by Jacques Benoit





As The Guardian reported in its May 22nd 2005 issue:  Kimberly, a tender song named after her sister (the fourth sibling), gives a glimpse of Smith's childhood environs: “Housing developments were a new thing, postwar, they'd build them for poor people in areas that nobody wanted. Ours was literally on a swamp. We lived across the street from an old abandoned barn that got hit by lightning shortly after Kimberly was born. I went outside and I was holding her, watching this barn in flames. Hundreds of bats lived in it, and you could hear them screeching, and see bats and owls and buzzards flying out”.

Kimberly is probably the "rhythmic flagship" of the Horses album.

For this reason and right from the start, I intented to produce a set of small format pieces for this composition, a bit like musical notes on a staff, a series of more or less abstract pieces, very sequenced; like a puzzle, which would evoke the heavy and fragmented rhythm underlying the architecture of the whole piece.

Small but identical formats in size though, so as to highlight as well the very even and linear aspect of Kimberly, which varies slightly on its basic melody, a song almost "spoken", with hammered words, but which is nevertheless beautiful and hypnotic, precisely because of this phrasing so specific to Patti Smith.

Thus, the idea of ​​traveling within Smith’s composition through a child's eyes, as if things were finally seen and felt by the young Kimberly using as a medium children’s ways -their drawings often so clumsy yet always full of freshness and spontaneity - emerged naturally.

I tried to remember and to restore this spontaneity, without artifice, without special skills, particularly without trying to build things, stopping myself from erasing and starting all over again.
This type of expression is something that I had previously experienced with my 2010 series "Construção!" (inspired by the construction site of Brasilia), and which found a natural extension in Kimberly, under some different shapes and meaning but in the same principle of seeking "raw" expression.
That of youth, and innocence.

September 2015





And I can gaze deep
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby.

Patti Smith - Horses