HOW AND WHY:
The Forest is a poem on death.
The music for The Forest is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I wanted somehow to evoke the romantic feelings of the period in which the story has been re-set, the mid-eighteen hundreds. I wanted to be about to sympathize with those who feel the romance of the factory. The beauty, the power and the possibilities of the machines that would change the world. I’ve tried to use this music to get into the heads of our ancestors, both the Europeans and the ancient Sumerians. Some of the music borrows from other sources as well, old style film-music mainly, which is not surprising, I guess because that music, in a way, was a continuation of the romantic tradition from the nineteenth century. While the classic composers were busy with serial music and dissonance (machine allegories of a different sort) the music of movies became the sounds that people came to associate with feelings of awe, mystery, adventure, terror anguish and joy.
Sometimes the music can sound kind of corny or a little bit too much, but in a way, it might express better what people were feeling at the time more than modern or contemporary music. So, it helps me sympathize with and understand what it is we’re made of.
Something that’s not too easy, given the biases I have within me. I tend to see factories as Blake did, as “dark Satanic mills,” and to view the mechanized view of the world as and its inhabitants with a great deal of skepticism. So this music helps me see things from the other side. (And it’s fun.)
David Byrne. March, 1991