The Gate (Miracle In Tabriz)

from by Michael James

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How do you keep your cool when you know you're about to pay the ultimate price for your faith?

The Gate comes to me via a mystical genesis. It was inspired by the cool, steadfast sense of purpose that a prophet known as The Bab (translation: The Gate) carried within him on the day of his martyrdom. According to Baha'i tradition, The Bab was giving an interview in his cell when the military guards fetched him. Seeing their concern about the disturbing task at hand, he told them not to worry because they were following orders--and they would not be able to fulfill their mission until he completed his. The Bab and one of his devotees were strung up in front of the execution wall, and a regiment of 250 troops fired 750 bullets at them. When the smoke cleared, the ropes were severed by the bullets. The Bab had vanished. Eventually The Bab was found back in his cell, completing his interview. He told his captor, "I've completed my mission; now you may complete yours." The next round of 750 shots mutilated the two bodies--with the exception of the prophet's face, which was unscratched. Darkness filled the sky as a rogue storm hit, and the newspapers of the day (AD 1850, Tabriz, Iran) reported the event as a "miracle." Most miracles have scientific explanations. I'm intrigued by The Bab's state of mind during the time that elapsed *between* facing the two firing squads, which I imagine was characterized by a calm sense of steadfastness, love and purpose. By using a repetitive ostinato bass line, I capture a feeling of "staying the course" punctuated with the "James Brown" E9 hits to represent the arrest and subsequent gunfire. The feel of this piece unfolds our natural curiosity with "miracles". We deeply seek understanding in stories of others and their faith, their miracles. But ultimately it is our own adherence to faith, no matter how fierce the gunfire, that leads us to miracles.

credits

from Marchesano, released March 8, 2015
Guitars, Rhodes: Michael James
Synthesizers, Percussion: Urban Olsson
Bass: Jack Daro
Drums: Jaben Pennell

Produced & Mixed by Michael James. Co-produced by David Kahne and Urban Olsson.
Written by Michael James.
© 2015 Marchesano Music admin. by Bug Music (ASCAP).
℗ © 2015 Alternator Records LLC. All rights reserved.

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Michael James Simi Valley, California

• Producer.Mixer.Engineer.Songwriter.Guitarist
• Gold & Platinum Records
• Discography includes New Radicals, Hole, Far, Robben Ford, L7, Edwin McCain, Chicago, Reverend Horton Heat, A.J. Croce, Butterfly Boucher, Jane's Addiction, Maia Sharp, Too Much Joy, Kalimba, Mario Guerrero and Jawbreaker.
• Former Warner/Discovery head of A&R & Producer, trained by WEA founder Jac Holzman.
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