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KAKEHASHI: That We Might Live, A Documentary in Music has broken the bounds of the band world and has won Two Telly Awards for History/Biography & Music. An Eva Gold Award for Music Documentary. The recorded concert work was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music and was also nominated in the 49th Grammy Awards. THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, the DVD "visualized" Concert, was again nominated in the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Long Form Documentary Score.
This live-theatrical Grade 4-5 work for band of the 3rd Millennium has been "visually scored" in a process called STORMWORKS VisaREEL, and further develops Music and Picture concepts first developed in LAST WORLD STANDING.
From the Japanese Musicians and Military who render this Music:
Remember the Future... for Truth is Timeless. Our bridge to the Future is a place THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, a finally-fulfilled destiny beyond the Past, a new world born of facing our mutual and unfortunate Pasts with Hope, of forgiveness, of Love and Freedom. Such is the Home, then, now and always, that all of us have longed for.
The Japanese concept of "Kakehashi" refers to a bridge of Hope, of Friendship, of our mutual overcoming of the Past.
KAKEHASHI: That We Might Live, A Documentary in Music is made complete by a historically accurate, pre-recorded CD of authentic radio & musical clips from World War II, excerpts and lyrics of which are pertinent to events in the Pacific.
In fact, 70 Copyrights were purchased in order to recreate the Past, firstly inspired by the Survivors of the Conflict in the Philippines, and now... in this more Universal telling of the story, the perspective of the Home-longing Japanese and the Innocent Souls lost in the destructive conclusion of World War II, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The connective thread? HOME. At the conclusion, we hear 2 arrangements. God Bless America, the key words of which are "Home Sweet Home", and then Furusato, which means... "My Home".
Furusato, becomes the connective conclusion. Home, Home Sweet Home, Heimat.
To complete the international flavor of this Universal Version, Furusato is brought to us by Thomas Rundel of Germany. And it was in Germany that the first inspiration for a piece about HOME began. This concept of Home is explored in the connected and further concluding piece: JIDAI. It is the idea of Home, of HEIMAT.
This large scale, but accessible work utilizes a large chorus, the extended instrumentation of Band of the 3rd Millennium as described in the "storm" works, theatrical reenactments, comparable to David and Ahab!, and a disk of prerecorded Radio Broadcasts, songs, morse code clips and more from the period. This prerecorded CD will "accompany" the ensemble in the same manner as was premiered and demonstrated in The Universe Below.
This new and evolved work, KAKEHASHI: That We Might Live, A Documentary in Music is inspired by the Leadership and Vision of The Japan Air Self Defense Force Band who recorded this work for the Chapter 5:8 CD Set: WRITINGS on the WALL.
Here now, to better sum the special Gift of the Japanese, please enjoy my opening comments for the Chapter 5:8 CD Set:
"Remember the Future for Truth is Timeless . . ."
A Personal Message from SLM 2004
STORMWORKS Chapter V∞, Writings on the Wall
From Stephen Melillo:
It takes a photon 38 million years to escape the forcible, unforgiving gravity of the sun and blast its way to the surface where eight minutes later it bathes the earth in the Light by which you find yourself reading this libretto.
In the Timestorm of that 38 million years and eight minutes, give or take a few hundred years... a mere and tiny moment of imperceptible dancing on the cosmic stage... the Human drama has seen unthinkable violence, pain, hurt, self-inflicted suffering... emptiness and longing. And with it? Untold Love, Sacrifice, Giving and Heroism.
Without Warning, we are cast into the epic adventure. In the hollow of the heart, sense must be made of the constantly swirling storm, the unraveling of the mysterious. Free will. Choice? Fate? The seemingly endless succession of useless, inevitable, somehow destined to be traversed catastrophes as Man brutalizes his Brother... and then... steps forward to rise above such folly.
In your hands is a recording, the meaning of which escapes the moment of your listening. It leaps across Time... past, future, possible future and present. Rising above our mutual and many sins of the past, the Vision of Brotherhood is not merely written about... but finally, in a way only Human History could have produced... demonstrated.
We are a part of the convergent Moment. History is made.
Though all should be self-evident, allow yourself to contemplate the document in your possession. It is the first Recording to be released outside of Japan by The Central Band of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force. With the Good graces of the Japanese government, the JASDF Band offers this document in the 60th year marking the end of World War 2. In the Music, we encounter a historically accurate and by our current view, a tragic and unfortunate Past. As Japanese Musicians render KAKEHASHI: That We Might Live, A Documentary in Music with the Choruses from Old Dominion and Shenandoah Universities, one cannot help but see an unchained intersection of time and culture-crunching dimensions. Have we done it? Have we laid strong the path by which Man exercises His greatest gift... the ability to short-circuit the needless predetermined march into more suffering? Has a new blueprint been established where, instead of embracing the False, the fleeting, and Art of the State, we have taken that lofty right-face into the Brotherhood of Man? Have we collapsed evolution into the moment of our combined Will and chosen to live by Love inviolate, an evolved position which must... after all... be our True Destiny?
Answers reside within. The document you hold is now History, a History of the Future. It is made possible by an important reality which can never be taken for granted. The Heroism that is "talked about", and written about and urged for and hoped for rises far above all former cliches. Music as a "universal language" is exposed for the many times it was mere hyperbole and its sentiment inappropriately invoked. The Heroes portrayed in this Recording, immortalized once again in the Living thing we call Music, are represented, indeed demonstrated by the Japanese Musicians who render it. They have become, in their transcendent DOING, the role models of a new generation of Heroes. A new JIDAI. It is impossible to thank them enough... for only THEY, at THIS Time, in THIS circumstance with our combined Histories, could have heroically donned the mantle of message bearer.
And their message is profound indeed.
In the spirit of eternal Brotherhood, ALL of us are honoured and humbled to be a small part of this Triumph! Through Time and Space, geography and culture, language and History, ALL of us who have made this Music, ALL of us alive and sacrificed who have lived and inspired it, ALL of us who have drudged through our brief moment like a struggling photon in search of Light... join with you in the Now and share with you a message of Forgiveness and Love... of Giving and Sacrifice, of facing the Storm and rising above it.
History is made. May you make it well.
Into the hope-filled Adventure... Godspeed! Stephen Melillo
To listen to this track, click "View Track List" in the player below.
"Steve, words cannot express the soaring emotions which one experiences when hearing this monumental work. You deserve the Medal of Freedom for this piece of patriotism, especially for your success in having the spirited cooperation of a once-despised and brutal enemy. I salute you, Sir!" -Joseph R. Priestley, LCDR, USN (Ret.) Served in WWII, Korea & Vietnam
"Stephen's new CD, Chapter 5:8 "Writings on the Wall" is indeed a historic groundbreaking album and a total artistic triumph. From the moving mega work Kakehashi to the great uplifting rendition of God Bless America this double CD set is packed with masterworks." Aldo Rafael Forte, Composer
"Stephen, this is one of the most original and moving pieces of music I have ever experienced (and we have played a lot of your music over the years - all of it amazing). I look forward to talking with you again. Sincerely," Jim DePriest, Mt. Pleasant HS, Iowa
"I have now watched The DVD of That We Might Live and just want to say what a truly significant experience it generates for me. I was moved multiple times throughout but most of all … near the end when you have the pages and pages of names on the screen. That was alone was a powerful … POWERFUL visual. As an active-duty line officer in our United States Air Force, I want to thank you for such a thoughtful, intensely well researched, and ravishingly honest musical documentary such as this. Also, thank you for offering it as a tribute to all of our veterans."
DANIEL W. BOOTHE, 1Lt, USAF, Commander/Music Director, USAF Band of Flight 2012