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“Making A New World” is a 19 track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War. But this is not an album about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance.
There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and about sanitary towels.
The songs grew from a project the band undertook for the Imperial War Museum and were first performed at their sites in Sanford and London in January 2019. The starting point was a document from the IWM collection; an image, from a 1919 publication on munitions by the US War Department, made using “sound ranging”, a technique that utilized an array of transducers to capture the vibrations of gunfire at the front. These vibrations were displayed on a graph, similar to a seismograph, where the distances between peaks on different lines could be used to pinpoint the location of enemy armaments. This particular image showed the minute leading up to 11am on 11th November 1918, and the minute immediately after. One minute of oppressive, juddering noise and one minute of near-silence.
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