Atlantic salmon - image wikipedia
Neil Young’s Will to Love and The Chemical Brothers’ Salmon Dancecouldn’t be more different in terms of style; the former was recorded on acoustic guitar on a tape deck in front of an open fire, while the latter is a techno/hip-hop mash up (and features the odd bit of typically hip-hop language, so please be aware that it may not be suitable for work, children or sensitive ears if you choose to search for it). They’re similar, though, in that they’re both bizarre pieces of music in which the salmon has a voice – Neil Young sings verses from the salmon’s imagined perspective through an underwatery vocoder effect, and ‘Sammy the Salmon’ provides guest vocals for The Chemical Brothers.
When salmon mature they head out to sea, changing their physiology in the estuary to cope with seawater and to become better camouflaged for the ocean, and spend a few years in the seas around Greenland. Finally, they head back to the river of their birth – their ‘natal river’ – using senses beyond our comprehension. Sammy says: ‘Most of our friends find their home waters by sense of smell, which is even more keen than that of a dog or a bear. My family also rely on ocean currents, tides, and the gravitational pull of the moon.’
Atlantic salmon heading back upriver. Image - animalspot.net
Neil Young takes over the story with his much more poetic imagining of the salmon’s thoughts:
When the water grew less deep
My fins were aching
from the strain
I'm swimming in my sleep
I know I can't go back again.