Stories Behind the Songs: “Counter-Message”

Posted by  Grand Poobah  June 17, 2013  •  No Comments  • 

BibleOn the same day that “Messenger” was finished, I wrote, “Some debate in my mind over whether the act of violence [that follows “Messenger”] should be a beating by a group (original idea), or a gunshot from a lone gunman.”  I ultimately chose the latter, and made him a religious zealot to continue the “positive vs. negative religion” theme that is interwoven throughout the narrative.  The gunman quotes Deuteronomy 22:5 from the King James Version of the Bible as a justification for his hatred; this kind of cherry-picking is unfortunately very common among those who seek to rationalize their prejudices.

The bass riff that underpins the piece was written in December 1998, making it one of the oldest pieces of music in the opera.  I actually recorded this riff backwards on both bass and guitar in order to make the music slightly creepy.  I also recorded the vocal track faster and at a higher pitch, slowed it down, and added some delay effects both to make the character’s voice distinct and to make it sound demonic.  I think it worked, because I actually find the final product a little unsettling.  It’s the only track on the opera I dislike listening to, but of course it’s crucial to the story.  It’s also the third and final song on which no other musicians appear.

Leave a Reply