Charles Amirkhanian: Just (1972)

 |   |  1 min read

Charles Amirkhanian: Just (1972)

Unless he was blessed with some weird insight, it's a fair guess that American sound-poet and composer Amirkhanian could not know how this text-sound piece would be heard in the wake of what happened in Auckland's harbour in 1985.

One night in July as the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was moored at a central wharf in downtown it was bombed -- one crew member killed -- and sunk by two explosives placed below the waterline.

It was an act of sabotage designed to stop Greenpeace protesting the on-going French testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific, about as far away from Paris as they could get.

Subsequently French agents were caught and stood trial -- and this bombing was conclusively proven to be an act of international terrorism perpetrated by the highest levels of the French security services and government on New Zealand soil.

amirkhanian_chBut back in '72 when Amirkhanian was making his sound poems using just a few words of text he could never have guessd how his four chosen words might resonate much later.

This is taken from the album 10+2: 12 American Text Sound Pieces (Arch Records, 1974) which is a collection of music composed from speaking, not singing. 

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Roadrunners: LSD (1967)

The Roadrunners: LSD (1967)

With British r'n'b rock legends the Pretty Things scheduled for a New Zealand concert (see interview with Dick Taylor here) in December 2012, it seemed timely to ressurect this obscurity from the... > Read more

Eddie Bo and Inez Cheatham: Lover and Friend (1968)

Eddie Bo and Inez Cheatham: Lover and Friend (1968)

When Cosimo Matassa died in September 2014 there were lengthy obituaries for a man whom many may never have been aware of. But as a record producer he defined the sound of his hometown New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

31 SONGS by NICK HORNBY: The witty curmudgeon writes

31 SONGS by NICK HORNBY: The witty curmudgeon writes

Famous and popular Brit author (High Fidelity, About A Boy, Fever Pitch) Nick Hornby writes about his 31 favourite pop songs. And we should care? But this is actually an extended, digressive,... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MARNI NIXON: The voice of the famous faces

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . MARNI NIXON: The voice of the famous faces

When the American singer Marni Nixon died in July 2016, her passing was barely noted in the music press. Major newspapers like the New York Times weighed in with obituaries, but the silence from... > Read more