Tag: Original Music

Drowned River Blues

Drowned River Blues

 

Yeah you know I’ve been driving

Down that snow covered road

Black ice sent me reeling sideways

Somewhere colder than I’ve ever known

 

Round that bay road never could escape

Lost on that drowned river plain

Girl you pray for my poor mortal soul

But I won’t be feeling no more pain

 

It was the darkest of nights

I saw the brightest of lights

Coming towards me

 

Yeah you know I’ve been driving

Down that snow covered road

Deep end is where I’m resting now and

There’s no place like home

Deep end is where I’m resting now and

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home

Music and Lyrics by David Archer
Trad. B. White/M. Cardenas –  Arr. D. Archer
All rights reserved
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Turn It On Tonight

Turn It On Tonight

Watch the sun go down

Shadows all around you

The wind dies down

Seems everything’s changed

Turn back if you have to

I know you don’t want to

You know this could be your only chance

So turn it all around

 

Now the stage is set

Everybody’s in their place

You can deal yourself another hand

If you don’t like the cards

Bring on the main event

Bound to earth or heaven sent

You know this could be your only chance

So turn it on tonight

 

Lay down your money, Lay down your time

Fit in all the words, try to make then rhyme

Lay down your money, Lay down your time

Fit in all the words, try to make then rhyme

Build another house of cards then burn it to the ground

 

You know the aces are wild

The duces only make you cry

The snakeskin smile

You better turn around

You know strange as it seems

It’s all part of the scene

And the light will shine down on you

So turn it on tonight

 

 

Music and Lyrics by David Archer
All rights reserved

Shattered City Blues

Shattered City Blues

If you’re lost in the shattered city
You can always sing the blues
If you’re lost in the shattered city
You can always sing the blues
There is no better way, nothing else will do
When you’ve got the blues
Like I’ve got the blues for you

If you’re alone in the drowning city
You better sing the blues
If you’re alone in the drowning city
You better sing the blues
There is no other way, nothing else will do
When you’ve got the blues
Like I’ve got the blues for you

I’m coming home
Coming home to the blues
Well I’m finally coming home
Finally coming home to the blues
I’ve tried every other way
Nothing else lets me through
When you’ve got the blues
Like I’ve got the blues for you

Music and Lyrics by David Archer
All rights reserved

“You Won’t Find Us There” Title Track (1st Mix)

You Won’t Find Us There

These are demos recorded on my computer for “You Won’t Find Us There” – a Rock Opera about the human costs of anarchism, socialism and capitalism existing together against a backdrop of events at the Toronto G20 demonstration.

With luck, I’ll begin recording the entire project at a better studio with a full band soon.

 

Lyrics:

(Track 1):

You Won’t Find Us There

You can follow a trail of broken glass
But you won’t find us there
You can capture the faces that pass
Then dissolve in the air
You can fall on your knees before the towers of mammon
You can whisper a ghost of a prayer
You can smash though the smoke and the mirrors
Still you won’t find us there

(Media Voices)

[You want for nothing, you want it all
Nothing to fear, nowhere to fall]

– It won’t make any difference
We’ll be running the walls down by then
It won’t make any difference
We’ll be running the walls down by then –

[These are your iconic dreams
You can’t change the picture on the screen
You can’t unsee the things you’ve seen]

(Media Voices)

Will you wait in the night for the ice to break
Or will you ride through the streets on a wave
Will you hide all alone in your basement
Just counting the coins that you’ve saved
Will you run with wolves
Will you fight from the rooftops
Or retreat to the mountains and caves
Well, whatever you do
Break the mirror in two
Or watch the Joker run away with game

(Track 2):

Fox Free

You never see them coming
They leave without a trace
There’s no use in running
From that mystified smile on your face

It’s a timeless story
What fool would take the bet?
The joker makes the rules here
And he lights your cigarette

So you break all the mirrors
Hanging in the hall
And you smash all the windows
Run from the sirens call
Lost in all those numbers
Down the endless gilded hall

(Seems so long)
Well it seems so long
(I’ve been in your arms)
I’ve been in your arms
(Did I drift off?)
Til I drift off
(Did I drift off?)
Til I drift off

Well it always goes like that
Til the numbness fades away
Then we’re back to stealing fire
And bleeding through the day

And all those broken mirrors
They only multiply the pain
And all those shattered windows
Well they just let in the rain
Lost in all those numbers
On that endless gilded chain

There’s nothing left …

I’ve got nothing left here
I’m just a dog without a home
Sometimes I get to thinking
That I’m out here all alone

We always see through those games
As we breath the teargas rage
Lost in endless circles
Still pacing ’round the cage

(Seems so long)
Well it seems so long
(I’ve been in your arms)
I’ve been in your arms
(Did I drift off?)
Til I drift off
(Did I drift off?)
Til I drift off

(Track 3):

No Turning Back

We both know
This won’t go down easy
And we both know
Some people are going to get hurt
But this is the big show
It’s going to get ugly

If we let it go
There’ll be no turning back
If we let it go
There’ll be no turning back

I think you’re like me
You can turn with the big wheels
And if you want to be free
You know what needs to be done
And I think you can see
We’re all out of options

If we let it go
There’ll be no turning back
If we let it go
There’ll be no turning back

My plans, my plans are all in place
We’re so close, so close to the end of the race
I’ll lift that shadow off your face
Now let’s go, go (go go go)

From this place in the sun
We can watch all the puppets dance
When what’s done is done
There’s nothing left to say
So look in my eyes
Let’s give it a chance now

If you’re caught up in the fight
You can’t see the light
If you stand back from the ledge
You can push ’em all off the edge
If you let it go
There’ll be no turning back
If we let it go
There’ll be no turning back

Music & Lyrics by David Archer
Toronto, 2011
© David Archer All Rights Reserved

Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go Video

Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go is set in Gaza – I take a neutral political position on Israel/Palastine and honour all civilian victims of war.

Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go

A Gaza Bombing Sound Collage
Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go – (4:01)
Music by David Archer. (Unauthorized) text by Jawad Harb

Download mp3
(right click – save target as)

Lyrics/Notes

On January 14/ 09  I read an article entitled The Bombs Came Today – There Is Nowhere to Go  written by Jawad Harb who lives with his family in Rafah, Gaza and was there during the bombing.  As any parent –  any feeling person – would be, I was horrified at this harshest of realities and stunned by the powerful writing of a parent in an anguish of fear and concern over their children’s safety.

I had to react to what was happening but I was not certain how to go about it. Not wanting to let that stop me, I began to work with the vague idea of a sound collage involving my usual sounds plus some found sound effects from around the web.

Once I had a few loops and sound ideas going, it occurred to me that the actual words of  Jawad Harb  himself would express what I was searching for far better than I ever could. After realizing that my first choice of having Harb read them himself over the phone was not likely to happen – I tried reading and chanting the words myself.  Bad idea. My voice had no place in this sound.  A few days earlier, I had stumbled on a browser based news reader that actually reads HTML text aloud with a Microsoft Sam style computer voice.  I thought I had my solution but the voice sounded all wrong. I surfed around the net for a while and tried several other text readers of various types until I finally pieced together a workable version using a female Asian/Indian sounding voice and managed to record it.

It’s weird but sometimes, given the power of the words as written, the computer voice actually seems to carry human feeling and on at least one occasion it sounds as if the speakers voice is breaking with emotion.

Most of the other sound effects came from The Freesound Project, except the explosions, which are actually from a recording of the bombing of Baghdad.

Although the Gaza bombings and the experience of Jawad Harb and his family are the source and catalyst for this project, I hope it can serve as a memorial to all innocent war victims anywhere, anytime and a reminder to the aggressors that the real victims of war are always, always children.

Here is the original text. 

GAZA (January 13, 2009, 6:15 p.m) – The leaflets came yesterday, telling us our neighbourhood would be attacked. The whole population of the area is terrified. We have nowhere to go. My neighbour checked at the UNRWA shelter but it was full. Overflowing. There is nowhere to go. We waited to be bombed. My children have seen the dead bodies of children on television. They cry, they are crying now, they are terrified. When will this end? There was screaming. It is dark and cold but most of us are still outside. My family is outside next to the house. We are terrified to go inside.

The bombs came today. It was terrifying. We have nowhere to run. There was an air strike every five minutes. Thick black smoke 100m-150m away from us. People were scared, ran outside of their houses and gathered together in the street. 300-350 people in the street. The street was the safest place. If our house is bombed, we’ll get trapped and die like the people we saw on television.

It is quiet for 20 minutes now but we don’t know if it will start again. What if it is just a short break? We can’t take the risk. My children are shivering. It is getting so cold. Some neighbours went back inside, but they are staying on the first floor, next to the door so they can run outside. We don’t know what will come next. This is the closest it has come to our house. The neighbourhood next to ours was bombed. What do we do? We don’t know. We have nowhere to go. Nowhere to go.

 

Update:

Bombs Falling/Nowhere To Go became international in 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 – the bass drum –  is the impossible violence of what can be –  but will not be altered from it’s white hot, black heart of despair and anger and hatred and destruction.

The guitar is the onlooker, 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 heath 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, putrid venom and poison onto everything that means anything to anyone.

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 it’s lowest, and the acceptance and the understanding of why 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.”