Tree of Life is part one of a two-part effort that I spent a considerable amount of time writing and musically storyboarding. Tree of Life is an instrumental story I wanted to translate through guitar for some time. I spent several years planning, writing, and recording this two-part project. This account is my musical interpretation of the observation and words of the angels from the time of creation, the War in Heaven, the rise and fall of man, and Revelations.
I composed 26 musical pieces in all, with 13 selections represented in part one, Tree of Life, and the final half appearing in part two, Tree of Knowledge. I spent almost as much time planning and storyboarding how different types of guitars (acoustic steel and nylon, 6-, 12-, and 9-string, harp, distorted electric, etc.) could and would help narrate the words of the angels as I did composing each musical piece. Considerations were also made for the personalities of acoustic and electric guitar and the aggressiveness (most importantly, the lack thereof) with respect to my guitar playing to better translate each chapter (each song) of the story being told.
Tree of Life begins with the celebration of angels after their own creation and their bearing witness to the creation of the universe and earth. As the complexity of the story progresses, as does the necessity for more complex time signatures, major/minor scaling, and transition from acoustic, clean guitar tones, to thunderous drums and distorted guitars.
There is an intentional tonal tranquility and simplicity that occurs after the creation of the Garden of Eden (Oasis) and creation of man. The emphasis is on a single nylon guitar that builds in complexity and cross fades from one track to the other as angelic jealousy mounts, angels led by Lucifer revolt, and the resulting War in Heaven unfolds.
The result is an instrumental guitar narration of these events that concludes with part two, Tree of Knowledge.
Produced, Engineered, and Recorded by Chris Dignam at Red Cell Studios, Chicago, Illinois for Gram Theft Audio Sound and Production. Orchestral, wind, and choir performances for War in Heaven recorded by Chris Dignam at Cill Dara Studios, Dublin, Ireland.
Published by CANE Dubh Music (ASCAP)
Equinox Management / 606N Entertainment Group
All songs written and arranged by Chris Dignam
Photography by Norah Dignam
Art direction, design, and layout by Chris Dignam
Chris Dignam electric, acoustic, and classical 6-, 7-, 9-, and 12-string guitars, harp guitar, synth guitar, electric and acoustic bass, keyboards, and percussion
Jeff Moehle – Drums on At First Light, Morning Star, and War in Heaven
Bob Repin, Jr. – Drums on The Watchers
War in Heaven orchestral, wind, and choir performances by:
John Coiners – 1st Violin
Brent Patrol – 2nd Violin
Laigh Smeeched – 3rd Violin
Eve Vitas – Viola
Phonos Jejunal – 1st Cello
Raja Inosite – 2nd Cello
Peages Jam – French Horn
Ramesh Jinxed – English Horn
Ella Ups – Clarinet
Renee Fold – Bass Trombone
St. Odeon’s Choir appears courtesy of Midnight Sharecrop talent