Neil Holland sent me this message, and I would like to share it with all of you. If you have any feedback please leave it in the comments below.
Hello Tobi, what a wonderful blog to which I have subscribed. I came across your blog having just booked my forthcoming return holiday to the Savoy Gardens Hotel where I stayed before in May 2014 which was my first time visiting the island. Like you I fell in love with the island and the people. There is a story to this though, as I am also a poet and creative writer which I do in my spare time. In 2014 I had been approached by a musician from Florida J. Rivas (we met on a creative music internet site) suggesting he and I do a collaboration with his music and my poetry. Of course I was delighted to accept and I carried his music with me to Madeira where I listened to it over and over again until I secured the feeling about how Jimmy’s music should be treated. Madeira just seemed to compel me to write about it. Like an inner voice I suppose. I just had to write about Madeira but it also grew into a metaphor about love and hope, the underlying tone of it. Over several days I wrote what has become the poem plus added an additional intro and outdo and on returning to the U.K. I set about arranging it all in my home recording studio (spare room). Whilst on holiday in Madeira in May 2014 I also met a young lady named Adele Davies at the Savoy Gardens who was our holiday rep and also happened to be classically trained as a soprano. Adele very kindly let me record her concert in the hotel and gave me permission to use something of her voice in my project. I didn’t know how at the time but knew I must and subsequently blended a sample of her vocal Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore, (I lived for art, I lived for love, from Tosca) recorded in the Savoy Gardens at the beginning and closure of the track.