After 1989: A Trip To Freedom

by Minutes to Midnight

supported by
Christopher Carvalho
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Christopher Carvalho This album is quite simply one of the finest pieces of storytelling ever put to sound.
Silvia Maggi
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Silvia Maggi Track after track, Minutes to Midnight takes us to a journey that is both personal and part of the shared history that shaped our lives and the current affairs.

Each song is a unique blend of beautifully crafted sounds and samples from crucial historical events, delivered with the help of incredibly talented collaborators Favorite track: Love Field.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

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1.
Skinny Kid 03:49
I was only fifteen A family lunch in the summer I was looking at grandad Too much wine for my jolly old man He was talking too loud About a time in the war Somewhere in Berlin Couldn’t jump the train, couldn’t stop the rain Couldn’t guess the pain, couldn’t break the chain When he walked through the gate In iron letters read his fate The skinny kid drowns in an ocean He tries to swim among wheels in motion The skinny kid can’t stop the corrosion He’s losing his grip Wave upon wave of faceless strangers Chosen, discarded Put in a line to the chambers He was spared by the guards Just because of his craft The skinny kid, like a sudden explosion Runs away from the pit A dream has swollen The skinny kid, high above on a tree He’s tied up to sleep
2.
There were two of us We left in a rush We stole a gun, some clothes and ran We kept going all night all day Until Berlin was far away
3.
The Logic 02:22
I’ve got my side, you’ve got yours We keep an eye open wide indoors I know it’s cold and we walk in pairs Better a wall than a hot full war The logic is cyclical It’s shining iron, systematic The logic is cynical It takes a phase and makes it critical
4.
13 Days 03:27
Defence Condition is two A giant leap for mankind A small step for you Unless you’re blind We pull a blockade And call it quarantine Could be our last day You might convene First strike: miscalculation Second strike: retaliation You keep pushing for war or invasion We just want the best conclusion In the meantime Helen stares at the window Hugging her husband
Waiting for that cloud —Not coming, is it?— It’s dark outside The red of a street light She might never live To see another nice Saturday night
5.
Last night in my dream We crossed the border in a car boot Didn’t blink, couldn’t breathe Hearts were pounding Teeth were grinding Next time I don’t want to be seen Wake up, gotta go now To the place we can’t be afraid of Join me, let us be there No flags no fear I can assure you Come on, we have to be there This time I want to be free This time we need to be seen This time I can be me This time we’re gonna be free
6.
Love Field 04:23
Somehow, somewhere I’m part of the crowd Shaking hands with him Bringing roses to her At Love Field Somehow, somewhere Standing still at a window I lean over, stay on the low I hold my breath I show my strength The limo, the bikes The petals, the signs —She’s waving— The flowers, the dress The runner, the press —He’s waving— Somewhere, somehow Here, right now —I’m waving— Somewhere, somehow The moment is right To stand still
7.
Requiem 02:09
Eulogy speech by Robert F. Kennedy (extract) "Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, perhaps we’ll have to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black, you can be filled with bitterness and with hatred, and a desire for revenge. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to replace that violence with an effort to understand, compassion and love."
8.
Nineteen-eighty-three On a Friday night—I think When I took my seat And the lights went off On the biggest screen I cannot tell the way it was But I went miles away A boy in a foreign land A farmer, a soldier A groom and a bride Children, a daughter In the countryside A doctor, a nurse The fire in the sky A priest and a curse Burns to the eye Nineteen-eighty-three On a Friday—I believe When I watched the film And the fear would never leave Never leave Never leave Never leave
9.
Berlin 91 04:09
I’m twenty again On a noisy bus No matter where we are The breeze, the vane A Trabant passes by Naked sign of time The wind of East Berlin is ruby-red When lost in your hair I whisper your name On the yellow line We’re leaving hand in hand A war to blame No wall to climb A concrete partner in crime The lights of West Berlin are ruby-red When lost in your hair That was me watching the no man’s land That was me This is me changing the life I planned That was me thinking of where to stand That was me This is me walking the no man’s land
10.
You went to see your son Could not stay too long Did you think of his tiny hand In no man’s land? You were just a young lad Didn’t mind to be a dad Fascists then came For the end game I stand up to my fears After so many years Walking towards your jail Chasing your trail Then I saw the gate No future, no fate ‘Work sets you free’ Next time you might be free The barracks, the beds Watchtowers, the meds White walls with a stench The bleach, the long bench The wooden foot shape You sitting on a crate The pot, the silver spoon Breath under the Moon I stand up to my fears After so many years Walking around your jail Chasing your trail Not easy to stand my ground Staring eyes with no sound Walking around your jail I stand and I vail

about

AFTER 1989: A TRIP TO FREEDOM

A concept album about imprisonment and liberty.

Summer, mid-eighties. During a family dinner, after a glass too many, my grandfather let a story slip from his past. He told us how fascists deported him to Germany, where he spent four years in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, on the outskirts of Berlin. The SS spared his life because of his craftsmanship as a shoemaker. In April 1945, a few days before the Allies stormed into the city, he managed to escape with a fellow Russian inmate. They crossed Europe and came back home.
I grew up during the Cold War, obsessed by a shared feeling of impending doom. My very first trip was to Prague and Berlin, a few months after the collapse of the Wall. I watched a divided city as it still was, but didn’t dare to visit the camp. Many years later, I was able to put my resolve to the test.

Present day. Once again, I’m back in Berlin, this time to finally see the Konzentrationslager. I’m on the S-Bahn train to Oranienburg. At each station, my mind goes back in time, to the tumultuous decades that preceded the 9th of November 1989, when people were able to cross the Wall. I’m thinking about the connection between my grandfather’s story and the convoluted menacing world order that came out of it.

When I finally cross the gate of Sachsenhausen, I realise how this whole story is about being a prisoner. Whether in a concentration camp, behind a wall, caught within propaganda or fearing a nuclear holocaust.

credits

released November 9, 2019

A concept album written by Simone Silvestroni.




CREDITS

“13 Days” and “Berlin 91” arranged with Paolo Clementi. “Requiem” arranged with Giuseppe Bianchi. Guitar solo in “Skinny Kid”, sax solo in “The Logic” and “The Day Before” by Gerald Duchene. Guitar solo in “Unter Den Linden” by Paolo Clementi. Piano solo in “The Day Before” by Dan Ecclestone. Acoustic guitar theme in “The Day Before” by Callum Gardner.

SKINNY KID

Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Rachel Goodman—Vocals

Keven Howard Bellamy—Backing Vocals

Gerald Duchene—Electric Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Drums



A LITTLE BOY THAT SANTA CLAUS FORGOT ON A B-29

Dan Ecclestone—Vocals, Ukulele, Toy Piano

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitar

Paolo Clementi—Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Drums



THE LOGIC

Dan Ecclestone—Lead Vocals

Rachel Goodman—Lead & Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric Guitars

Gerald Duchene—Saxophone

Michele Frumento—Drums

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Piano, Additional Drums



13 DAYS

Dan Ecclestone—Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars

Andy Bonnor (Andia Of “In Your Dreams”)—Drums

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Additional Drums



UNTER DEN LINDEN

Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Piano, Drums



LOVE FIELD

Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric Guitars, Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Strings, Drums



REQUIEM

Giuseppe Bianchi—Piano

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Synthesizer



THE DAY BEFORE

Dan Ecclestone—Lead Vocals, Piano Solo, Metallophone

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals

Gerald Duchene—Saxophone

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless & Fretted Bass, Piano, Drums



BERLIN 91

Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Callum Gardner—Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Drums



SACHSENHAUSEN

Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals, Piano

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Drums




SOUND EFFECTS

Historical sound effects in the public domain. Original sound effects recorded on location between 2017 and 2019. Sound editing and restoration by Simone Silvestroni.


All songs except ‘Sachsenhausen’—S-Bahn 1 Central Berlin to Oranienburg, tannoy system (2019).

Skinny Kid—BBC radio announcement (April 1945).

A Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot On A B-29—Harry Truman, TV speech (August 1945).

The Logic—John Kennedy, TV speech (December 1961) / DDR soldier.

13 Days—John Kennedy, TV speech (October 1962) / Adlai Stevenson, United Nations speech (October 1962).

Unter Den Linden—John Kennedy speech in Berlin (June 1963).

Love Field—Dallas radio live report from Love Field airport / Dallas police (November 1963).

Requiem—Robert Kennedy eulogy for Martin Luther King, Indianapolis (April 1968).

The Day Before—Children in a playground, Cambridge, UK (2019).

Berlin 91—Berlin Wall Memorial (2017).

Sachsenhausen—Birds and cars passing by, Oranienburg (2019).



Recorded, produced and mixed by Minutes to Midnight at the Garden Room, Cambridge, UK.
Mastered by Ian Shepherd.



Photography by Silvia Maggi, Berlin/Oranienburg, 2017-2019. silviamaggiphotography.com

Cover photo by Dan Budnik "An elderly woman, standing at the Berlin Wall, West sector, with hands raised, waiting to see her East Berlin friends and relatives (1961)". Cover photo digital retouch by Silvia Maggi.
CD photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D “Prisoner's Uniform with Red Triangle of Political Enemy - Majdanek Concentration Camp - Lublin - Poland”. www.flickr.com/people/adam_jones

Sleeve design by Simone Silvestroni. 

Minutes to Midnight logo by Saskia Robertson. sassrobcreative.com 



Management by Christopher Carvalho, Unlock Your Sound Ltd. unlockyoursound.com



I wish to thank my wife, my core family and close friends, all present and past performers and professionals involved, and Julie McCrae. Always grateful for the continuous support and help. 



Stream, download & follow: after1989.minutestomidnight.co.uk



© 2019 Music & lyrics by Simone Silvestroni. All rights reserved.

℗ 2019 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Minutes to Midnight. Minutes to Midnight is the exclusive trademark of Simone Silvestroni. All trademarks and logos are protected.

Made in the EU.

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Minutes to Midnight Ravenna, Italy

Minutes to Midnight is the moniker used by Simone Silvestroni, a music producer, bassist and sound designer.

His latest album, ‘After 1989’, is a real-life trip in history between two wars.

The concept tells the story from his perspective as a grandson, who has only recently uncovered answers to how his grandfather managed to escape Germany in 1945.
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