The Death of Discovery - David Cosma’s welcome full-length music release after Hanging from Aldo – is out on the shelves . . . and even before you’ve heard a note it’s hard not to be captivated by the extraordinary image cherry-picked for the front cover.
The photograph was taken by David’s old mate from the Parade days, Enzo Tomasiello, who in 2014 snapped images at the Old Paradians’ 100th anniversary shindig at the RACV Club.
David takes up the tale.
“Enzo was in Peru, roaming the district which specialised in shoe repairs,” David said.
“There were heaps of cobblers all over the place and he dropped a pair off at the shop featured in the pic. He came back after about an hour and they hadn’t finished fixing his shoes, so he began taking some snaps. He didn’t ask for any permission, he just started shooting . . . and the front cover shot was the only one where they’re all looking at the camera by fluke.”
The Death of Discovery has been ten years in the making since David’s debut album - and “that’s been due to life more than anything,” as he recently explained.
“There were family commitments and financial constraints too. It’s not cheap getting into the studio and utilising producers, engineers and professional musicians, so it’s taken a little bit longer than I wanted to, but having said that it wasn’t as though there was a deadline – it was more a case of ‘I’ll get in there, start recording and see where it takes me’ and it took me a good couple of years in and out of the studio to get it done.”
The album title came to David following a conversation with a mate. In subsequently consulting Dr Google, David was pleasantly surprised to learn that the phrase didn’t actually exist and wasn’t the subject of any copyright law.
Why “The Death of Discovery”? Dave puts it down to his love of old world aesthetics, from the Art Deco days of the 1920s through to the ’70 s, be it cars, fashion, art and music - “and I was born in the 70s too, so I have that connection”.
“These were times with which I closely associate and many of my conversations are about them, and that conversation I had with my mate was about those bygone eras,” David said.
“I’m old enough to remember what life was like before technology as we know it today. I remember when computers first came into the school, I would have been in Year 7 or 8, so we’re talking 1987 or ’88. I remember Brother Hamilton was the IT guru at that time, and we’re talking those little Apple numbers that were first brought into use.
“So I guess my point is that I still associate with a time that’s past, and we’re not just talking technology, we’re talking everything. Another is the heightened awareness of safety – yes, safety awareness existed, but now it’s pressing. It’s at the forefront like everything else.”
David stressed that in harking back to the days that came before, “I don’t think ‘Gee I wish I was there again’.
“Without doubt that the technology and the things we have access to makes our lives a lot easier and a lot better in many aspects, but in some aspects they’ve taken away a little bit in terms of discovery.”
As a father to two children, David is mindful of the boredom that can quickly envelop. It’s his view that in a fast-paced, dynamic and information-overloaded world “I think we’ve all lost a little bit of that thrill of the chase”.
“We’ve all lost that element of discovery which was a revelation. When I was growing up there was that one pack that made the full collection of 365 footy cards, but now there’s 400 different sets and subsets, and kids are rocking up to school with folders of them,” David said.
“So the essence of ‘The Death of Discovery’ is that we’ve lost a little bit of what it takes to earn your stripes, whether it be learning things, discovering things, understanding things, coming into possession of things.”
While David’s lyrics are in keeping with the spirit of the album title, his lyrics are open to interpretation
“I love the subjective nature of music, and I pride myself a little bit when I write particular lyrics to not be as obvious as you can be,” David said.
“There’s only one song that comes to mind on the album that is pretty much straight forward in meaning. A lot of my songs don’t come from a specific experience and place. Others just come from a lyric which sounds good and I can build a song around and however you interpret it is fine.”
The Death of Discovery is available through davidcosma.com or iTunes.
To view the clip "Hazy Horizon" from The Death of Discovery, click here