Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Union Electric and Samuel Beckett

The Union Electric is at work on a new EP which will be released on our own Extension Chord Records label.

We are currently raising funds on Kickstarter (link below) and will also be releasing a series of cover songs for free download on Soundcloud throughout the campaign.

A tentative title in tribute to Beckett is "From Bad To Worstward", containing three songs and an appropriated fiddle tune.
a) Left at The Side / Every Word a Stain /
b) Day of the Dead / Nothing to be Done //

I wrote an earlier piece inspired by the play "Endgame" for my first CD in 2001. The song "End. Repeat." took some of its lines from Beckett. From the same source comes a new batch of recordings, being produced in the studio of Kevin Buckley.

"Left at the side" comes from a couple of Samuel Beckett's novels, "Watt" and "Mercier and Camier". Both novels were written in the 1940s with an Irish landscape as their setting. The latter is a precursor to the characters from "Waiting For Godot" which made Beckett famous in the 1950s. Although many of the lines and details come from Beckett, the characters of "the fool and the blind man" were also borrowed from a poem by W.B. Yeats.

"Every word a stain..." employs an Irish fiddle tune called "Man Of The House" to reclaim part of Beckett's work for Ireland. His roots there are apparent throughout much of his writing, including the house and country side in the novel "Watt" from which this track takes it's excerpted pieces of text. Kevin Buckley picked out the reel.

"Day of the dead" started with a quote from Beckett, not from his writing but rather his conversation with a friend who proclaimed upon a walk outside that it was a lovely day. A similar sentiment opens his play "Happy Days". Beckett's response was "I wouldn't go that far" and I took it from there for a sneering rock song.

"Nothing to be done" began as a tune written by Irene Allen for a play by Jason Lauderdale called "Zombozo". I took the music and set to writing a version of "Waiting for Godot" as a drinking song. It's menacing and bleak, sure, but who doesn't look forward to going to the bar?

Bloomsday, 2013

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