Mick Harvey & Christopher Richard Barker's new collaboration on Mute, The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War. Available here on LP and CD.
MICK HARVEY & CHRISTOPHER RICHARD BARKER have announced details of a new collaboration, The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War, out on Mute. The album examines the work of a long forgotten World War I poet, Edgar Bourchier, through his poetry as put to music in a concept album. Its release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on November 11, 2018. Bourchier’s entire backstory and poetry was constructed by Christopher Richard Barker, an author who initially created the character while working on his novel, The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes. Barker paused from this venture to approach Harvey to ask for his expertise with arranging and recording the scores. In response, a 15-track album was written by Harvey and Barker to give life to an incredibly powerful fictional narrative. Created as a concept album describing the horror of war, the project seamlessly brings the fictional poetry to life via myriad possibilities of how a forgotten WW1 soldier’s story might open up and continue to be relevant to new generations. The story travels from a barely read initial publication of the poetry that came tantalizingly close to being adapted for Weimar era cabaret with the help of German artist, Otto Dix (“The Kindness of Ravens,” “Further Down the Line,” “Softly Spoken Bill”), through to the ‘60s, when Mick Jagger was apparently photographed with a copy of the reprint published by the Parisian underground publishing house. From there, the poetry is discovered by a new generation (“Listen in the Twilight Breeze,” “Poor Poor Surgeon Tim”) and progresses onward to subsequent interpretations of the work by the fictional ‘80s band, The Moon Lepers on “The Expressionist Tell #2” and “Corpse 564.” Finally, it culminates in the creation of three new pieces by Barker and Harvey (“I Am the Messenger,” “The Eternal Black Darkness of my Death,” “The Lost Bastard Son of War”). In addition to Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker, the album features contributions from J.P. Shilo – a long-time collaborator of Harvey’s.