New album from Mike Cooper recorded live on Radio Lebanon in Beirut. Cooper plays electric lap steel and sings several of his 'Spirit Songs' - a body of vocal works that he has been presenting live over the past few years. These 'songs' are constructed by chopping up - (William Burroughs /Brion Gysin/Tom Phillips style) - Gravity's Rainbow and V - two novels by Thomas Pynchon.
No chords, melodies or harmonic patterns for each song are planned prior to them being performed. Both accompaniment and the songs melody are improvised during each performance rendering each performance unique. There are other recorded versions of these pieces which, by the very nature of this approach to presentation, are completely different.
This set differs radically from other versions also because it was recorded using an electric Vietnamese lap steel guitar (as apposed to his usual electro-acoustic resonator guitar) heavily processed through a vintage Kaos Pad and Zoom Sampletrack looper. The guitar has built in, on board, distortion, wah-wah and tremolo. The result is a more dense and 'heavy metal' sound than is usually associated with Cooper's music.
All the songs and improvisations are original apart from the last track Masters At War - a version of an anti war song from the sixties written by a master of the genre but here presented as a thundering call to throw light on a wall...
“Every war and every conflict between human beings has happened because of some disagreement about names. It is such an unnecessary foolishness, because just beyond the arguing there is a long table of companionship set and waiting for us to sit down...." - Rumi - Sufi Poet.