Cairo’s Rob Cottingham pays tribute to his late father in moving Spitfire video

A still from the video

Cairo’s Rob Cottingham has released a video for his classical composition Spitfire exclusively with Prog.

The piece was written to mark the anniversary of his father’s death, with Kino and Frost* man John Mitchell also contributing to the final mix.

Cottingham tells Prog: “While George Eyles Cottingham was a Navy man, he was always moved by the Merlin engine sound of the Lancaster bomber and the Spitfire.

“Prior to scattering his ashes into the Wash, as per his wishes, in September last year, I had imagined a solitary Spitfire doing a fly past and respectfully tipping it’s wings before disappearing into the sunset. So I composed and produced a short piece of classical music for the ceremony, which had to include the stirring sound of those Merlin engines.

“After some encouragement to ‘get it out there’ it gives me great pleasure to release a video simply called Spitfire to accompany what is a four-minute piece split into three sections – Anticipation, Inspiration and Reflection…AIR.

“It is also purposefully at the same very slow tempo as one of my father’s favourite pieces – Elgar’s Nimrod.”

Cottingham adds: “The piece has been mixed by me and then John Mitchell gave it a final cheeky ‘outsider looking in’ mix – a smattering of subtle effects and some majestic mastering magic dust.”

The video was produced by Crystal Spotlight, who Cottingham says “dealt with the poignant connection between passion for the aircraft and love for the sea gracefully and respectfully.”

Cottingham adds: “This is not for any commercial gain whatsoever, being a tribute to an iconic and beautiful aircraft which played a vital part in the freedoms we enjoy today – and dedicated to my father.

“I miss him more than I ever thought I would and perhaps at a personal level, this has been a means of creative catharsis. I just hope people enjoy it, irrespective, and if nothing else, the real music is in the sound of those beautiful engines.”

Mitchell reports that he loves the classical piece and adds: “It made a pleasant change not to have my ears blown out by drums and guitars!

“Rob knows a thing or two about pace, flow and dynamics. All power to him, the boy done good. His father would be proud.”

Cottingham also reveals that Cairo have worked with Crystal Spotlight on a new video, with details to be revealed in due course.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.