The wind as a natural force has profoundly sculpted human civilization. It is paradoxical. It cools our bodies yet it fans coals into hot flames. It has propelled us across the oceans to new horizons, but at enormous cost. We have harnessed it to pump water and process grains, yet tornadoes and hurricanes still cause horrific damage.
Moreover it is a vexingly invisible force. One cannot see the wind, only its effects. It is also unstoppable; build a wall and the wind simply skirts around the edges at even higher velocities. These properties are so familiar that they have become essential metaphors for events in our lives.
In fact our lives are so integrated with the wind that it is fair to say it is our primary natural force. We even generate our own wind as we run and as we breathe. For the wind is more than just a force - it is a chemical mixture, a precious reservoir of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, the molecules that bring us enzymes, proteins and DNA.
I have been fascinated by the wind since I was a young child, climbing into the highest branches of the trees so that I might be at the mercy of its unpredictable and thrilling gusts. Storms both frighten and fascinate me. Later in life I learned to sail and thereby entered into a new dynamic with the wind.
But I really did not intend to create a theme album about the wind. It happened quite organically, albeit assisted by my near obsession with wind and weather.
I have often been asked how I name a song or select its theme. That happens in two ways. Either I viscerally feel the meaning of the song as it develops or I actually hear lyrics. That is not to say I hear voices but rather the melody forms word combinations that resonate so strongly with my feelings that the title and meaning become obvious. The song simply names itself.