We are raising an entire generation who barely remember a time when our country was not at war. With more and more of our brethren either a soldier, or related to someone who has fought in an armed conflict on behalf of our country, it is important that we understand the multitude of complex emotions these soldiers must experience everyday, whether we support the purpose of their mission or not. We are brought up to believe that killing is a heinous act, and yet our country dictates that these men (and now, of course, women as well) go to battle to defend our nation against "the bad guys," which we must support for the protection of our populace.
David Little has created a powerful, operatic piece based on interviews he conducted with veterans across several wars. "Soldier Songs" is divided into three overarching "movements," each attempting to portray a different generation's perspective towards war. From the "Child," who has developed a glorified view of fighting as it pertains to video games and news broadcasts, to the "Warrior," the active soldier who must deal firsthand with the reality of taking lives for the safety of his homeland, to the "Elder," who demonstrates the mature outlook of one who has had time to reflect on past wars, and yet is also the same person who is now watching future generations having to come to terms with the killing and death of his fellow man.
Little is accompanied on "Soldier Songs" by the New York-based ensemble, Newspeak, a promising group of musicians named for the language invented by George Orwell in "1984" to limit thought. This recording is a heightened aural experience presented by a very talented group of performers. Little does not attempt to present an opinion either in favor of or against war; his composition shows a need to come to terms with the thought processes of the soldiers in each scenario. At one moment a "spoken word" piece, the next a blast of heavy metal, this introspective journey into the minds of our veterans will get you thinking.
David T. Little / Newspeak
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