Soft Estate

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I drive around a lot. From gig to gig; storytelling & music, folklore talks & events I run. I like driving. It makes me feel like a grown up. I learnt to drive in my 30s. I was hit by a car as a teenager & did not want to be behind the wheel until I could fully trust myself to be safe.

I find myself on the M3 & the M27 quite a lot; heading to & from Dorset. To mix it up I sometimes take the A303 & then the Salisbury road all the way until I get to Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase may be one of the most beautiful parts of the world (full disclosure: I’m from East Dorset so I am biased!)

Several years ago I was driving back to London late at night coming through the Twyford Down section this song came to me fully formed. I had to turn off into the A31, stop at a layby & record it into my phone. I came up with the guitar arrangement when I got in.

Soft Estate is the name of the land owned by the Highways Agency, the verges & cuttings. When on the motorways I race by occasionally seeing a Buzzard, Kestrel or Red Kite hovering on macadam thermals. Sometimes I pass shrines to passed travellers who never made it off the road. Occasionally I stop at a motorway service station to take a break & to marvel at how expensive it is.

The melody of the song is in the Lydian mode, the nicest named mode. The melody is a dance, it’s a spell on the road.

Drive safe

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