Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blow up the planet

The debut album by Nanjing's Rose Theatre is one of the weirdest albums I have heard in years. In the press release, the band state that they were heavily influenced by prog metal pioneers Dream Theatre, which is even reflected in the band's name. And yes, there are compositions lasting over 10 minutes on this album, with the expected metal riffs - but these riffs are interspersed with traditional Chinese instruments played in new age style, most notably the erhu played exceptionally well by their bass player Zhao Ling Hong. The overall effect is confusing to our Western ears, but apparently they are making quite an impact in China. Weird.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with Rose theatre.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by Nancy White: If we can connect in some tiny way with a human that doesn't agree with us, then maybe we won't blow up the planet.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, Abstraction in red tones, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Arial Bold 30 Red and BN Fontboy 75 Yellow, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.