Recorded around the world at great expense to wallets and friendships, New Hope for the Dead began life as a stage performance, featuring dancers, a live band, computer graphics, a trapeze artist, a break dancer, a martial artist and an aardvark. In an attempt to capture the ludicrously ambitious scale of the thing, the soundtrack was later recorded, albeit with a bit more peace and quiet about the place, in London. Following the multi-cultural focus of the stage show, we assembled a cast of thousands for the recording including musicians from Pakistan, India, Egypt, the West Indies, Iran, China, Japan and the planet Pluto.
Some came with higher profiles than others – the Tiger Lillies’ Martyn Jacques played accordion and sang on ‘TV On Fire’, Ravi Shankar’s music director Chandrashekar played violin, Spice Girls’ (as they then were) guitarist Paul Gendler, a Chinese opera singer – the list is too exhausting to even type. Compositionally, it was a collaboration between Martin Gordon and Peter Culshaw, an English journalist/musician – the pair met in Bombay during Boy George/Asha Bhosle sessions. Jointly composed songs – some pop, others not – were recorded from various perspectives and the result was released by JVC and later by Radiant Future.
- The band subsequently went to Switzerland to perform at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival, picking up the Spice Girls’ percussionist Fergus Grerand, a jazz sax player who also doubled on keys and whistled a bit, the marvelous Indian violinist Chandrashekar and, astonishingly for the rough, tough man’s world of rock’n’roll, some girls – Maria Mendonca on keys/vocals and singer Perla den Boer from the Dutch Antilles via Pluto). This experiment was not repeated, although not for gender-related reasons: before finally collapsing under it’s own weight, they delivered a stonking version of Todd Rundgren’s ‘Tiny Demons’, to be seen up there above. And then it was back to the real world…
- The download includes bonus tracks – remixes, the live Todd tune and more.
- Amazon and iTunes, natch.
- Find this CD in the Radiant Future store