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

Rufus Thomas: Itch and Scratch Part I (1972)

Rufus Thomas: Itch and Scratch Part I (1972)

One of the most natural funk artists this side of James Brown, Rufus Thomas struck gold with Walking the Dog and Do the Funky Chicken in the Sixties, but this song from just a little later captured... > Read more

Kurt Vonnegut, Simon Heselev: Tock Tick (1973/2003)

Kurt Vonnegut, Simon Heselev: Tock Tick (1973/2003)

Kurt Vonnegut seems an unlikely collaborator with a jazz bassist from Melbourne -- but that is what happened in 2003 when the famous author allowed Australian musician and studio engineer Heselev... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Nga Trang, Vietnam: He wears my ring

Nga Trang, Vietnam: He wears my ring

Within an hour of us meeting, Mama Thiu was knocking me up for money. Then her brother had a go. It was at Nga Trang in Vietnam and Mama ran a small, outdoor restaurant at the northern end of... > Read more

THE MUSICIAN: A Fairly True Tale

THE MUSICIAN: A Fairly True Tale

The young man settled himself into the chair and placed his new guitar case on the floor beside him. His face raised into a natural if boyish smile, the outline of his cheeks rimmed by a flat, soft... > Read more