SONG: Sandpaper Skin


“Sandpaper Skin” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: PLOS One 19 Oct 2022, “Sharks are the preferred scraping surface for large pelagic fishes: Possible implications for parasite removal and fitness in a changing ocean,” as used in the post “Sharks to tuna: fearsome predator, convenient backscratcher”.

This song was done early, because by the time it has posted, I should be on or near South Georgia Island en route to the Antarctic Peninsula. I have a peculiar job – this is technically a business trip.

So, this song was conceived and executed in haste. That meant I did everything as simply as possible and tried not to get bogged down with the creative ratholes that so often wind up going in tight circles that lead to lopsided product. Maybe the brass in the outro here is a bit much, I admit, but it has a feel I was going for. Jaws, you know. I did my best to make haste a virtue.

There are only three lines, repeated. Oddly, if I had more time to spend in tweaking this song, I think I’d take things away – make it a repetition or two shorter, tighter. as it is, it’s still, what, 3:30 long? Yet there’s a beginning, middle, and end. It’s made of three chords with a bass line that I tried to turn into a counterpoint for the last section – or at least to recontextualize the chords so they hit differently.

I knew pretty early on that this story was the one for a song. I mean, the feeling of rubbing against a shark – not just the physical sensation, but the thought that I, a fast-swimming tuna, am just coasting up and getting a little comfort from a stone-cold fish-eating killer. Well. Although I guess this is just more evidence that sharks, eating habits aside, are really much more social than we give them credit for being.

I think there’s probably a metaphor here for some kinds of romantic attractions, too.


If I scratch my back
If I scratch my back on your sandpaper skin

Please don’t eat me.