrows that sing," "Tomorrow must sing." Why must tomorrow sing? People will die; the cemeteries will grow, and so on. Politics today is fed by, if not necessarily lies, then, at least, utopian messages.- "Between Utopia and Escape"
- Father Alexander Schmemann
Check out my latest song called Somewhere Between Atchison and Oskaloosa
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 22nd, 2012)
Leaders and Followers
It is interesting how societies have evolved around politics and religion. Many people seem to have a need to be organized and led, irrespective of where to... And there is never a shortage of people and organizations that are willing to fill the void, for a quid pro quo, of course. It bemuses me but perhaps I am too cynical. Thanks for the listen and quote. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
DWL said 1879 days ago (October 22nd, 2012)
I like this
Simple and effective. Something beautifully honest about a one-take performance in these days of multi layered madness (I hang my own head in disgrace here)

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
PeterB7858 said 1879 days ago (October 22nd, 2012)
Just too lazy...
Thanks, Dick. There is a time and place for all forms of music. I am just too lazy to do anything complex 😃. That said, I did make it my goal this year to write songs that I could sing round a campfire with a simple guitar accompaniment. This cheery number should really liven up the campfire 😄. I appreciate you dropping by for a listen and supportive comment. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
tempie said 1879 days ago (October 22nd, 2012)
first, jealous of your trip. sounds great.
2nd, i love this sound - laid back, 70's folk rock/adult...your voice is perfect for it. good sunday morning music. really enjoyed...
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
PeterB7858 said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
70's folk :-)
Thanks, Craig. Laid back 70's folk is where is where I really started to get into music and I guess it shows. Glad you enjoyed it. The trip was great. My previous two songs are also trip inspired. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Vic Holman said 1878 days ago (October 22nd, 2012)
Smoke And Cracked Mirrors
aren't the cascades wonderful?

great tune Peter. vocal & guitar sound great. what really stands out to me are the lyrics... outstanding
Check out my latest song called For You To Decide
PeterB7858 said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Awe-inspiring
Thanks, Vic. Yeah, we had a great time in Alaska, Alberta and B.C. The scenery is awe-inspiring. Glad you liked this. It took a while for me to grow comfortable enough with the song to post it. It is a bit different from my usual fare. I appreciate your support. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Garni said 1878 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Smoke and Cracked Mirrors
Really enjoyed this piece. Great vocals and guitar.

G-)
Check out my latest song called Where Did The Sun Go with Lokka
PeterB7858 said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Thanks
Hey, Gerald, thanks for dropping by. Glad it came across OK in this format. I appreciate your support. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Bowman said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Wise,
reflective and touching. If there is a God I know he wouldn't strike you down - can't say that about all those who claim to represent "him".
Good work Peter.
Charlie
Check out my latest song called NIGHT OF THE WITCH
PeterB7858 said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Some other guy?
Thanks, Charlie. I appreciate your comments. Wise, reflective... sure you aren't talking about some other guy? :-) I wonder which god is the best at acoustic guitar? Now that would be something. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
johnwhitehead said 1877 days ago (October 23rd, 2012)
Mirrors
Excellent song and performance, Peter. Love the live feel of this. Honest and direct. Always the best,inmho. One nit, guitar sounds a little brittle. Maybe different EQ would make difference? Dunno. I'm clueless about these things.
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
PeterB7858 said 1876 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Back to the EQ :-)
Thanks for dropping by, John. Glad you liked this approach. I was happy with the guitar sound but on reflection I can see where you are coming from with your impression. I will do a little EQ tweaking again and see. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Bob Rodgers said 1876 days ago (October 24th, 2012)
I
really like your vocals Peter, nice warmth and tone to your voice with some wonderful playing on your acoustic. I love the way you play the chords to make your phrasing sound interesting and varied, makes a great listen. Your vocals and playing kept me hooked.
Lovely song, thanks for the download.

Bob
Check out my latest song called The Lonely Man
PeterB7858 said 1876 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Guitar :-)
Thanks, Bob. I appreciate your kind words. I do try to give the guitar part some interest, especially in this type of stripped back arrangement, so I'm glad it came across OK. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Feter said 1876 days ago (October 24th, 2012)
Mirrors
Very true to the style and more and way of writing ..great vocal work !!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
PeterB7858 said 1876 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks, Feter. I'm glad that this came across as reasonably authentic. Your kind words are much appreciated. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
dave_b said 1876 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Smoke And Cracked Mirrors
Strong vocals. Acoustic sounds great, you have some really nice riffs. I can't figure out what the song is about, but it works anyway.
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
PeterB7858 said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Riffs
Thanks, Dave. The riffs just come naturally. I couldn't play the same song the same way twice, I don't really even think about it :-) The song is meant to be a bit cryptic (see Richard13 above). Glad you liked the mood the song developed anyway. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
Jarvoid said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Very pleasing to the ear.
If you are agonising about the vagaries of religions and beliefs ,well that's a deep one ,but valid ,'cos they have got me bamboozled as well.

Actually I'll have another cup of char...in fact pour me a mug !!

Cheers

Jarvo
Check out my latest song called Port Arthur Blues
PeterB7858 said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Jam butty
Thanks, Chris. Yes and no. I am not really agonising. I just plain don't believe... (but I thought I'd better just hedge my bets a bit). You can have a mug, and a jam butty, too. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
jiguma said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Beautiful sound here Peter
For a single pass, I'm very impressed with your results here. Very good vocal and the guitar playing sounds terrific too. All in all a very capable performance and recording.
Cheers,
N
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
PeterB7858 said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
Stripped back
Hi Neil. Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I am posting mostly stripped back songs in 2012. I am trying to write songs that I like singing, that can be sung solo round a campfire, or whatever. Glad you thought it turned out OK. Talk soon, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
finkeldink said 1875 days ago (October 25th, 2012)
My cup o' tea
Great tone on the guitar.
Nicely mixed and produced.
The vocals sound great man.
I really hate comparing to other artists but this does remind me a bit of Neil Young's solo stuff.
Check out my latest song called She's Nothing but Trouble
PeterB7858 said 1874 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
NY is safe...
Thanks, Mike. Glad it came across OK. The great man is pretty safe I think :-) Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
paul f. page said 1875 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
Channeling John Denver
The folk-like character of the music, the solo guitar, and your vocal all remind me of John Denver. You've written a really nice song that is so easy on the ears and so simply delivered...and with such clarity. I thoroughly enjoyed this tune and particularly the way you have performed it, with honesty and with confidence.
Check out my latest song called 185
PeterB7858 said 1874 days ago (October 26th, 2012)
Honesty
Thanks, Paul. I grew up with all the solo singer/songwriters and I still love that style of music. There is an honesty in that way of presenting music that lays the singer bare. JD was a fine exponent. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
michaeljayklein said 1874 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
Warm and feeling good....
I don't drink at all really, but to me this was like looking through a beautiful crystal glass containing the finest wine imagineable; it's the best metaphor I could put to this work Peter, just sublime, congratulations!!
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
PeterB7858 said 1874 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
Just a tipple...
Very humbling words, Michael. I'll have just a drop if I may :-) You are too kind, really. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
ste said 1873 days ago (October 27th, 2012)
like
your intimate vocal and simple approach
Check out my latest song called songbreak
PeterB7858 said 1872 days ago (October 29th, 2012)
Appreciative
Thanks for dropping by for a listen. I appreciate your comment and support. Simple is sometimes the best way. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
tmcfate said 1265 days ago (June 27th, 2014)
I
like the bare boned structure. What are the percussive noises in the back? Did you have help? I also like that you had a particular inspiration. You have a very good voice. Thoughtful words, well crafted
Check out my latest song called All The Way Home
PeterB7858 said 1236 days ago (July 26th, 2014)
Thanks
Hey, Tim. Just noticed that you delved into the back catalogue for a listen. Thanks. I ended up writing about 6 or 8 songs inspired by our trip to Alaska and western Canada. It was a memorable time. No extra instruments, probably just a touch of proximity effect from the mic giving that percussive type sound you can hear occasionally. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
loyd vader said 818 days ago (September 18th, 2015)
in the pocket
great message, great playing. you have a really listenable voice. cant believe thats recorded on a 58. smooth bro.
lyrically brilliant.
'why cant we have more art critics?'
'and so you shall'
'oh look, an art critic'
- M.P
Check out my latest song called breaking through the maze
PeterB7858 said 817 days ago (September 18th, 2015)
Inspiration
Thanks for digging around in the back catalogue, MP. I got a lot of inspiration from a trip to Alaska and Canada and I do enjoy singing this one. Amazing what a 58 can do. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
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Name: Peter Bowen
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