In a spontaneous and intuitive flash of “Let’s go!” we decided to take the next step in our own unfolding story. A secluded place on Spain’s Costa Brava would be perfect! Cheryl had made her pilgrimage alone to Florence, and Em had concluded his own solo journey to Barcelona, so it seemed that the next, logical step might just be a “partnered adventure.” After falling in love with Spain during our college years, we chose S’Agaro as our destination (or maybe it chose us). It was just before Easter, so the town was still mostly empty, as usual during the winter months. There were wild rushing waves with whistling winds in the cove, the apt conditions for Spain’s Wild Coast, which is the translation for Costa Brava. S’Agaro was the perfect place for the soulful work we had ahead of us. We imagined a possible transformation in our relationship. We just needed the courage to trust our instincts and simply GO!
Arriving in S’Agaro, we were bursting with anticipation and hoping to find magic. It was fitting, then, that the inspiration for the song “Never Sleep” arrived along with us, on that very first night. The music appeared as the most complex and surprising piece we could have imagined. Looking back now, some 20 years later, the entire sequence of events seems surreal and a bit incredible. We wondered aloud to each other, “Where did this come from?” The task ahead seemed a bit daunting, but we were intrigued. Even though we felt uncertain, we decided to follow our intuitions as we had promised each other. “Do we really want to do this?” The answer: a resounding “YES!”
Em had never even considered playing anything quite like that before on the guitar. Then, just out of the blue, Cheryl said that she would write the lyrics. We never imagined such a collaboration before that very moment. Em played the music as Cheryl gazed out at the moody S’Agaro cove. With pen in hand, she began writing, and didn’t stop until the entire piece was completed that evening. Em’s melody was inspiration for Cheryl’s words. Everything fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
We felt like participants with synchronicity itself, witnessing miracles, one right after the other. From that moment, we knew that this was meant to be and we were on our right path. We didn’t know where it would lead, but, we were willing to “trust the process.” Never Sleep became our first collaboration and we had no idea if it would lead to anything else. Or not.
Since then, we’ve written hundreds of songs together over the last couple of decades. We vowed to each other in the solitude of that quiet coastal town, not to let ourselves become complacent or victims of routine. We promised to remain open to creativity, awake to potential—at the ready. In other words, NEVER SLEEP!