“Is this freedom really what we think it is?”
Richard Brokensha is constantly emerging into different versions of himself. I would imagine his fate has grown towards independence since he started in the music scene. Here he takes a go at solo material, letting his voice create parallel illusions and transformations of his identity in the music industry.
The video’s goals are seamless and feel smothered in conflict and loss. There is one scene, where Richard is immersed in flairs of smoke traveling from his neck up. Dead still, and then moving, I am taken aback at not only the commentary of this video, but also his journey to this point in time.
Two lovers are conflicted between the lust and loathing of their relationships, shadowing their lessons and actions in their former versions of their duality and the independence they crave from it. Their movement goes between the separation of emotions, where at times they are so fused by their togetherness, and others, where I am chocked up by their distance and anguish. They do a dance around each other, collapsing on their limbs and their feelings, and when the woman screams, I want to scream with her. For all the times, someone said no, questioned my integrity, assumed I had no loyalty and couldn’t believe in the potential of another tomorrow. I feel that scream.
I feel so alone, so out of depth, yet so alive. This song elevates, in narrative, and in harmony. Fusing the stillness of the water, which is seen in the bath, as well as the backdrop of where Richard stands by a pier. Our body mass is made up of more than half of water, so the symbolism boasts its rawness. It’s as if the water in us, to halt, to connect, to love and to be, consumes us.
“Is this freedom really what we think it is?” echoes Richard. And does this question really need an answer. Freedom is our feeling and no one can take it away from us. But it is also promised and taken advantage of, and when we reflect on society’s notion of that sense of being, what freedom do we really own. We are addicted to how a like or a share makes us feel special or loved; therefore our freedom can often be dependent on others.
There are two pictures we are faced with daily- the ones we visualize and the ones in front of us. Richard depicts both.
As I listen to the song play out, my nostalgia comes to show. I am being passed by a series of moments with a musician whose history is on a pedestal. I have thought one version as arrogant, another insecure. But in this song, he is only human, facing the same things we all do: finding inner piece, in a world collapsed by social media, creative industries and the role to be the one who is always ahead and always on top.
I like how it peaks, as if the crescendo was born out of a synthesized daydream. I wish I could relive the moments he used his voice when singing tracks off Isochronous’s acoustic album ‘Imago’, but I am conflicted, because as his sound has transformed, so have I, in my taste for it.
I salute the notion. I look forward to the next track.