I began working on The Rising when I was traveling in Eastern Europe. Originally the idea was to write a series of songs about war, but almost everything I was coming up with felt contrived and irrelevant. It was so frustrating that I almost gave the whole thing up, but then I got to Poland.
I had several very intense and important things happen to me while I was in Poland and they defined my focus from then on. I began reading about the Nazi genocide, Jewish resistance, and Jewish culture. In a bookshop in Kazimierz, the Jewish neighborhood in Krakow, I picked up “Survival in Auschwitz” by Primo Levi, “Words to Outlive Us” about the Warsaw Ghetto and the uprising that took place there, “A Hole in the Heart of the World: The Jewish Experience in Eastern Europe After WWII,” “Smoke Over Birkenau,” and a book of stories of Jewish Mystics throughout the centuries.
I began to write. I had some words and guitar parts at first, then gradually the songs came together. I wanted them to be for a band so I wrote for electric guitar, bass, and drums.
When I was 17 or 18 I saw a video recording of Metallica playing with the San Francisco Symphony. Since then I’ve wanted to orchestrate songs. I figured my Senior project was a good time to do just that. Continue reading Senior Project