Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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Brockmann / Andrade

Brockmann/Andrade is the collaborative writing team of multi-instrumental recording artist and composer Steve Brockmann (Bredstedt, Germany) and freelance writer/editor George Andrade (Fall River, MA, USA).  In 2008 (or thereabouts), George approached Steve with the idea of writing an album from a subplot to a novel that he had planned to write based loosely on the “punishment” of the Manisses Indians on Block Island, Rhode Island for the “accidental” murder of the captain of a trading vessel by a chieftain’s son and the subsequent “claim by right of conquest” and resettlement thereafter.  Great idea, huh?
It was a book that was to deal with the individual mistakes that can bring down families and communities (and nations) and become the sins of fathers visited upon sons … and the transcendence of this guilt of lineage by ultimately reconciling one's self-perception with one's reality and coming to terms with the “space between the bars” of such self-imposed prisons.  It was about a miller and stonemason’s son who returns home from prison to mend the walls and fences that he has destroyed and soon learns to speak of wind and air - not stone and mortar - and through the help of those he's injured understands that our hearts are on strings … as his father had always dreamed.  How rock n roll is that?
The idea quickly grew from a concept album to a full blown rock opera and was named, well, “Airs – A Rock Opera” – and Brockmann/Andrade was born.

Steve and George first "met" on the Spock's Beard message board and became friends.  There they also had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Barry Thompson (The ANABASIS), John Fontana (Shadow Circus), Paul Adrian Villarreal (Sun Caged), Josh Sager (Din Within), Jamie McGregor (Singularity) and Martin Kornick (artwork for The ANABASIS) to name a but few ... those were some pretty heady times filled with exciting company!
The musicians of the board would occasionally collaborate on songs, particularly for charity (The Tsunami Projekt being the most famous) and George would always be on the outside looking in ... after much hinting on his part one day the group decided to let him take a shot at writing lyrics - he was thrilled when his words were well received and it was soon thereafter that he received an email from Steve Brockmann asking if he would consider writing lyrics to a song that he had written intended for his next solo album (Pools Under Ganymede, TBA).  George jumped at the chance and the song became "The Moment's Eye".

Steve and George hit it off immediately and very quickly found that they shared an emotional and aesthetic kinship as well as the uncanny ability to develop each others' vision through their respective crafts.  They discovered that they each had the proclivity and the eye to tell stories through songs in complimentary ways: George’s lyrics tended to be narrative in nature and Steve’s music was sweeping and cinematic in scope (though firmly rooted in rock). 
It was then that George decided to approach Steve with the thought of perhaps writing an album together .... he told him the idea that he had based upon the book he was developing and proceeded to send a 20 page, single-spaced synopsis in English (not Steve’s native tongue, of course) to Germany!  A couple of weeks passed and then George (who had been getting a bit worried) finally heard back from Steve who sent him an instrumental that was gorgeous, ornate and majestic - the perfect opening number!  That evening, unable to sleep, George wrote the words to the music that would become the opening track (“Fateful Days”) of their debut rock opera  ... and they were off!  Fateful days, indeed.

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