Trolls, Girls & Lullabies (pre​-​order)

by Thomas Truax

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about

Peer Gynt was staged at the Theater Dortmund, Germany, during its 2013/14 season. This is a soundtrack album of studio recordings of the music that I performed live on stage.

I usually write songs based on reflections of my own personal experiences, dreams or stories, so this project was something of a departure. Here I had to get inside the head of a difficult protagonist, a megalomaniac bordering on schizophrenic. When director Kay Voges asked me what my interpretation of Peer was, I said his modern equivalent might be a deluded rock n' roll speed freak who uses people one night, throws them away the next morning and does it all again the next night somewhere else. He "can't get no satisfaction". Kay's eyes lit up: "Thomas! Can you do me a big, slow version of..." (With Kay Voges at the helm, I already knew this was going to be a far cry from the Peer Gynt that your Grandmother saw). But Peer is not without his charms. He's highly ambitious and richly imaginative, struggling as he spins his wheels in search of meaning and identity while trying to escape roots that bore and confuse him.

I also had to write from the perspective of the women who love Peer, and the real and imaginary figures that torment and challenge him. And from the vantage point of a kind of mysterious over looker, suspended from the rafters with my guitar, various electrical gear and inventions in an open front eight-foot-square metal container above what might best be described as a stage turned into a shallow lake of water.

Though the play is well over a hundred years old and draws partly on mysterious Norwegian folklore, it is as pertinent as ever in this instant-gratification seeking age of Facebook.

We experimented with many things and some of the pieces on this album didn't wind up in the final cut of our stripped down and fast-paced production, but I include several of them here because they were a joy to make and they sit well in this album context. One early concept was to base all the music on the back beat of a real recorded human heartbeat, and even to keep the heart beating throughout the entirety of the play. We tried this in rehearsals but it proved to be too unsettling. But 'Always Been A Dreamer' and 'Satisfaction' retain their heartbeats.

It was an honor and a privilege to be involved in such a special project, with such a talented cast and crew.

-Thomas Truax, November 2013

credits

released 14 February 2014
All music by Thomas Truax except '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' (Jagger/Richards) ABKCO; ‘Mütterlein’ (Nico)
'In the Hall of the Mountain King' was written by Edvard Grieg and 'Saxogramophone Morning' incorporates a melody by him. Female vocals on 'Crazy Me': Bettina Lieder, Julia Schubert, Friederike Tiefenbacher
Drums on 'In the Hall of the Mountain King': Brian Viglione All other instruments: Thomas Truax
Cover photo by Chris Saunders Inside photo by Mona Ulrich Design by Thomas with help from Philip Lethen
Mastered by Dirk Jambor at Truetrack Rec © & p Psycho Teddy Records, All Rights Reserved

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about

Thomas Truax New York, New York

New York's Thomas Truax (pronounced troo-aks) travels the world performing with his "band" of bizarre self-made Tim Burtonesque instruments including a motorized drum machine made of bike wheels called 'Mother Superior' and a pimped-up Gramophone called 'The Hornicator', as well as his venerable resonator guitar 'Hank'.

"Genius." -NME
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Track Name: A Little Like Peer Gynt
Welcome to our little theater, Welcome to our little show
Please put to sleep your handy phones, I know it's hard to let them go

Throw away your preconceptions about who this Peer is supposed to be
Because I think you'll find, whether you like or not, this Peer's a bit like you and me

If you've traveled around in circles and you've wondered where it ends
If you've gone so fast you've blurred the lines between the real and the pretend

If you've climbed up to great heights then fallen back down when you're spent
Then you might have to admit you are a little like Peer Gynt
Track Name: Always Been A Dreamer
WHILE MY HEART IS STILL BEATIN'
NOTHIN'S GONNA CHANGE THE WAY I PLAY MY GAME
TELL ME EVERY WOMAN IS EVIL, TELL ME UGLY IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL
STILL I'M GONNA PLAY MY GAME THE SAME

'CAUSE WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF YOU CAN DO ANYTHING
NOBODY'S GONNA TELL ME WHAT I CANNOT DO OR DRINK OR SING
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A DREAMER
AND DREAMS CAN'T BE ENSLAVED
YES I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A DREAMER AND
I'LL LIVE MY DREAMS MY OWN WAY X3
ALL THE WAY TO MY GRAVE

WHILE MY HEART IS STILL BEATIN'
I WILL FLOAT LIKE A FEATHER ON HISTORY'S TIDE
WHILE MY HEART IS STILL BEATIN'
I WILL BE BOUND TO NO MAN, BOUND TO NO BRIDE

(CHS REPEAT)
Track Name: More! More! More!
I know you've heard it before, I do not care,
I need More More More More More More More

I need to see you strip I need to take a trip
I need More More More More More More More

Just like a plant needs Sun I need my fun fun fun
I need More More More More More More More

I need sex sex sex I need six six six
I need More More More More More More More



Like the Moon needs the stars I need me something from Mars
I need More More More More More More More

Like a baby on a tit or Lady Gaga needs a hit
I need More More More More More More More

Like a bird needs seed or like a hippy needs weed
I need More More More More More More More

I know I'll reach the top because I cannot stop
I need More More More More More More More


Like the bee needs the sting I need to be your King
I need More More More More More More More

I need to fill my glass, I'd like to kick your ass
I need More More More More More More More

And you might think it funny but I need even more money
I need More More More More More More More

More drugs, more games, more power, more Fame!
I need More More More More More More More
Track Name: Crazy Me
WHEN WE FINALLY ASCEND TO THAT ULTIMATE BIRD'S EYE VIEW
AND WE'RE LOOKING DOWN ON ALL THE THINGS WE DID AND ALL WE ONLY DREAMT WE'D DO

I KNOW THAT I WONT HAVE REGRETS
YOU CAN BET THAT I WONT HAVE REGRETS

Ingrid:
YOU, YOU ARE, YOU KNOW YOU ARE THE ONLY SHOE THAT FITS ME
THE ONLY ONE THAT GETS ME

Solveig:
CRAZY CRAZY WHAT IS GOING ON HERE
I HAVE NEVER HAD THIS
KIND OF MADNESS

COULD IT BE THAT THIS WAS MEANT TO BE
THIS CRAZY MAN FOR CRAZY ME

Mutter:
YOU, YOU ARE, YOU KNOW YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE
THAT LIGHTS MY SKY MY ONLY SON


All
YOU, YOU ARE, YOU KNOW YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE
THAT FITS ME
THE ONLY ONE THAT GETS ME
Track Name: To Thyself Be Enough (Troll Song)
IF YOU'RE ROUGH, THEN YOU'RE ROUGH

IF YOU'RE NOT HARD THEN DON'T ACT TOUGH

YOU'RE A JOKER? HAVE A LAUGH

TO THYSELF, BE ENOUGH

TO THYSELF, BE ENOUGH (X4)
(Instrumental break)

YOU MUST ACCEPT WHERE YOU ARE AT

YOU'RE STILL THE SAME UNDER EACH HAT

A RAT OF ANY OTHER COLOR IS A RAT

AND THAT IS THAT

TO THYSELF, BE ENOUGH (X4)
(Instrumental break)

IF YOU'RE BIG YOU ARE A WHALE

IF YOU'RE SLOW YOU ARE A SNAIL

THE BRIDE WILL HAVE TO HAVE A VEIL

AND IF YOU'RE TROLL YOU'LL HAVE A TAIL

SIE DU SELBST DIR GENUG (X4)
Track Name: Punishments and Lullabies
Is all that we are just the sum of all we've been
A collection of impressions of all that we have seen

Inside you there's a piece of every place you ever went
And if you've got pieces from everywhere then you're a bit like old Peer Gynt
-
Our kings and stars and presidents
All struggle with these elements
Status, age and arrogance
The meaning of their existence
And the question of our existence

Negro slaves to Carolina
Heathen images to China
Use them and abuse them
For money and to see what happens

Here you have gone too far sir
Here you have gone too far sir

Punishments and Lullabies
A kiss, a fist between the eyes
Punishments and Lullabies
A kiss, a fist between the eyes

Now are you ready for your meltdown?
Are you ready for your meltdown?