All voices: Donald Trump;
Tenor sax: David Intrator;
Everybody Loves Me lays out Trump’s constantly repeated bragging about how every ethnic, racial, gender, religious, ideological group loves him; how rich he is; how smart he is; how he’s universally adored. You can dance to his bragging about how smart he is, how Putin thinks he’s a genius, how he knows more about ISIS than the generals.
All voices: Trump;
Honesty is so Trump. Donald Trump loves honesty. It must be true, I heard it on Fox. You can tap your foot to his claim that Barak Obama is the founder of ISIS and to his dueling narratives about his connection / non-connection with Putin..
All voices: Trump;
Drums & Percussion: Andre Martinez; percussion, Guitar & Track: P/1
Nobody delivers Trump’s avowal of deep respect for women alongside his public statements that reveal the opposite. I could have composed a long symphony based on the available recorded statements full of ugly references to women but this pop music so we get just a few gems. The sweet polyrhythmic groove is a dance floor for Trump’s adolescent misogyny speaking on radio and TV with huge national audiences.
All voices: Trump;
Drums & Percussion: Andre Martinez;
Blues Harp, Percussion & Track: P/1
In Sit Down Trump rhythmically asserts his love of Mexicans – y’know, those rapists and drug dealers destroying our nation. Like an angry dad to a child, Trump hollers Sit down! at a Latino journalist from Univision, a large Latin-American media outlet. Nobody doubts that he was ordering all Latinos to sit down.
All voices: Donald Trump;
Guitar, Track: P/1
Only a serial liar and exaggerator punctuates his sentences with believe me as often as Donald Trump does. He gets funky on this track – rapping a duet with himself earnestly asserting his stand as pro-choice / pro-life, alerting an anxious America that President Obama was not born in the USA / was born in the USA. Period. You will also hear his extended treatise on climate change that, I swear, was not manufactured in my studio. It lays out as he originally delivered it.
All voices & Sounds: Donald Trump
Strongman Sad is truly strange. I don't listen to a person's words; I listen to the music which tells you what the words mean. By music I mean body language, vocal tone and behavioral history. In Trump's bizarre speech to the CIA the music was really music. He whined about reports that his inauguration turnout the day before wasn't the big big Biggest of all time; about the photo showing empty fields, the same grounds which had been filled to capacity for Obama's inauguration; and how he looked out during his speech and swears he saw a million and a half people. He described this in the high pitched breathy tone he often uses to express shock over nasty things said about him. In this case that voice was a bluesy lament. In his mind this was the most urgent issue on the CIA's plate. I made only two or three tiny pitch adjustments to the melody as typically made in any recorded song you've heard in the past few decades when the singer goes slightly off pitch. Check out the speech on youTube. Around 9:40 in he starts on the inauguration crowd and continues after a silly untrue allegory about the rain that day. You'll hear the melody in Strongman Sad. It was a real challenge to figure out how to present this pathetic lament – Donald Trump actually singing. I decided to make his voice generate every sound on the track. Instead of an instrument playing the harmonies behind his melody I created a choir and bass. Even the drums and percussion are made from little pieces of his voice. It took three months of slogging away; lost sleep with dreams full of audio shrapnel and smelly droppings of those little vocal snippets. Finally it morphed into the bluesy tango you hear.
What started off as a gift to comedians has become a real world surreality. The entire planet has been hijacked into a Donald Trump reality show. With this project, Trump’s inane statements – his chaotic self-medication – can be heard in a fresh context to maintain a stream from his past statements to his actions as president. It’s too easy for a society hooked on every breaking news moment to lose the thread and normalize the bizarre. Unlike certain right wing activists, I didn’t cut & paste words out of context to portray a person saying something that was neither said nor ever would be said. Anybody with an audio app can make Martin Luther King sound like a racist or have Hitler reciting the Kol Nidre. I’ve cut his speech to match the tempo and feel of the rhythm and deleted a word here and there that in no way alters the context and meaning of the statements. They can be heard in his many rallies and interviews posted on youTube. That was the source of the material in the Pills. The chorus of a song does take some liberties – my editorial moment. The chorus of Honesty has Trump saying: I love honesty. But its a lie. Those are two separate statements. I doubt he’s ever put those two phrases together, though his claim in Art of the Deal that he uses truthful hyperbole as a business tactic is clearly saying: it’s a lie. Trump’s history in business and now in politics makes I love honesty the most perfect joke – a haiku of jokes. Those three words are both the set-up and the punchline. The heart of each Pill –the verses– are his complete statements. I’ve also sliced & diced his voice into percussion instruments and harmonies, as well as some harmonic and textural elements in the background. Trump’s serial lies, non-sequitur boasts, contradictions and terms like respect as punctuation after insulting entire ethnic or gender groups and believe me at the end of a lie are so bizarre that you’d think only a deception artist could edit them in Trump’s mouth. But this is what he’s said. Repeatedly. It’s been his MO for decades. The focus of this project is Donald Trump, not his voters. Not his family or his hands or hair. It’s about his words and how his behavior shreds any cogent meaning from those words. It’s who this person truly is. These Pills are available for free download. Pass them around. Make videos. More are coming.