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How did I die?

Einstürzende Neubauten
Lingua: Tedesco

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Doberdói dal
(Zoltán Kodály)
On Patrol in No Man's Land
(Einstürzende Neubauten)
Lament
(Einstürzende Neubauten)



2014
Lament
Lament

The album version of LAMENT should be heard as a studio reconstruction of a work primarily designed to be performed live, rather than an official new Einstürzende Neubauten LP proper.

In truth, the piece can only be fully realised, as well as best experienced, in its physical embodiment, performed on or by founding member Andrew Unruh’s gigantic instruments and noise generating devices that visually evoke the horrors the work describes or embeds in the sounds they conjure from the filth and terror of the industrialised 20th century world at war with itself.

But in fulfilling what at first appears to be a surprise commission for such a formidable longtime outsider group, Einstürzende Neubauten transformed the earthy, idiosyncratic contents they mined from academic, state, music hall and internet archives with the help of their two researchers into a richly complex cycle of original and cover songs and performance pieces.

The music often originated in LAMENT’s storytelling needs, be it in terms of sounds used or compositions structured along First World War flow charts or scored from calendars of the involvement of the 20 plus countries embroiled in it. The way LAMENT plays off pre-existing and composed materials, pieces clipped together from historical records next to direct cover interpretations, or indeed their Frankenstein like construction of an ur-anthem/national hymn delivers a differently angled history of the war.

Finally, LAMENT opens Bargeld’s case that the First World War never ended - the interwar and postwar periods being essentially pauses for breath as the great military powers carry on their conflict at some remove in faraway wars fought by proxy.

Kriegsmaschinerie - Hymnen - The Willy - Nicky Telegrams - In de loopgraf - Der 1. Weltkrieg (Percussion Version) - On Patrol in No Man's Land - Achterland - Lament - Lament - How did I die? - Sag Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind - Der Beginn des Weltkrieges 1914 (unter Zuhilfenahme eines Tierstimmenimitators) - All of No Man's Land Is Ours




The song has precedence, remarks Bargeld: “It's a song that Kurt Tucholsky wrote. You can see it on YouTube. It’s called Die Rote Melodie, and he signed it: gewidmet Ludendorff (who commanded the German army in the First World War). He wrote this wonderful song about his experiences in the war, and dedicated it to Ludendorff. So he didn’t have to say anything, but every chorus goes against Ludendorff. Though he never says it directly, it’s clear that the dead soldier will come back and haunt him.”

Over a string quartet setting with a featured solo cello part, Bargeld describes different ways of dying, tempered with the feeling that lives shouldn’t end like this. “So they come back, sing a different song, and Europe is a different place afterwards.”
I was in a crater
pockmarked fields on either side
I was meant to be all safe
How did I die?
How did I die?
or didn’t I?

Un sursaut, une crispation,
mon corps soudain
comme vouiant s’engloutir
dans la terre.
How did I die?
How did I die?
or didn’t I?
Didn’t I die at all?

I fell into a ditch
inside an A7V
on the end facing
Mephisto is it's name
How did I die?
How did I die?
or didn’t I?

Ein schwarzes Biest
ein Splitterregen
über den Bäumen zerspringt
und niedergeht
How did I die?
How did I die?
or didn’t I?
Didn’t I die at all?

Now there is only that sinister brown belt, a strip of murdered Nature. It seems to belong to another world. Every sign of humanity has been swept away. The woods and roads have vanished like chalk wiped from a board; of the villages nothing remains but gray smears where stone walls have tumbled together. A confused mass of troubled earth. Columns of muddy smoke spurt up continually as high explosives tear deeper into this ulcered area.
How did I die?
I fell from the sky
or didn’t I?

I filled my mouth with water
so the bullet could suceed
How did I die?
How did I die?
Did I die by my own hand?
or didn’t I?
How did I die?
Or didn’t I die at all?

How did we die?
or didn’t we?
didn’t we die at all?
We didn't die
We didn’t die
We are back with a different song
We didn’t die
We didn’t die
We’re just singing a different song
we are back with a change of weather
ein anderer Wind, ein neues Lied

We didn’t die
We didn’t die
We give you a different song
okookookookooskrookookookookoo
the difference is in the song
okookookookooskrookookookookoo
— difference makes the song
We didn’t die
We didn’t die
We didn’t die
We didn’t die

inviata da dq82 - 28/4/2015 - 16:00


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