I am the product of the marriage of a traditional American Christian woman, and a Harvard-educated physicist. Guess if I have a conflict or two!
All my life I’ve heard, of course, about the Book of Revelation. And all my life I’ve heard various dire warnings that this or that bit of the book corresponds exactly to this or that bit from the evening news. And once in a while I’d try to read some, and every time I did my head would spin and my eyes would go out of focus since it all seemed such gibberish to me.
After September 11, 2001, though, when the sights and sounds, and the feeling of that day, especially for me the sight of those people jumping from the towers, did get me thinking perhaps the time really was at hand.
And indeed I heard somewhere that there was a passage that seemed clearly to refer to the Twin Towers and this disaster, so once again I pulled down my old King James and looked it up.
And, as ever, here came the seven angels and the seven trumpets and the four-and-twenty seats around the throne and the sea of glass like unto crystal and the four beasts with six wings and the fire and hail and blood and the earthquake and the star called Wormwood and the mountain burning with fire that turned the sea to blood. Again my eyes glazed over and I was on the verge of giving up, and then at last I found a way to read it. This album is not only the result of my reading, but the actual method. I couldn’t have gotten through the book any other way.
Each of us who manages to engage this book will have his reaction to it. A great many American Christians, millions I guess, seem to take this as the single most important book in the whole Bible, and we even have some trying in various ways to give prophecy a little help, hoping to live to see the day.
Martin Luther, I have read, considered taking it out of the Protestant Bible, but in the end left it in.
For my part I’ll say that to me it seems simply to be the psychotic fantasy of a deeply vindictive individual, with, however, a remarkable gift of poetry.
I began this recording five years ago today as it happens, on December 31, 2006, and did most of it over the course of five weeks. Chapter 2 was reworked sometime in 2008, and the final version of Chapter 3 was done from scratch in November, 2011.
It’s all me, the many voices, the several guitars, bass on one track, and bongos on a couple.
My own name for the method of composition on most of this is Vocal Kaleidoscope. It begins with the spoken word, and develops through the quest to discover the music explicit and implicit in the phrases as spoken. As a child, I always loved a kaleidoscope. I still do. An image comes into focus, and is immediately transformed into something completely different. Just at the moment you think you can grasp it, it’s gone, and something new is there to be grasped at, and yet not grasped. That’s how I experience the music here, and it does seem an appropriate setting for the dream of St. John, whatever it meant, whatever it means.
Andy Fite, Stockholm, December 31, 2011.