Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go became international in sound and nature in a rapid and ineveitable way as it was being assembled and could not exist at all were it not for that fact.
The words – and to be honest, the entire emotional content – are from Gaza.
But I truly believe that same emotional content could be from anywhere.
The voice – though computer generated with an Indo/Asian accent – is meant to be anyone and indeed becomes the voice of a Universal Motherhood as well as fear, love and acceptance, anger and courage. That fear, love, acceptance, anger and courage all belong to Jawad Harb, his family and neighbours and all those who have lived and died these same ways.
The first sound is the the bass drum, representing the impossible anti-human violence of what can – but will not – be altered from it’s white hot, black hearted depths of despair, anger, hatred and destruction.
The guitar is the onlooker, watching on television, alternately relentless and hesitant, charging forward and pulling back but determined, for once, to stand witness to the truth.
The child’s cry is from a train station in North America and by its very sound represents something we all know in our hearts.
The air raid sirens are from Israel and are the voices of warning coming from all those who have experienced the history of terrible violence and oppression.
There is an unknown Turkish man reading poetry way back in the mix toward the end. He represents the voices of people that no longer have names and will never be heard.
Then the awful, terrible sound of explosions – lifted from a YouTube copy of CNN’s live coverage of the bombing of Baghdad – like murderous, demonic laughter ripping darkness into your soul, stealing fire from hearth and heart and blazing hatred and anger, hatred and anger, hatred and anger across the sky and the flesh and the bones of innocent children. Deafening, hideous, sickening thunder and lightning torn from humanity’s darkest recesses, dripping bloody venom and poison onto everything that means anything to anyone.
The droning low-mid synth is the spine and the spirit of human compassion, empathy and the horrified muted moaning, keening and crying pulled out from the center of the very soul of a Mother’s grief and yearning. Like history, it spans hope and human time in the past and present but ventures into pure unknown in the future and the final fade.
The bottom end of the piano is the rock of the earth, the heat of technology and science, mankind through our collective history, evolution and religion, and the hope and hopelessness of time moving on. The high end of the piano represents the tears of the witnesses, the sorrow, the sadness, the pain of knowing, the guilt and remorse and the anger at helplessness in the face of such an storm, such an onslaught.
And it’s when I go back and listen, when it’s late and I’m alone and my ability to resist is at its lowest, and the acceptance and the understanding that the wolf must tear at the throat of the deer stares back at me from the mirror, I ask myself ”how can such things as this come to be?”
And I fear that as I say those words out loud, someone else will say to me “How dare you presume to create such a thing, you who know nothing of this.”