Benjamin Akira Tallamy – “The Teignmouth Electron”, is inspired by the tale of Donald Crowhurst
Benjamin Akira Tallamy is a British writer and musician. He is also an experienced film maker and actor. Exposed at a young age to an abundance of music and literature, Ben was primarily self-educated – encouraged by his loving parents and grandmother to pursue writing. His first major works were screenplays, but in 2006 Ben completed his first set of novels – The Cold Highways trilogy, which are available from amazon.com.
Shortly after their completion, Ben began to focus on his music again, appearing as a founding member of various groups. His debut solo album ‘The melody of distaste’ was released in 2011, following a humorous Christmas single ‘Christmas is a sham – elegy for Aled Jones.’ Ben played over nine different instruments on the album, multi-tracking them in live overdubs. His work can be found on iTunes.
Recently Benjamin Akira Tallamy released the single, The Teignmouth Electron, inspired by the tale of Donald Crowhurst.
Donald Crowhurst’s real-life story narrates a chapter of courage and deceit. In 1968, The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was held – a solo unbroken yacht race around the world – the first of its kind, where journeys was to be made alone, in a single voyage, without once touching land.
Crowhurst entered into the competition with his back to the wall financially. His business falling into ruin, he saw the Golden Globe Race and more importantly, the £5,000 cash prize as a means to save his family from bankruptcy. However his inexperience and failing equipment soon found Crowhurst making half the speeds he needed to. He found himself before two options -quit the race and face bankruptcy and ruin for his family, or continue, likely dying in the process.
Yet Donald Crowhurst was able to fabricate a third option – one which might have allowed not only his survival, but a means of taking the prize money too. In fact Crowhurst soon began falsifying his progress, giving vague reports on his location, whilst forging a logbook that gave him a sudden lead on his opponents. In truth, Crowhurst’s boat was severely damaged, sailing somewhere in the Atlantic. The rest of the story is truly enigmatic and intriguing to say the least.
In his own words, Benjamin Akira Tallamy decribes why he was attracted to write a song about Crowhust’s extraordinary experience: “It wasn’t about this man, or what had happened to him, but about something larger than that. The Teignmouth Electron was just a boat, but Donald Crowhurst had staked his life on it. Whether or not his actions along the way were noble, he had risked everything; to save his family from bankruptcy? Perhaps.
I couldn’t write about Crowhurst, but I could write about myself. I could write about the pangs of ambition, the weight of the past, our regrets, our hope for the future, the fear of loneliness – all those things. It was succinct and it was clear in my head.”
Benjamin Akira Tallamy’s evolving art sees a purposeful communication through music and lyric in this song. He reaches deep for the narrative that’s trying to be heard -whether circumstantial words of wisdom, impressionistic poetic phrases evoking cinematic imagery, or even grand scale metaphor; it all has resonance and conviction.
The single, “The Teignmouth Electron” for me is impeccably conceived and produced. When listening through headphones or on a good sound system you’ll quickly notice how specific the audio imaging and reverb is. The instrumentation, which consists of Dan Cox on Cello and Benjamin Akira Tallamy on Guitar, Vocals and Flute, is truly organic and natural sounding, with a haunting sparse quality that I just love.
You will still find a symmetry weaving through this work, which is all in Benjamin words and his delivery. His lyrics are important and backed with masterful literary skill. I have a feeling that this single may take some time to grow roots into mainstream listeners’ gray matter, but at the same time I’m pretty certain that Benjamin’s target audience is way left of mainstream anyway, aimed at those minds promptly receptive to the inter-tangled growths of consciously intelligent alternative–folk music.
Furthermore, Benjamin Akira Tallamy shot the song’s accompanying video, entirely by himself as well. It’s almost as if Ben repeated Donald Crowhurst’s solo voyage, metaphorically – only this time, without the deceit and whatever other treacherous circumstances drove Crowhurst into infamy.
Music for the mind…and soul!