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.
  • Digital Album
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    You also get the 24-page booklet, complete with original photography, synopsis, song narration, lyrics, and credits. The booklet is available both in English and in Italian.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a beautiful 6-panel wallet gatefold card case, with full lyrics, synopsis, credits and original photography by Silvia Maggi.

    Includes unlimited streaming of After 1989: A Trip To Freedom via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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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.


released November 9, 2019

A concept album written by Simone Silvestroni.


“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.


Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Rachel Goodman—Vocals

Keven Howard Bellamy—Backing Vocals

Gerald Duchene—Electric Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Drums


Dan Ecclestone—Vocals, Ukulele, Toy Piano

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitar

Paolo Clementi—Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Drums


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


Dan Ecclestone—Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars

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

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Additional Drums


Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Piano, Drums


Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric Guitars, Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Strings, Drums


Giuseppe Bianchi—Piano

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Synthesizer


Dan Ecclestone—Lead Vocals, Piano Solo, Metallophone

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals

Gerald Duchene—Saxophone

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless & Fretted Bass, Piano, Drums


Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals

Callum Gardner—Backing Vocals

Paolo Clementi—Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Viola

Simone Silvestroni—Bass, Keyboards, Drums


Dan Ecclestone—Lead & Backing Vocals, Piano

Callum Gardner—Acoustic Guitars

Simone Silvestroni—Fretless Bass, Drums


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.

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”.

Sleeve design by Simone Silvestroni. 

Minutes to Midnight logo by Saskia Robertson. 

Management by Christopher Carvalho, Unlock Your Sound Ltd.

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:

© 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.


all rights reserved



Minutes to Midnight Cambridge, UK

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

He's just released the album ‘After 1989’, 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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Track Name: Skinny Kid
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
Track Name: A Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot On A B-29
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
Track Name: The Logic
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
Track Name: 13 Days
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
Track Name: Unter Den Linden
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
Track Name: Love Field
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
Track Name: Requiem
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."
Track Name: The Day Before
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

On a Friday—I believe
When I watched the film
And the fear would never leave

Never leave
Never leave
Never leave
Track Name: Berlin 91
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
Track Name: Sachsenhausen
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