On THE SENSUAL WORLD album cover, is KB concealing her mouth with a [purple]GARDENIA[/purple]?
Well judging by my potential success at identifying dog breeds, I'd like to think my expertise extends as far as horticulture. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, the flower looks very gardenia -like! Well done Tannis.
Under a veil you must never lift... "Kate Bush reveals herself to us through a gauzy veil but, if we work hard and listen carefully, we can gain a fascinating and compulsive insight into this reclusive artist. It would be churlish, indeed, to refuse such an invitation... With 'The Sensual World' Kate Bush draws back this veil..." RAW, 1989 gaffa.org/reaching/i89_raw.html
The 1989 KATE BUSH The Sensual World EMI promo video-box (including 11-track CD album, 11-track cassette album, glossy 12-page lyric/picture booklet & biography insert) has a cover photo strikingly similar to an image used in the 1994 KATE BUSH The Line, the Cross & the Curve*...
The image might suggest the Islamic Niqab.Niqab consists of covering up completely, including gloves and a veil for the face - leaving just a slit for the eyes, or covering them too with transparent material. The niqab is widely debated. Some associate it with oppression and separation. Others regard it as an aspect of worship, virtue and freedom.
For more than ten years, Kate Bush has woven her siren-like spell over a nation... Her latest album 'The Sensual World', finds Ms. Bush exploring herself and the world around her with an openness she has, till now, shied away from. It is a record of mystery and secret pleasure, like a children's hiding place to which we have been granted access.
Kate Bush reveals herself to us through a gauzy veil but, if we work hard and listen carefully, we can gain a fascinating and compulsive insight into this reclusive artist. It would be churlish, indeed, to refuse such an invitation...
With 'The Sensual World' Kate Bush draws back this veil. Unlike her previous work, wherein she might adopt a character to portray a situation - as in 'Cloudbusting' from HoL or virtually the whole of 1980's 'Never for Ever' - on this album she comes perilously close to autobiography.
"I think this is my most personal album so far," she confesses, hesitantly. "I think other albums have been ... I can't think of the word. Maybe I haven't been prepared to be as honest as I feel I have been on this album. "It's not that there's autobiographical stuff in there. It's not that the songs are about me, but it feels - this time anyway - more honest, more ... I feel I've been braver about what I'm trying to say. Although I'm sure it is still quite hidden."
And Kate Bush is a master of disguise. But maybe this time around she feels secure enough to allow her art to act as her own defence. Art as self-analysis? ...
So what does the seemingly autobiographical "...Sensual World" reveal about Kate Bush, this shy, almost intensely retiring creature? She presents to the world a delicate face of near egg-shell fragility. It would take a harder man than I to brutally penetrate the facade hoping to uncover the source within. But Kate Bush is also impeccably honest, apparently incapable of guile. Can the woman who has woven such intricate and complex spells be so ingenuous? I think the answer has to be ...Yes...
"Now, though, I think as a person I'm less obsessive, and that realisation was a terribly important step for me. Because, although when I start an album I'm still incredibly obsessive - no-one can come near me! - although I do all the work on the album, it's not everything now. And I think at some point, it was - my work was everything because it had such a sense of importance about it. That's so stupid, so blown out of proportion, and if you're not careful that spiralling effect can make you believe what you're doing is the most important thing in the world! Ha! When it's absolutely not all... "And not to do an album for four years... for all those people knew I could've been off in the Bahamas, flying private jets. They didn't know I was actually in a studio, working hard."
Kate Bush has emerged from those four years of rather intense self-examination with an album of quite extraordinary warmth, depth and power. She has also come to terms with herself and her art, recognising and accepting the limitations that imposes on her. Now, perhaps for the first time in her life, she feels ready and able to reveal certain other facets of her character. RAW, 1989 gaffa.org/reaching/i89_raw.html
Pull Out The Pin, a song on the album The Dreaming, was inspired by a television documentary on the Vietnam war. The documentary filmmaker was Neil Davis, who worked in Southeast Asia from 1964 until his death in 1985. An excellent biography of Davis called One crowded hour: Neil Davis, combat cameraman (1987) has been written by Tim Bowden, a close friend of Davis. The foreword of this book begins with The Call:
"SOUND, sound the clarion, fill the fife! Throughout the sensual world proclaim, One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without a name."
The lines are by Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730 - 1809), written during the Seven Years' War of 1756 - 1763. The biography informs us that Davis wrote the last two lines of Mordaunt's verse in the flyleaf of every work diary he kept in Southeast Asia. Davis told Bowden it was his motto, and summed up his philosophy.
Maybe KT 'borrowed' THE SENSUAL WORLD (1989) title from Bowden's forward? Or maybe the flyleaf information was presented in the documentary?
The word "sensual" does not occur in Ulysses, and so a fortiori neither does "the sensual world". 'The Sensual World' title seems to be 'original' to Kate. But is it?
The last two lines of Mordaunt's verse also seem very KT Bush: The KATE BUSH TOUR (aka 'The Tour Of Life'): One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without a name...
The Pennywhistlers, The Trio Bulgarka and The Sensual World
After a song-collecting trip to Bulgaria, Ethel Raim, leader of the NYC Pennywhistlers, released the first album containing Bulgarian songs sung by (non-Bulgarian) Americans, and began giving classes in Balkan singing. Her albums stimulated interest in Balkan singing among folk dancers because they contained printed lyrics. Therefore, those who purchased the album could also learn how to sing the songs.
The Pennywhistlers were a women's ensemble featuring: Francine Brown, Joyce Gluck, Sheila Greenberg, Alice Kogan, Boldsi London, Ethel Raim and Dina Suller. In the early 1960s, The Pennywhistlers released several albums featuring Russian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Croatian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Polish, Dalmatian, Serbian, Yiddish folksongs: The Pennywhistlers (1963), A Cool Day and Crooked Corn (1964), Folksongs of Eastern Europe (1965), and Songs of the Earth (1967). digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/freedman/lookupartist?hr=&what=7102
A Cool Day and Crooked Corn (1964), which Paddy Bush recalls first hearing c.1969 (see below), also included their version of Donovan's "Colours" (and KaTe of course covers Donovan's "Lord of the Reedy River").
[Here is Paddy's sixteenth article for the Newsletter. It appeared in the twenty-third issue (Fall 1989).] ...I suppose that I must have been about seventeen years old. I was working for the English Folk Dance and Song Society in a little cupboard. We dealt with traditional music and stuff to do with folklore and dancing. It was quite a scene: it was the early days of the Sixties 'folk revival,', there were a lot of guys with beards and girls in tartan dresses, the odd vicar dressed as a hobby-horse, people would sing unaccompanied songs often with a finger in one ear, arran sweaters, concertinas, sword-dances, portable tape-recorders, corn-dollies, bagpipes, penny-whistles and Appalachian dulcimers... An outside world of hevercraft and mini-skirts skimmed by, as I sold tickets and insytruments and books to these various folk. I had a pretty good working knowledge of all our stock and new releases, so one snowy Saturday I found myself confused when I saw an album on the counter that I didn't recognize and had no reference for. Its name was A Cool Day and Crooked Corn. So I placed it on our phonograph platter and accidentally exploded an atomic bomb in my life. I sat there trasfixed over my Kit-Kat and cup of tea, almost wishing I wasn't hearing this. I couldn't understand a single word, and yet this thing seemed to be liquidizing my soul. A group of girls from New York singing in supernatural harmony and involved in their own kind of revival: the music of Bulgaria. [I have tracked down this record, and have discovered that, indeed, The Pennywhistlers managed to create an extraordinarily accurate reproduction of the authentic a cappella female vocal-group sound which more recent converts to Bulgarian music have become acquainted with through the recordings of The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir and The Trio Bulgarka. Their voices lack perhaps a little of the Bulgarians' original power, but their elocution and musicality seem, to this amateur enthusiast, at least, very convincing.] By the time I had played the album continuously three or four times, the snow was pouring down. A young couple came into the shop--if you would like the details, the man looked a bit like a Swedish Tom Petty in an Afghan coat, which was a rare garment in those days, and the young lady was small with short dark hair and very beautiful. They were my first customers of the day. I said, "Hello. Isn't this music beautiful? I've just found it sitting on the counter..." She said, "It's our record." "I'm sorry, I didn't know who it belonged to. I just found it here. I hope you don't mind me playing it..." "No," she said. "No, it's our record. Look on the back. My name is Ethel Raim, and this is my group, The Pennywhistlers." I looked on the back and there was a picture of Ethel and her friends. I looked straight up, and there she was, standing in front of me. We talked about Bulgarian music and instruments. She even autographed a photo for my little sister Kate. You could say that I became obsessed with the album, the sound of their voices and the shapes of the words, and long after I stopped working there Ethel's music was my constant companion. It opened a door into a huge world of tradition. In many ways I had taken a finger out of my ear so I could listen in stereo; and I found myself in a whirlpool of music, magic and marvel. These are the bottom rungs of a ladder that stretches through time and leads to here: The Sensual World of Kate and her sisters Eva, Stoyanka and Yanka--The Trio Bulgarka. This ladder is so long now that time and weirdness are insufficient for me to give you the individual steps and influences that brought us to the point of this unique collaboration. I hope it's a combination that will please you. Paddy's Sixteenth KBC article gaffa.org/garden/paddy16.html
The Pennywhistlers - Maika Rada www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTTJnwJ5Tm8 Title: Maika Rada Sitno Plete (Bulgarian); (The Pennywhistlers Folksongs of Eastern Europe); Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger (No. 21).
The Pennywhistlers - Sto Mi e Milo www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZc5AyApqlI Title: Shto Me E Milo (Macedonian); (The Pennywhistlers Folksongs of Eastern Europe); Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger (No. 21).
Rainbow Quest was a mid-1960s U.S. television series hosted by Pete Seeger, devoted to folk music. It was filmed in black and white and featured musicians playing in traditional American music genres such as old-time music, bluegrass and blues. The show's title is a variation on the lyrics of the folksong "Oh, Had I A Golden Thread". The program operated on a low budget, and Seeger and his fellow producers eventually had to fund the program from their own pockets, before the money ran out entirely and the program went off the air. Thirty-eight hourlong programs were recorded at new UHF station WNJU's Newark, New Jersey studios in 1965 and 1966, produced by Seeger and his wife Toshi with Sholom Rubinstein.
Paul Simon introduced Graham Nash to the music of Bulgaria through the 1966 Nonesuch release, Music Of Bulgaria: Ensemble Of The Bulgarian Republic (Nonesuch, 1966, H-72011).
"Bulgaria Hysteria: What has 52 feet, the voice of an angel and counts Linda Ronstadt and Jerry Garcia as fans? The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir" (USA Today, 1988).
In 1975, Marcel Cellier released Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, Volume 1, an LP of Bulgarian women's folk choirs (cassette format released 1978). The 1975 LP won a coveted Grand Prix du Disque in Paris for one of the best recordings of the year. In 1986, 4AD reissued Cellier's collection to great success (CAD 603 CD/Vinyl/Cass, UK, Apr 1986), prompting America's Nonesuch Records to license both this collection and a second album from Disques Cellier, issued as Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, Volumes 1 and 2, in 1987 and 1988 (Nonesuch #9 79165-1/2 Vinyl/CD, 1987; and Nonesuch #97 92011 Vinyl, 1988).
Also in 1987, Hannibal issued the LP Balkana: The Music of Bulgaria, which featured vocal arrangements by The Trio Bulgarka. The album was a hit in Western Europe and in the United States. The Choir first toured the United States in 1988 to sold-out audiences. (Western Promoters Invent the "Mystery", Silverman; in Zaborowska et al, 2004).
Fall 1988: After making contact with Joe Boyd, co-producer of the Balkana compilation album of traditional Bulgarian vocal music, Kate travels to Bulgaria to meet with Yanka Rupkina, Eva Georgieva and Stoyanka Boneva, nationally famous soloists who perform and record together under the group name Trio Bulgarka. Meeting again with the Bulgarians in England, Kate records three vocal tracks with Trio Bulgarka for the sixth album, and makes an appearance with the Bulgarian vocalists for a video-taped segment of the BBC series Rhythms of the World, which is broadcast in the spring of 1989 [Rhythms of the World, BBC 2, March 11th, 1989]. Chronology of Kate Bush's Career gaffa.org/garden/chrono.html#87
kate bush with trio bulgarka www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C-QimNGAAw Rhythms of the World: Kate appears on a segment from the episode devoted to the music of Bulgaria. Taped November/December 1988, aired March 1989.
Kate: I first heard their music about three years ago when I was just finishing the last album, through my brother Paddy who has always been interested in, in ethnic music and collected instruments--since he was a kid really. And he played me a tape and I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I listened to it all the time and thought how lovely it would be if perhaps on the next album I'd be able somehow to work with them; somehow incorporate their music with my own. So then we had to find out how to best approach it so as not just to use them in the music for the sake of it, but to make the most of what they do. Because what they do is so special. And, really through a process of elimination we decided the best thing to do was actually to go to Bulgaria and to meet them and to work with them there with their arranger and work out the process there in Bulgaria. So we went over there last weekend and we met for the first time. And we worked the whole weekend with their arranger Dimitar and Borimira translating, and between us as a group we actually pulled together all the work that we've been doing the last two days on the record. Rhythms of the World, BBC 2, March 11th, 1989 gaffa.org/reaching/iv88_rw.html gaffa.org/passing/v89_mar.html
What sort of influences do you have when you're making an album? Particularly other music? KaTe: "My normal way of working is not to listen to other music when I'm making albums. I tend to listen to music after I've finished. A good example of that is after I finished the Hounds of Love album. My brother Paddy played me a tape of The Trio Bulgarka, and I'd never heard anything like it. <This is a slight distortion of the facts. Paddy had in fact been an enthusiast of Bulgarian vocal folkmusic since the late 1960s, when he discovered the genre through an album by the Pennywhistlers. Since Kate was heavily influenced by her brothers' musical tastes at that period, it is unlikely that she didn't get at least some preliminary exposure to Bulgarian music at an early age--IED> I was devastated, like everyone is when they hear it. And by hearing it then, it gave me a lot of time to listen to them and gradually think that maybe we could work together. Bearing them in mind, I actually wrote a track, and then it eventually evolved into the process of working together. But it was probably three years before I actually got around to doing something about it. It just shows you how slow the whole evolving process is." Greater London Radio, with Janice Long, October 1989 gaffa.org/reaching/ir89_gl.html
In the context of hyperbole and ethereal associations in liner notes, concert notes, and press releases, critics freely embellished the discursive symbols of mystery. Some brave critics criticized the lack of information in print and media (Dyer 1988); others delved into Balkan history to explain this singing style as due to the oppression of the Ottoman empire (Alarik 1988). This line of reasoning, although supported by Bulgarian nationalist anti-Turkish propaganda and espoused by the Choir's conductor and producers, has no scholarly basis... Perhaps more than any other marketing strategy, the endorsements of rock and popular music stars guaranteed that Bulgarian music would have an audience far wider than ethnic music fans. The phenomenon is noted by Taylor, who calls these Western stars "intermediaries". At the first press conference of the Choir in November 1988, just prior to their first tour, Graham Nash was the featured speaker. In addition to Nash, Pat Metheny, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, George Harrison, Jackson Browne, Jerry Garcia, and David Byrne have at various times lavished praise on the music, many of whom claim to have been fans well before the 1980s. During the 1988 press conference, Graham Nash chronicled his own interest: "In 1966 Paul Simon called me over and said 'I want you to sit down and listen to this. . . .It was an overwhelming album. . . .For a member of a band somewhat renowned for harmonies, it was truly amazing music. I feel somewhat responsible for having given away over 100 of these albums." Choir concerts throughout the 1990s continued to draw a huge array of rock and popular music stars, and name-dropping about which famous stars were attending Choir concerts became a favorite sport among journalists. ~ from Western Promoters Invent the "Mystery", Silverman, pp.218-219; in Zaborowska et al, 2004.
Monty Python man Terry Gilliam and comedian Robbie Coltrane are credited on her latest album Hounds of Love and she speaks of their work with affection. "Childish things amuse me, noises and silly faces. I adore Faulty Towers and The Young Ones, the psychology behind them is intriguing." "What Kate Did Next", 1985 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i85_what.html
KT: "So it's really nice to watch comedy because it's good to relax and have a laugh. Also comedy is very observant stuff, as well. It's all based on observation of people." Musician (unedited), Peter Swales, Fall 1985 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i85_swa.html
KT: "Look at comedy. I think comedy in this country is incredible. The best. It really is, it's superb. I suppose a lot of it is negatively based, but it still is superb, and just streets ahead of anyone else in the world. But, I think women have been used so much in comedy. Either there's something really hideous and ugly that's meant to be attractive, and then when it's hideous and ugly everyone goes 'aah!", or there's Benny Hill's cutie-pies that don't speak. But now there's a revolution in comedy which involves women in a much more interesting way. They're not being used as women, they're not really pretty or really ugly, they're just people. I think that really says a lot. And it's nice to see that, because so often I think women are pandered to. Like: a couple of years ago there was a trend of these feminist programmes that were meant to be for women, and they were all basically anti-men jokes. And all the women I knew thought they were horrific. It was totally insulting and unfunny. Yet women were presumed to laugh at this. Women came on and told jokes just as sexist as the men's. But it seems to have changed. It's women--Victoria Wood, Jennifer Saunders, Tracey Ullman--it's women, real women." Hot Press, "The Private Kate Bush", November 1985 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i85_hp.html
I: There's lots of credits on the album to comic characters and people involved in comedy. Why them? KT: Because in some way they've been involved or helped, either with the album or something connected to it, and it was a way of saying thank you. <<deliberately uninformative?>> I: They didn't all come and give you handclaps and all that. (laughs) KT: (laughing) No, I'm afraid not. I wish they had! 1985, Picture Disk Interview 2, CBAK 4011 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/im85_pd1.html
KT: "I must say, for me, the comedy in this country has been really educational. You know, Ben Elton and The Comic Strip--all those people you can't really call alternative comedians anymore because they've become mainstream. I think they've really done a lot to stop it being fashionable to be humorous with sexist overtones. "It used to be very hip to make fun of women. Old comedy was all about treating women as a threat and, therefore, making fun of them. And I think they've really changed a lot of that. They've done so much for men and women because now, in most circles, among people our age, if you make a sexist joke, it's really considered tasteless. I think that's a fantastic step forward. And to see people like Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders out there doing comedy being women as women is brilliant. "They're just out there doing it and, the more women can be strong enough to do that, the more it'll help everybody. It used to really scare me the way women were portrayed in comedy, and the way they behaved: either they were bitching off other women and being sexist themselves, or they were allowing themselves to be used as sex objects, either positively or negatively--they were either very beautiful or very stereotypically ugly. Women would just be batted around from these extremes, but that hold's been broken now and, as comedy's so much part of our nature in this country, so much a part of our roots, to break old things like that is an incredible step." Melody Maker, "The Language of Love", Steve Sutherland, October 21, 1989 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i89_mm.html
Q: You hint at the possibility of confronting a live audience again. Was your performance as a hapless bride in TV's Comic Strip play, Les Dogs, by way of dipping a toe into public appearance? KT: I love comedy. I think comedy is so.. .. profound. And like everyone, I really love the whole new wave of comedy that started with The Young Ones. I'm a big fan of all the people involved. I'd seen Strike (another Comic Strip special), and I was very impressed by the look and Peter Richardson's direction. What those guys do is very special: it might not always work - it's experimental - but its essence is challenging and wonderful. I wanted to make a video for TSW, but I was feeling insecure as a performer. Though I like being the observer rather than the observed, I felt this time I had to confront myself as the observed. And what would help would be to take on a part that would give me a sense of confidence and creative feedback. I liked the idea of working with Peter, and I also really like the attitude in their work towards women. A lot of films I sit there thinking, That's stupid! We worked on the video and it was a lot of fun, and we stayed in touch as friends [The Sensual World, Director: Peter Richardson & Kate Bush]. When he was working on the Comic Strip series, I got a script and he asked me if I'd play a part. It was a perfect challenge. I thought, OK, if you're going to confront yourself as a performer, here's an opportunity. I felt very honoured to be asked. It was a completely different pace of working and I learned a lot. You sit around and read all day, but also you're on tenterhooks. Videos are much more frightening, because there I'm trying to be me rather than someone else. I quite enjoyed acting; I wasn't sure I would. I'd never really wanted to be an actress, but I love film. I'm not sure if I want to act again, but if an interesting director asked me, my ego probably wouldn't let me say no! I love film directors, and I guess part of me would eventually love to make a film - just a short one. Q/HMV special mag, "Follow That!", Mat Snow, 1990 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i90_q2.html
Are you going to do more acting in TV or films in the future. And if you're not, would you like to? KT: "Um--um, the only real bit of acting I've done is with 'The Comic Strip' just last year--wait, this year, isn't it? And, um, I did enjoy it. But I have to be totally honest, I really missed having control over--(laughs)--over the whole thing. I'm obviously such a megalomaniac. And, uh, it was incredible working with those people, it was a lot of fun. Very different pace. Very interesting... very interesting stuff. I did enjoy it very much. But I think I enjoy putting the videos together so much, where I'm actually directing. It's like--it's like writing a song visually. I find that so exciting that um...That--that's what grabs me. And um, although I would love to do some acting, if it was something very very interesting and I felt I could actually do it, um, I'm kind of happier to pursue the idea of, someday, making a little film. Uh, so..." Convention 1990, Kate Bush - The Chat www.gaffaweb.org/dreaming/chat_90.html
So what makes you laugh? KT: "Lots of stuff. I think it's an incredible gift to be able to make people laugh. It's not just a question of guts, it's having the talent to achieve it. I can't think of anything braver than being a stand-up comedian. I suppose you must learn a lot about yourself. Even if you get booed off you must get so much insight. I love all kinds of stuff. I still think Fawlty Towers is the best sitcom ever. I like Python, I like Ben Elton, I like what Rik and Ade do. We've got a load of good comics here...and a lot of good comediennes, which is nice." Could you do it? KT: "No, I don't have that gift for comedy. I love having a laugh but there are people who do it so well I wouldn't dare to presume I could do it." Q, "Booze, Fags, Blokes And Me", December 1993 www.gaffaweb.org/reaching/i93_q.html
Kate enjoys British comedy and has popped up occasionally on comedy shows, including The Comic Strip Presents. Dawn French and Hugh Laurie appeared in KaTe's Experiment IV video; Robbie Coltrane is given "special thanks" for appearing on Hounds Of Love [providing a wake-up call on Waking The Witch]; and Lenny Henry (husband of Dawn French) sings on The Red Shoes album.
On a lot of English first pressings of vinyl records you can find run-out-groove "secret" messages inscribed onto the disc. Kate not only knows about the inscriptions, she even writes them. On Hounds Of Love/A Handsome Cabin Boy, side A is inscribed "Cooperman" and "Woof!"
Hounds Of Love and The Sensual World were both cut by Ian Cooper. So "Cooperman" could refer to the cutter. However, Cooperman is also the name of a comic character created by Russ Abbott (born Russell A. Roberts on 16 September, 1947 in Chester). And KaTe sends a Russell Roberts "many thanks" on The Sensual World album. So is Cooperman another of KaTe's comedy credits? ...
Kate Bush: "I think that as a very young child, perhaps I aspired to becoming something like a great actress." The Tony Myatt interview (1985)
Yes, Paul, Kate's taste in comedy is excellent, if a bit Brit-centric! Rob Jovanovic has a picture of KaTe and Rowan Atkinson going back to 1980, calling him her friend and collaborator.
~ "Kate's awards came from all manner of publications and institutions. Here she collects an NME award from friend and collaborator Rowan Atkinson ."
~ April 4-6, 1986: Kate participates in the first of three Comic Relief shows at the Shaftesbury Theatre. She performs Breathing live and performs a duet of Do Bears Sh... in the Woods? with Rowan Atkinson.
cucurbite. (Latin cucurbitus, "cucumber") In alchemical parlance, a vessel of glass or fireproof pottery shaped roughly like a cucumber and used for holding substances to be heated on the athanor, or alchemical furnace. The cucurbite is the lower half of the traditional alchemical distillation equipment; when used for this purpose, it was topped with an alembic. In modern sexual theories of alchemy, it is sometimes used as a symbol of the vagina. ~ The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, Greer (2003, p.118).
Cucurbitic names for the sexual organs or other relevant parts of the body are widespread. They may be helped by iconic appropriateness, cucumber usually occurring for the male organ and the more rounded fruit for parts of a female body. ~ The Motivated Sign: Iconicity in Language and Literature 2, Fischer, et al (2001, p.102).
The Sensual World ~ Official T-Shirt Front has Kate's name and album title in gold. Back has the 'alchemical' globe as pictured above, with its 33 degrees.
The Cucumber Building & Sacred Geometry
30 St Mary Axe, also known as the Gherkin City of London, United Kingdom
The cucumber is long and cylindrical, whereas the closely-related gherkin is much smaller and is shaped more like a miniature football. Sometimes, small cucumbers are erroneously called gherkins. In the produce trade, the term "gherkin" refers to any immature cucumber fruit, usually pickled.
Sacred geometry can be described as a belief system attributing a religious or cultural value to many of the fundamental forms of space and time. According to this belief system, the basic patterns of existence are perceived as sacred because in contemplating them one is contemplating the origin of all things. By studying the nature of these forms and their relationship to each other, one may seek to gain insight into the scientific, philosophical, psychological, aesthetic and mystical laws of the universe.
It's been my experience, that "The Sensual World" as musical experience,is really complimented by an ocean atmosphere. I was lucky enough to have played this album heavily while staying on a coast, and I can say that the mood of the album is really reflected in the ocean; especially the title track, the Fog, Love & Anger, and Rocket's Tail.