1 Nov 2020

Caitlin Smith's Footsteps

From New Horizons, 5:00 pm on 1 November 2020

The sound of Auckland songwriter Caitlin Smith's footsteps are spread throughout her new album, You Have Reached Your Destination and William Dart follows along willingly. Songwriting doesn't come much more powerful than this.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith Photo: Supplied

We’ve waited a long time – far too long a time – for a new Caitlin Smith album, and it’s finally appeared.

Its title, You Have Reached Your Destination, is eerily ironic. It was recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland back in 2009, and, eleven years on, has finally reached its destination. That destination being, in Smith’s own words, our ears, our fingertips and, for those who can access it, our eyes.

Smith’s so-described Imaginary Band includes pianist Kevin Field, Phoenix Foundation drummer Chris O’Connor, Finn Scholes on horns, Janek Croydon, pedal steel, guitarist Dixon Nacey and Alan Brown on Hammond organ.

Those footsteps are significant – a conceptual leitmotif, if you want, that runs through the album, with two tracks totally devoted to the strut of Smith’s boots on different walking surfaces.  

On a practical level, Smith says that they’re there to encourage deep listening. Describing herself as a professional pedestrian, and one with sight impairment, the sound of walking will help her to define location, to know where she is.

You’ll hear her brisk trot creating percussive patterns of its own, depending on location – in one case, sonically absorbed in the sands of Muriwai; you’ll catch some tui song on the Lower Domain Drive; and snatches of conversation when she walks up to Auckland Museum.

Hopefully, some listeners will pursue these footsteps through all 14 songs of Smith’s You Have Reached Your Destination. By doing so, you’ll experience the many facets of a songwriter’s life, within and around her community. And just occasionally, to the intimate accompaniment of Caitlin Smith’s own piano, hearing a woman bare her very soul for all of us to hear and learn from.

Music Details

'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
Album title

'I Didn't Know What Time It Was' (Rodgers, Hart) – The Fondue Set
Stick A Fork In It
(The Fondue Set)

'Secret Love' (Fain, Webster) – The Fondue Set
Down to the Rind
(The Fondue Set)

'I am Joe's Heart' (Smith) – The Caitlin Smith Group
(The Caitlin Smith Group)

'Brother' (Smith) – The Caitlin Smith Group
(The Caitlin Smith Group)

'Black Sand Shore' (Ioasa) – Grace
Black Sand Shore

'Good Times Roll PT.2' (Donnelly) – SJD
Southern Lights
(Round Trip Mars)

'Tidemarks' (Mullins, Hyde) – Ross Mullins & Caitlin Smith
Tidemarks: Ross Mullins Sings New Zealand Poets
(Red Shaver)

'In Between' (Smith) – Caitlin Smith
Stories to Tell - The Thorndon Project

'Grand Companion' (Smith) – Caitlin Smith
You Have Reached Your Destination
(Caitlin Smith)

'Prayer for a Miracle' (Smith) – Caitlin Smith
You Have Reached Your Destination
(Caitlin Smith)

'Walking to the Museum' (Smith) – Caitlin Smith
You Have Reached Your Destination
(Caitlin Smith)

'Such a Waste' (Smith, Lyons) – Caitlin Smith
You Have Reached Your Destination
(Caitlin Smith)

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