“I am the lost bastard son of war and I bring you death and destruction!
Death & destruction… DEATH & DESTRUCTION!”
Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker have announced details of a new collaboration, The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War, out on Mute on vinyl, CD. The album examines the work of a long forgotten World War I poet, Edgar Bourchier, through his poetry as put to music in a concept album. Its release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on 11 November 2018.
The works of this long forgotten war poet arrive in 2018 indirectly from the trenches of the Western Front. The wider narrative takes us from Bourchier’s birth in Warwickshire in 1893 through to his final school days and then his pointless death at Passchendaele in 1917, aged only 24. It continues by virtue of the poetry being posthumously published in 1918, adapted into song via a proposed cabaret treatment influenced by the Weimar Republic, through to an Olympia Press reprint of the poems in the 1960s, and then onward into the late 80s when The Moon Lepers translated his words into song. In 2018, Bourchier’s words were revived when the author Christopher Richard Barker approached Mick Harvey to ask if he could help him recreate the scores that had been discovered for the unrealised cabaret show. Happily, Harvey’s interest was piqued.
The route was indirect though, not just because of the twists and turns in the story of Edgar Bourchier and his poetry, but also because Bourchier’s entire backstory and poetry was constructed by Christopher Richard Barker, an author who initially created the character while working on his novel, The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes.
Barker paused from this venture to approach Harvey to ask for his expertise with arranging and recording the scores. In response, a 15-track album was written by Harvey and Barker to give life to an incredibly powerful fictional narrative.
In addition to Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker, the album features contributions from J.P. Shilo, a long time collaborator of Harvey’s and Jade Imagine, Simon Breed and Alain Johannes as guest vocalists.
The album was recorded primarily in Melbourne, Australia with some additional vocal recordings in the UK and LA.
1 . Further Down the Line
2. The Poetic Clown
3. A Secret Hidden Message
4. Poor Poor Surgeon Tim
5. The Kindness of Ravens
6. Softly Spoken Bill
7. Pounding for Peace
8. The Lost Bastard Son of War
9. The Expressionist Tell #1
10. The Expressionist Tell #2
11. I am the Messenger
12. The Eternal Black Darkness of my Death
13. Corpse 564
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