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The Story of 'Childrens Corner'


by Planet Giles



(from the INSIGHTS album released in 2022)

I wanted to write a song with a Sade-type vibe that could be considered a classic pop song in its presentation and structure. Interestingly, I prefer the demo we did of this song (which will be released on our upcoming second album) featuring Jimmy Gallagher, the saxophonist from Dumfries, and one of our regular band members in London.

I had started to dabble with teaching during our London Years, so at the time I was not conscious that this song was specifically about children and their significance to me. But when I began my teaching practice in Surrey, it suddenly became clear to me what I meant when I wrote it. It was basically about the special joy that I felt working creatively with people’s children in music. This grew to include adults, and over time adults and children alike began to reveal their horror stories of past sojourns into learning piano and singing which resulted in their throwing in the towel. Because of this, it melts my heart whenever I hear children (and adults!) bound up the steep stairs from the ground floor to our first floor flat in anticipation of the learning + fun that they are going to experience in their lessons. Over time, I created a safe space for anyone who found their way to me to relax, feel their feelings and express them in a creative environment that connected them to their souls and deep sense of well-being.

Childrens Corner is not just about children per se. It is really a lyrical way of saying ‘a creative space’. But about how we can use music (and the creative arts) to connect with The Child Within so that the joy of that child (often suppressed / repressed / compressed by external stresses) can be fully expressed in safety and joy. My teaching experience simply facilitates this process:

“Don’t you know I’m sitting in the Childrens Corner

As happy as can be?”

In the Insights album version of the song, I manifest a long held dream to write a Seventies style synth solo. Via lateral thinking, I found a way of using one of my keyboard sounds to create the effect I wanted. I then set about writing the solo so that it had a definite structure and form. i.e. a beginning, a middle and an end.

I was thrilled with the result, as it is exactly as I heard it. But to date, not one person has picked up on it or referenced it. No matter! To do what you set out to do in the creative arena is hard enough. But to actually be able to play what you hear is the greatest gift in and of itself. Wanting validation for it is simply being greedy!

I can’t finish this deconstruction without mentioning Jimmy Gallagher. There are certain people who come across your path who cause your heart to fly open. Once they have carved out their special place in your heart, it stays there, like a love heart with names on it carved out in the bark of a tree. One such person is adorable Jimmy Gallagher. He is not just a technically stupendous musician. His ability to create music (solos, horn lines, improvs) on the fly is what makes him so very special. He is never less than completely melodic, and everything he plays complements what Pete and I are doing.

Jimmy started as a session musician, touring with the likes of Eternal and Dina Carroll and Skunk Anansie. He became a regular fixture in our band Aluna in London. The laughs we had! And I’ll never forget when he finished a solo on a jazz number one night, turned to me with that cheeky grin and said,

“It’s your turn, Zaza”.

When he walked into the session for the Childrens Corner demo in our flat in London, he was bouncing off the walls! It was the exact opposite vibe we needed for this song, which was moody, mellow and downplayed. We couldn’t get there with Jimmy using the normal means (copious amounts of camomile tea etc). So in the end we were ‘forced’ into tying him to the leg of a table to bring him down to earth, ground him and get the necessary (ref. dramatic license). Pete’s brief to him was that as soon as he ‘got melodic, he was to move away from it’. And boy, did that boy deliver big time! He played the iconic edgy lines you hear, plus the stunning moody, chromatic latino-infused sax solo which knocks us out every time we listen to it.

Thank you, Jimmy.

Keep doing the best damn Sean Connery impersonation we have ever heard in our entire lives.

We love you - ‘To Infinity...And Beyond’.

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