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Writer Aimee Bender on ‘A Coral Room’




Writer Aimee Bender was asked by Granta Magazine to choose five songs or pieces of music which are important to her, and which bring back particularly salient memories. Her fifth choice was Kate’s ‘A Coral Room’ from Aerial. From Granta Online:

Aimee Bender

“Well. I remembered this last night at one a.m, lying in bed, thinking of the assignment, going over CDs in my mind. It is the most profound song about memory and loss, and how memory works, and the way it sweeps over us, and how elusive it is, that I’ve ever heard. As with many of her songs, only after multiple listenings did it kick in for me. It’s an elegy to her mother, but with the first line – ‘there is a city, draped in net’ – it feels like she is trying to actually articulate the process of living at once in memory and the present, and how the two collide. It is really, really, not fun pub music at all! but it is a masterpiece of a song. The city, and the spider – they are first characters in a dream world, in the land of symbols, of myth, but then later they change, they become firm and strong, grounded with specific items, in a moment, in a life, and with that move, we are hammered down by the finality of loss. Kate Bush has many unbelievable songs, but this, one of her most recent, is as good as any that came before.”


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  1. A beautiful piece of music which invokes memories of my Nan, even though she passed away 31 years ago when I was 11.

  2. Harry Horton

    I liked the idea of Kate Bush growing a tree out of her piano, with leaves that resonate the sound of musical notes and light up in some dimuted fashion when she strikes a key. I had an image of her playing such a piano in front of a group of two to four year old children in a TV studio concert. Much like her in an earlier video of Sat in your Lap , a TV show format where she was surrounded by children and a teacher as she described African tribal masks and paraphenalia from madagascar. I think that has been her strong suit, sensitive concert like performances, and interviews as the Sat In Your Lap one. In anycase she said she got her inspiration for this new round of writing songs by putting a bag of fertilizer on her piano. Maybe we can see a tree sprouting from her piano eventually along with the next round of newly created songs.

    • Nanette

      I thought the reference to bonemeal was kate having a laugh. It’s that playfulness that makes her a great artist, I think. She’s not afraid to try things and experiment.

  3. Harry Horton

    THe bonemeal phenomena is probably an expression of the usual psychotic like psychic energy that many highly creative artists possess with the high levels of anxiety that come with such a mental state. In anycase, I think a Christmastime concert around December with Kate Bush playing a baby grand piano with a tree sprouting out of its body in front of a group 2 to 4 year olds in T.V. studio setting would have an endearing quality to it. Her pieces such as December will be magic again, Man with the child in his eyes, And Dream of Sheep, Be Kind to My mistakes, would be a good song format for such an endeavor. Perhaps snow falling from underneath the tree with a faint lit background expressive of a late afternoon sun light before darkness’ onset, would be rather interesting to go along with the tree. These are some imaginative thoughts and images that come up in my mind from time to time. On Kate Bush.

  4. Harry Horton

    My comment seems to be stacked up over O’Hare , circling about, ready to land ,or to fly off elsewhere. Make a decision….by the way I found “A Womans Work” on the internet and the video version is a fairly good visually unique rendering with fish apparently flying through the universe and a fetus suspended in outerspace. The imagery is reminiscent of The Stanley Kubrick movie 2001, where at the end of the film —- things get surreal with a fetus appearing in the lone stretches of outerspace. Story Teller 1618 is imprinted in the visuals of the video, possibly the name of the author of the video.

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