Sounds of the Revolution
Just in case you’re really bored and want to read a wall of text, here’s a few words about the weird guy writing this weird music and also a few notes about the song and the songs lyrics.
Before I get into my long-winded song description, the first thing I need to do is thank my friend Erik Brown for the cover art. To learn more of about Erik's art please visit him at www.wix.com/erikbrown/MINE
Hello! My name is Andrew McGuire. I’m a 37 year old American, from Boston Massachusetts, living in Tokyo Japan. Thank you for visiting my page and taking the time to listen to my music, I sincerely appreciate it.
I hope that you will enjoy the music that I post here. If any part of this music resonates with you, whether it be the lyrics or the composition, I am truly and respectfully grateful and honored that it did so. I hope to make friends with musicians and listeners all over the world, regardless of musical genre, race, color, creed, nationality or religion.
I have several goals in posting my music here. The first is to fulfill a personal lifetime goal. In my teens, making music and playing the guitar was my life. Unfortunately adulthood and reality got in the way, and I gave up on dream to write music and share it with the world. Through adulthood, I maintained my passion for music and used other areas and methods involving music to try and do a greater good for society. After a great personal loss, I decided to dive into playing the guitar again and writing music as an anchor of sanity.
Now that I’m older, the internet has provided us with ways to communicate and share information with the world in ways that weren’t available 20 years ago, I understand how precious this recourse is and wish to be allowed to partake in the music community. I hope that you will welcome me into your respective musical circles.
I have come to terms with and realize that life is short. If I don’t record the songs now that I’ve held onto for the 20 years or so, and don’t finally work on the songs that I’ve been longing to write, I realize that it will never happen.
At the risk of sounding cliché, as a listener, I really enjoy all kinds of music. If a song moves me, I don’t care about the genre. Rock, metal, classical, dance, rap, electronic music, country, jazz, I enjoy it and appreciate it all.
As a writer, I find that I enjoy writing music that has a foundation built upon overdriven guitar riffs, with syncopated matching drum passages, solid grooves, making use of both single and double bass, harsh and melodic vocal harmonies, tempo changes and various lead guitar styles. I hope that I am able to use these musical ingredients appropriately and tastefully to bring to fruition the music that I have envisioned in my mind’s eye or should I say mind’s ear?
As a guitar player, I also hope that this music may of some use in regards of sound testing for guitar gear for my fellow guitarists. I’m using various guitar and pickup combinations in the recording process and will find a way to label the guitars / pickups / hardware used for the appropriate measures. If you have any questions about a particular passage, please let me know and I will do my best to answer.
For software, I’m using a licensed copy of Reaper. My recordings are done through a direct line-in recordings via a Boss GT-10 effects processor and as of a few weeks ago, a ZOOM G3 effects processor as well. Living in a small apartment in Japan and as my recording studio consists of the one living room / dining room / kitchen table and a chair, the GT-10 and Zoom G3 both have been a Godsend.
Also, as I’m doing all of this myself, in the context of life as a regular working adult, progress is painstakingly slow, and it has taken a great deal of time just to get this far, about 2 years to be exact. So please bear with me as I do my best to update and post previews and ultimately full songs.
About the lyrics and the message of the music:
I feel I have a responsibility to society to do my best to help those in need. As an American and a patriot, it is the love of my country which propels this sense of duty and my responsibility to be critical of our policies, politicians and decision makers to ensure that we say true to the ideals set forth by our Constitution. I will do my best to bring awareness and attention to the issues that affect the lives of my fellow Americans and people of the world.
As I live in Japan, out of respect for the Japanese people and in hopes that some Japanese people may also enjoy the music, I’ve elected to write lyrics in both English and Japanese.
As I have been given this opportunity for my voice can be heard by an audience, I feel that I should use that opportunity for the greater good and to speak for those that may not have the opportunity to do so.
I would like to use music as a journalistic tool, to document the struggles of the working class, to raise awareness, speak out against injustice throughout the world, spread a positive message and do something for the greater good. I’m not suggesting that this is a universal requirement for everyone, or the right or wrong thing to do, simply that this something that I’ve been given a passion for, and would like to act upon these convictions.
Personally, I don’t feel that the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness should be limited to American soil. I realize that although idealistic, it’s my hope that all the people on this earth would be free to live their lives in peace, enjoying personal and professional freedom. I hope that each person would have a roof over their head, enough to eat, have the opportunity to be together with those they love, and to be free from oppression and intolerance.
If the lyrics or music can be a form of motivation and support to those facing any of life’s struggles, I will be truly happy and honored that they did so.
I realize that not every song has to be political and a sociology thesis. There is also room for some fun songs as well. There is a song I hve written with a science fiction theme. It documents the plight of the Daleks from Dr. Who. So, If you are a Dr Who fan, I hope you will enjoy it when it gets posted.
Regardless of where you stand politically, it is my hope that you as a listener (especially my fellow Americans) will be able to relate to the message and agree that any actions contrary to our constitution are unacceptable. I hope that you will stand with me, in letting those in power know that we are not going to stand for the deprivation of our basic human and civil rights and that we all agree, at a minimum, that we should do our part to stop and speak out against social injustice.
I understand that not everyone will agree with the message, and that’s okay. I would ask that only you take a moment to consider an alternative point of view and we can agree to disagree respectfully. I also realize that not everyone will like the music, and will maybe even dislike it, as it is far from mainstream. And that ‘s okay, as well, I’m prepared for that. Either way, I’m thankful for the opportunity to present the song and for your time in listening to it.
A few notes about the song:
This song ties in musically and lyrically with other songs that once finished, will ultimately, collectively form a concept album. The two songs that share a direction connection with Sounds of the Revolution, share a common lyrical theme and even borrow musical elements from each other and form one larger piece of music. The other songs feature more Japanese vocals, thus the reason for the second chorus being in Japanese in Sounds of the Revolution.
This song and the other two songs are inspired by the events of Occupy Wall Street, the revolutions in the Middle East, and events surrounding the earthquake and nuclear meltdown over here in Japan.
In regards to the composition, I tried to have the music convey subtle messages and emotions to accompany the theme of the lyrics. Hopefully I succeeded.
Maybe there are some other subconscious nuances here as well that I will discover later. If you have you own interpretation of any part of the song, or a certain part speaks to you, I would love to hear about it.
From the opening scene we are presented with a family or group of civilians pinned down under enemy fire and we learn that they are preparing to move to another location. The leader of the group is giving instructions that when the signal is given, they will leave cover and enter the hostile area, low crawl under fire to reach their objective.
From the word “go” the mood of the solo is written to represent the constant stream of automatic weapons fire itself, along with the chaos, confusion, the elevated heartbeats and anxiety of the persons moving desperately under said fire.
At the end of the solo, they reach their objective, collapsing behind cover, which is met with a sudden stop and transition to the slow tempo.
The minor harmony after the first solo with the tempo change to the slow grinding riff, is there to present the sadness, suffering to accompany the narrative of the lyrics. The heaviness of the desperate situation of the families living in subhuman conditions without food, water, or sanitation. The physical sounds of battle, the screams of pain, agony, frustration, victory, the voices on the street, on the internet, the collective sound of the struggle representing the sounds of the revolution .
The death growls represent the frustration, anger and violence related to the conflicts.
The tempo change in the pre-chorus is there to represent the anxiety and the urgency of the messages in the corresponding lyrics of the passage.
The minor harmonies in the chorus are placed to reinforce the sadness of the narrator.
The sustained vocals at the end of the first chorus, also have their separate meanings as well. The high clean vocal note is there to represent the sadness and loneliness of the person who just narrated the passage for us. A representation of his / her despair and hopelessness and uncertainty echoing, trailing into the future.
The trailing growls are a representation of the wind howling through the emptiness and hollowness of the war torn neighborhood.
Sounds of the Revolution
On my word, we hit the pavement, low-crawl under tracer fire…
And yet, we are still pinned down. Post-modern Cro-Magnon survival.
Can you hear the sounds, of the revolution?
The road to Damascus is littered with corpses, fingerless corpses, 100 corpses.
The prophecy’s rites, our writings of old, come to fruition, legends foretold.
I still belong, to a memory I once beheld.
A long forgotten, happiness I can’t reclaim.
I still belong to a tragedy, that once befell (me).
It lingers on, (my death drags on) and perpetuates this consciousness.
Now the truth becomes, shouted from the rooftops, the world stops,
to listen to the sounds, of the revolution.
Artillery rains on our urban encampment.
Unarmed, we fight bullets with pirated bandwidth.
As state media spins the charades of compassion
and the solemn parades of the hypocrite assassins.
We move under moonlight to bury our dead,
through shadows and snipers, past hemorrhaging heads.
I'm knee-deep in limbs and the blood of civilians,
to yesterday's playgrounds to entomb our tortured children.
A prisoner, of a tragedy I once beheld. A long forgotten happiness I can’t reclaim.