3. Dark Cloud
1. La Montaña al Amanecer
Lamentations expresses a deep sense of sympathy with the disastrous situation in occupied Iraq and the enormous suffering that has been caused to its people. When I wrote the work in 2006, the rate of bombings and other atrocities was at a peak, and a credible report (in the British medical journal, Lancet) estimated that some 650,000 civilians had already been killed. The opening chords represent the terrifying and unstoppable build-up to an explosion. This is followed by music tinged with a Middle Eastern feel, which is explored and intensified before amassing into further explosions. Finally, the Middle Eastern gapped scale gives way to another gapped scale – the blues scale – as if the Iraqi suffering is assuaged by the music of another historically oppressed people, African-Americans. I chose the title to express feelings of grief at this tragic and unnecessary loss of life. Interestingly, I later learned that some of the earliest forms of the Lament (known as the "Lament for Ur") actually originate from ancient Mesopotamia (which is basically modern day Iraq). Lamentations is dedicated to all victims of bombs, everywhere. The perpetrators of this form of indiscriminate mass killing — whether 'terrorist' or government aligned — truly, to paraphrase Jesus Christ, "know not what they do…"