Thursday, June 29, 2006

MADE IN THE WAR ZONE - the weirdest CD ever!

(larger view)

Soundtrack for the soon-to-be-released film:
Music in the Age of George the Unready


This new CD from composer anonyMoses Dave Beckwith may well be, as some have said, "the weirdest CD ever!" Not sure. Haven't checked them all. But it is sufficiently weird, and spans a vast range of styles...from classical to industrial to rock to progressive to opera and more.

This is a one-of-a-kind CD that pays tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for the war and current occupation of Iraq.

The CD opens with a piquant prayer (Prayer 1), then is followed by an astonishing piano rendition of the tragedy of 9/11...which happened to be witnessed by the composer. The piece, called "Prelude to September 11" starts out depicting the evening and wee hours of 9/10. As the night wears on, there are glimmerings of Gershwin and the decadence that was all to change in a few horrible hours. Then, as morning arrives, the piano takes on a determined relentlessness that ends in a fiery, explosive conclusion.

After a few moments of silence, comes the banging of the drums of war. "Banging the Drums", a powerful song with the first hints of war, signals the reorientation of America toward revenge, retaliation and war.

"Ululations and Warnings" represents the cries, ululations and warnings that also rally the warring parties.

This is followed by "Iraqalypse", a musical rendition of the march on Baghdad. Bombs and gunshots are heard in the distance...and foreground. And this is followed by "Drums of War" also known as "Mission Accomplished". It is a bombastic piece with orchestra, tympani and other percussives.

"First battle" is the first battle after the mission was accomplished, and the war became an occupation. The composer makes use of the "rock" format to convey the drive and almost rote mechanicality of this first taste of battle. But things get out of hand, and before long things are "Out of Control". Better buckle your seatbelts for this one!

As the storm passes, we hear the chanting of "Jihad". As a student of Indo-European languages, the composer was able to contruct an original language to convey some of the emotional aspects of the Iraqalypse. It is songs like this which have given rise to the notion that the composer and singer is "the male Lisa Gerrard". (I guess someone had to be!) Very strange! Play it sped up and you will laugh your arse off!

"O God!" represents the inner life of the soldiers. Thoughts of home, loved ones, girls...intermingle with the sound of guns and bombs and fear.

"Weenie" is a bit of comic relief featuring a guest singer who wishes to remain anonymous.

"Take THIS out" is the first rap/hiphop song and has some great rhythms and syncopations. A great dance tune!

"Nightmare 9" is the "Revolution #9" of the CD, and represents the dreamlife of the soldiers. Very very strange indeed!

This is followed by "Heaven", "a symphonic soothing". Music is indeed the great healer.

"Desert Nights" or "Desert Knights" is a representation of a battle that shatters the dreams and the peace, fought under the blanket of night.

"Angels in the Machinery". After a brief respite, the battles continue on...

"Admonition": The drowned-out voices of admonition.

"Tolling of the Bells" is a funereal lamentation and tolling of the bells for all those who have fallen. Beginning with piano, it tranforms into harp, strings, choir then the tolling bells.

The CD ends with a reprise of the prayer.