The Quiet Earth Orchestra

by John Ludi (as The Quiet Earth Orchestra)

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about

A few quick facts about The Quiet Earth Orchestra:

They are not an orchestra.

They are not even a band.

In fact, "they" are not even a "they"…they are a "he" known as John Ludi.

And since this is actually John Ludi writing this, He/I will now switch to a first person perspective.

I grew up with two main musical influences: Progressive/Art Rock and Punk…the former for the musicality, the latter for the politics and rage. These two wholly incompatible genres have manifested themselves in various ways during my recording career, but the latter has generally prevailed as most of my releases have been in song form, usually oriented towards politics, economics, environmentalism, and screeds against the generally destructive dominant trends in western civilization overall. I always felt that it was far more important to try to directly change the world with direct messages, before it's too late. (Now that I am pretty much convinced that it's too late, I can be a lot more artistically flexible.)

The "Prog" influence had come out in my soundtrack work and in a few instrumental projects I've thrown together over the years, but until this album I have not had a chance to realize one of my primary artistic goals: to put out at least one (hopefully several) album(s) of quality Progressive Rock that hearkens back to the days when bands like Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, ELP, etc., enchanted listeners with brilliant and mind- expanding music. In my youth (and still today with bands like Porcupine Tree, Marillion, The Flower Kings, and many, many others) these bands took my heart, mind, and soul on journeys that were both cerebral and emotionally cathartic. They were to me, in fact, mini-symphonies filled with imagery and nuance, imagination and passion…far more of such than the average 3 minute pop/rock song could ever hope to deliver. The genre had a brief spell of commercial success during the 70's and was subsequently consumed by the New Wave and early Hip-Hop marketing manipulations of the major labels during the 80's.

That was regrettable.

I have long held to the "garbage in-garbage out" theory of human development: Complex art encourages mental dexterity and higher spiritual development…simple art turns you into a dumbed-down and stunted tool of the Corporatocracy. All we have to do is look around at our current culture to see just how base and idiotic we have become in the past 30 or so years. Encouraging the popularization of more evolved forms of artistic expression may have prevented much of this devastation. These days the most enlightened form of entertainment the vast majority are capable of engaging in is watching Kim Kardashian shake her ass..

But enough of my cynicism and paranoia.

This is a project that I have been working on since around 1999. It has been back-burnered more times than I care to remember, sometimes for a year or so at a stretch. 2008 has finally seen this album brought to light. I am hoping that the enjoyment I get when listening to this music is at least somewhat universal, and that those listeners out there who thrive on extended compositions and thoughtful lyricism will get some level of gratification out of this album.

credits

released February 19, 2008

All songs written, performed, engineered, mixed, and produced by John Ludi, with the exception of some songwriting credits that should go to Michael Moore (of Tin Scribble) and Ken Shaw for the song "Slow Down".

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about

John Ludi La Crosse, Wisconsin

John Ludi is a musician/singer-songwriter with a wide array of influences and lyrical interests who was "Indie" before the term even existed. Working outside of the music industry by choice has given Ludi the ability to release songs of a level of lyrical depth that are anathema to the minds of the "suits". Ludi lives off-grid in a yurt in the woods of WI and will "fight the power" til he dies. ... more

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Track Name: History Ends Here
HISTORY ENDS HERE

Faith favors false answers as sham prophets sew errant seeds.
Confusion grows as a cancer, an unthinking anarchy breeds.
The masses pray for a deluge or for the fear to dissipate,
but nothing offers them refuge or a balm to alleviate
the symptoms of the condition, the soul's malnutrition
or man's response to creation: violence and stagnation.

Attention slaves, attention fools: poison in the well!
Reclaim the caves, lay down your tools (poison in the well).
And sulk in pain, broken and bruised (poison in the well),
For you must live with what you choose (poison in the well).

Learned words beg for attention under the din of sensation.
For the few blessed with retention, some small private elation.
But this is hardly salvation for the mob who howl and tear
apart their civilization and then puzzle at the smoke in the air
rising from the ruins and embers of a future dismembered.
The just desserts now tendered of a history not remembered.
Track Name: God
GOD

I'm here all around you,
my essence surrounds you.
But temporal trappings confound you,
and nothing I impart can ground you.

You toil in vain to define me,
wondrous words to confine me.
Your prayers and totems can't bind me. With tools like these you'll not find me.

The world is an illusion where you dwell amidst confusion,
that dulls all resolution, turns conviction into dissolution.

The spaces between moments beseech you. The singularity entreats you.
The universe has so much to teach you…but it may never reach you.
Track Name: Limitations
LIMITATIONS

I am merely human, trying to endeavor.
I am limitations, I am fur and feathers.
And I yearn to grow beyond my means,
far too primitive to achieve my dreams.

To ascend to failure, is this mankind's station?
To climb up then falter, evolution wasted.
And I beg to know with a primate's tools,
with a hairy heart chained by nature's rules.

Afraid stands each simian,
clad in tragic artifice of Byzantine proportions, alone.
What foul legacy does endless warfare,
hatred, and slavery bestow?
All born from history's memory: tempest...tragedy..
.a past that can't be disowned.
So what transcendence can pay the penance
each child of man must own?

It's an endless cycle as our reserve crumbles.
Animals that lash out, primal steps that stumble.
We create a world to torment our gods,
and narrow our views to increase our odds.
Track Name: Simple
None...I finally shut up for once.
Track Name: The Prophet
THE PROPHET

Propelled by momentum, keeping me aflame.
Keep me here for someone's sake, I know it isn't mine.

Drowned in worldly contention, stifled and restrained.
I look calm but I'm barely contained, and something's got to give.

Pulled up by dawning awareness, illusions shatter in the light.
I feel the breakthrough but I'm so afraid, what will happen to me?
Track Name: Singularity
SINGULARITY

All light enters me, unfettered, unbound and free.
My ego retreats in fright, to an unconscious twilight.

A bursting forth has begun, I begin to see all things as one.
A spark in me catches fire, unchained of all earthly desire.

All time and space flows in me, I dissolve in infinity.
Universal perception and sight, I merge with the source and the light.

Words and symbols lose their meaning, the universe opens wide.
A burning light opens wide, erasing my ego, my pride
and in this oncoming tide, I succumb.

Time and space expand and fade, my comprehension, it grows.
I'm free from the ebb and the flow, I am the above and below
dissolved in this mounting glow...I awake!
Track Name: Slow Down
SLOW DOWN

Look up from your duties and peer beyond the haze,
do you see the years that you've spent running the a maze?
Are you a bit part player on an empty stage,
attending to the ritual and pacing in your cage?

Look all around you now and tell me what you see:
millions of voiceless machines pretending they are free
whose every fleeting notion is written as in stone,
fleeing from the uncertain and fearing the unknown.

All eyes upon you as you waver on the edge.
All jaundiced observations as you stare down from the ledge.

So whose life are you living and by whose unspoken rules?
Why did you pass your future into the hands of fools
who trod down well-worn paths yet never found their way?
Why do their listless echoes inform your life today?

All eyes upon you as you waver on the edge.
All jaundiced observations as you stare down from the ledge.
And sudden gasps of shock as their eyes raise to the sky,
as you throw off your chains, spread your wings and fly!

An angry crowd has gathered, they're calling out my name,
a mob of naysayers who shoot down every claim.
Behind them stand all those who forged all their chains,
(keeping it all the same).

I back away to flee but there's nowhere to turn.
Smoke wafts in the breeze as my books start to burn.
All the words now just forgotten, mocked and spurned.
(The pattern always returns.)

And as I struggle, to a platform I am led,
with handcuffs on my wrists and a hood over my head.
I call for help but the fickle faithful have all fled
(they only value you when you're dead).
Track Name: The Madness of Crowds
THE MADNESS OF CROWDS

Standing on the platform, mere seconds from the noose,
they've written words on my chest (and misspelled most of them).
A list of all my crimes for all the mob to see,
like the crime of being aware
and the crime of paying too much attention.

Trash flies from the mob, it skitters at my feet.
A bottle hits the ankle of the thug restraining me.
He does a little dance while bellowing in pain,
and loosens up his grip just enough for me to fall.

I fall to the platform (which buckles under my weight),
while the thug runs to his target and punches him in the face.
The punch becomes a fight, the fight becomes a brawl,
the brawl becomes a riot, soon to become a war...I run away.
Track Name: Cicadas
CICADAS

Here, here, in the woods where I fell down,
words, words, trees whisper sacred sounds.
Hum, hum, cicadas call from all around.
Run, run, so tired of running. Try, try, so tired of trying.
Will, will, the will has left me,
I sit and watch the breeze bustling the trees.

Calm, calm, leaves and limbs ask me to stay.
Rest, rest, just eat and drink and play.
Sleep, sleep, let the world just fade away.
Run, run, so tired of running. Try, try, so tired of trying.
Gone, gone, the world can't find me...
they're making new regrets, and soon they will all forget.

I'm falling down into a nest of green and brown.
I'll rest my weary soul amidst nature's simple sounds.
I will abandon man as all his cities burn.
I will merge with this land, never to return.
Track Name: The Prophet's Theme
Another one without me blathering away about stuff sane people don't care about. Will wonders never cease?