Unusually, I can't pinpoint any musician or band that had a direct influence on the writing of this new song of mine. Cavan has said it sounds a little like Clifford T. Ward although I know very little of Ward's output (perhaps I should become better acquainted with his songs). Mark said it sounded like a song from a sixties film such as "Georgie Girl" or "The Family Way". I was consciously trying to return to the wistful bitter-sweet atmosphere of "Tell Them I'm Gone" and "Butterfly's Wing" although "If Ever" is more upbeat than either of those songs. I was also going for a formal, very English style in the lyrics and I remember thinking that a 12-string acoustic guitar and flute work together well in Peter Gabriel's "Solisbury Hill" so I thought I'd give it a try.
The string writing is a little like that in Eleanor Rigby although George Martin said he was influenced by Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho" film score but both Eleanor Rigby and my song are worlds away from Hermann's infamous "shower scene" music.
The flute solo (for two flutes actually) was written using 4ths and 5ths intervals instead of the more common 3rds. This is because the purity of the flute's tone can result in something called "difference tones" when they play in close harmony - something I learned, believe it or not, from Bela Bartok.
For the video I have used two clips from the quintessentially English romantic film "Brief Encounter" which fit well with the sentiment of "caper around and play the clown" and "you can safely assume that I'm your man". I also learned a great deal about animating text for this video!