The Doe Bay Sessions: Radiation City
As the sun was going down on Doe Bay, Radiation City sat on the dock in a big line, and started singing. And I couldn’t hear them. No one could.
Doe Bay sessions often attract groups of people wanting a small show tucked in between trees and perched atop cliffs. Normally, this happens. People clap after every take, and exchange grins and happy looks, before sighing, pushing themselves up off the ground, and brushing off the burrs from their shorts. I thought this was one of my favorite parts of the Doe Bay Sessions- the raptured audience behind them, that only appears for a moment as raucous applause as the camera goes out of focus on the blue sky.
But for this, the waves crashed on the beach, and for the people gathered on the rocky embankment above, all we could hear was the ocean and the faint hum of harmony. And still people stayed. I stood above, watching the tireless Sound on the Sound crew and band do takes, and the people nestled into the rocks stayed. I stayed, with a sign taped to my cardigan to Please Be Quiet, Filming in Progress, vaguely offended that the ocean did not heed the demand.
The sun set, and the session ended, and I realized that this Doe Bay session was possibly the first one that no one knew what it really sounded like. No one could say, from the band members to all of us cupping our ears above. The gray din of Orcas had taken it for safe keeping, and the one thing that could have told us how this one would turn out was the only audience member that had absorbed it all- Doe Bay itself. This was not just a Doe Bay Session, it was Doe Bay’s Session. Something that we would take back to the mainland, and that Doe Bay would give back to us, bring us back.
We can finally hear what the waves were hearing, we can finally see what the setting sun saw. All together, Doe Bay is giving us what we couldn’t hear on the beach, or on the cliff- and it is beautiful. It was about time that Doe Bay got its own session, but I’m certainly glad we have it now, because it’s no wonder the waves were cheering so loudly- these are the songs, and the band, that you want to sing the sun down.