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Just to go back to ‘Hollow Ponds’ for a moment…you take us to the Black Sea in 1979 too. You spent time in Turkey when you were young – that would’ve been quite an unusual experience.


DA: Yeah. I went with a friend of my parents when I was nine – I spent a month there. And I had a lot of time on my own, which might sound quite sort of irresponsible now, but I spent a lot of time just walking around towns like Istanbul and Izmir on my own. I mean, we’re talking the Midnight Express kind of era! But I never encountered any weirdness, you know. It’s a testament to the nature of people that I was able to walk around, and I remember having some very profound experiences being invited into mosques and praying with the men. Me being a little, blonde nine-year-old – it’s kind of mad.

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- Damon Albarn | The Quietus - March 31, 2014
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It must have felt quite liberating – but possibly slightly nerve-wracking – to be filmed by the BBC in your old street.

DA: We didn’t film outside my actual house. I’d been there quite a few times before we filmed, just to see it. It’s such a personal, strange thing to do…to just stand outside, trying not to get noticed by anyone. And then the day we were filming, the door opened, and I thought, “Oh God”… and this very elegant, conservatively-dressed Muslim girl in her mid-20s came out. And straightaway she went, “Hello Mr. Albarn”. And I went, “Oh!” She said, “I know you used to live here,” and I went, “How do you know that?” Then she told me that when she was a little girl, around 1995, another film crew came round and she remembered her Mum wouldn’t let them in. “And she won’t let you in now,” she said. [laughs] Which is understandable! Then at the end she went, “Good luck, I know you’ve got a new record coming out” – she knew everything, basically, about me. I thought that was really, really nice, so I said, “Give my love to the house”, and she said, “I will do.” In that little moment, I felt that connection with the house and the people in there…I was really pleased about that.

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- Damon Albarn | The Quietus - March 31, 2014
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