Anna's revolution

by Puzzle King

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about

This text aims to present my first concept album Anna’s revolution : a progressive rock that plunges its roots in the 70's and spreads its foliage in the third millennium. As for the theme, it is set at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Russian Revolution : Anna and Anatoli are struggling at a time favourable to extremist situations, behaviors and feelings. They try to preserve their love in spite of the war, in spite of the revolution.
Why did I choose the Revolution of 1917, a polemic topic, as a background to the story of Anna’s revolution ? Well, : in 1917, My paternal grandfather was 13 years old and was already a young worker. My maternal grandfather was a modest 18-year-old farmer. From France, they experienced the Russian Revolution as a great hope for all peoples. They supported with sincerity this fragment of humankind in search of dignity. Today, the revolution of 1917 has fallen into disgrace. It is easily condemned without further ado. To put the balance right and to distinguish myself from a musical sphere too often conformist and sanitized, I’ve decided to write Anna’s revolution.

Musical style :

Progressive rock. What's more difficult than to describe objectively one’s own music ? That's why I will not ... More specifically, I'll describe it all the same (you are reading these lines for that), but not impartially, this is not possible. You have been warned, let's go.
To enjoy my music, you must accept the loss of our traditional musical models (the famous "song" format). You must put a lot of youself in the listening and devote yourself to it exclusively for an hour and a quarter. And, ultimately, what a trip !
The freedom of compositions allows a successful combination of various musical genres (progressive rock, hard-rock, classical music, song), between calm passages and slamming sequences. They jump within each title without monotony or systematization and surprise the listener with their originality constantly renewed.
Despite these rhythm changes, the puzzle that is offered comes together seamlessly thanks to a captivating and intense story. It's a potential movie that keeps us in suspense in an atmosphere filled with emotion. And you find yourself enjoying a French text (for the French version of course), poetic and narrative, on a punchy rock music. Then, a decompression stage is needed, just after the last note of the album : a moment where one remains troubled and thoughtful, it's a sure sign that the challenge has been met.
To sum up, my music is free, saturated with emotion and with enchanting sensitivity. This is a “shivering music”. It can be described as cinematographic, progressive rock. However, for sure, it is away from fashions, it is not trendy. If you love Justin Bieber’s « positive attitude », this album is probably not for you. If your goal is to have fun on the dancefloor, this is probably not the right option. For all the others, listen !

Influences :

Progressive rock bands :
Genesis, Yes, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Sylvan, Moongarden, Mars Volta, Dream Theater, Saga, Galahad, Rush, Marillion, Kaïpa, Riverside, The Flower Kings, Lazuli, Nemo, Gazpacho, Blind Ego, Eureka, Unitopia.

Hard-rock or pop bands but always with a light background of prog :
Queen, Supertramp, AC-CD, Barclay James Harvest, Queensrÿche, Muse, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Faith No More, Journey, Boston, Kansas, Toto, Thin Lizzy, King’s X, Status Quo, Van Halen, Scorpions (with Uli Jon Roth), Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Fishbone, Foreigner, Maroon 5.

French music and more :
Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, Jean Ferrat, Daniel Balavoine, Francis Cabrel, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Renaud, Téléphone.

Classical :
Erik Satie, Edvard Grieg.

credits

released May 20, 2012

Nathalie Prost : Bass
Pierre Fournier : Clarinet
Yannick Thinon : Trombone
François Puzenat : Vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming, songwriter.

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about

Puzzle King Roanne, France

Le projet Puzzle King est né en 2009. L'album "Anna" est prévu pour le printemps 2012. 3 ans de gestation, c'est déjà un beau bébé et on a déjà trouver le prénom ! Ce qui vous attend avec "Anna" c'est du rock progressif (Genesis période Peter Gabriel, ça vous parle ?) sur les thèmes de la guerre, de la révolution et de l'amour : l'histoire se déroule en Russie de 1913 à 1917. ... more

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Track Name: My name's Anatoli
1 - My name's Anatoli (6 mn 23) Preamble

Anna Viktorovna Borodine
Untamable rebel, you fascinate me
You captivated me
Anna, charming Anna
How you charmed me
How you enchanted me
Anna, loving Anna
How I loved you,
How I have lov'd you.

It was too late
And I had not got it
I was so late
You paid the price, the price
But I was a bastard
I can still hear your cry.

My boots squeak in the snow, I walk at a resign’d pace
I walk the boulevard, the town is quiet in the early evening
The wind is icy, although it's only autumn
And I don't feel the cold, but I turn up my collar.

I am Anatoli Mikhaïlovitch Lipovsky
I'm called Tolik, I'm twenty-five
Yes but I feel as if I had had several lives
I've been a worker, a soldier, a farmer.

As soon as everything collapses, I collapse
But the second after, I’m reborn.

The falling, heavy snow flakes coat the old Petrograd
It’s at the street’s corner that I stop walking and meet all my comrades
There's still not a lot, a lot of us
So far there is no noise, no gunshot, no cry, no blood.

I was born in the small village of Kotovski
Thirty miles north of Novgorod
And this is where I was conquered soul and body
She spiced up my life, she was my electrode

As soon as everything collapses, I collapse
But the second after, I’m reborn.

Anna Viktorovna Borodine
Untamable rebel, you fascinate me
You captivated me
Anna, charming Anna
How you charmed me
How you enchanted me
Anna, loving Anna
How I loved you,
How I have lov'd you.

But it was another time, it was yesterday before... the … war.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: Along the river
2 - Along the river (8 mn 05) Act I Scene 1

it is late, I have to quickly end today's work
Since morning It was scorching on the fields of Kotovski
Now we are inearly spring nineteen thirteen
And I run to pick flowers along the small river. I'm a bit scared.

Anna and I have known each other since childhood
We‘re attracted to each other without ever confessing it
Tonight, I've decided to try my luck
Tonight I've decided to declare... my love for her.

And I wait, patiently, tenderly
For her steps to tread on the ground, for her steps to clear the ferns
And I wait, patiently, tenderly
For her eyes to meet my eyes there on the river bank.

Nowmy heart beats just like hail crashing on the roofs
So we have arranged a date, and I'm here, waiting for her
I squeeze my bunch too tightly in my hands
I turn round, I hear a sound – yes, that's her, Anna is here.

Oh then I rush and I hand her the bunch
I don't let her say a word and I give her all my speech
Now I stutter and I sweat, I am short of breath
I shiver and I mumble, what a way to declare my love!

D’you want to marry me, Anna? We will live quite simply
D’you want to live with me, Anna? Humbly but happily
d’you want to start a fam’ly, Anna? We will live modestly
I love you ….. Anna, but together, Anna
I love you ….. Anna, together you and I
I love you …

I had been preparing for so long for this challenge
And I had hoped for that moment so much
Was I to fail miserably? And then...
Are my ears failing me? Anna answers « yes »!!!

And I wait patiently, tenderly
For her hand to take my hand, for our bodies to get closer
And I wait patiently, tenderly
For her lips to touch my lips, there on the river bank.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: The soviet
3 - The soviet (5 mn 51) Act I Scene 2

Then we went for a walk
Later we went for a talk
Thereby we invented
our beautiful future
As lovers

And after nightfall
our steps le-ed us
to the door of the house
Where the Sovi-et's meeting
Is being held.

Anna takes part
In all the discussions
She's been in the party
Since its creation

For me it's the first time
The soviet fills the room
Many people are here
And I know more than one.

What urges these peasants
To gather again and again?

After a hard day's work
They still find the will
To talk politics
They, some simple mujiks

They smoke, they laugh, they drink
They discuss and they debate
They criticize the state
Here in the small isba.

The oppression of the Okhrana
They've known that more than once
They’re obviously disgusted
Of living under the knout.

They throw out solutions
And ideas galore
Excitement is here
Something's created here

Among all the noise
The geniality
With the smell of soil
Deep in poverty

And Anna whispers to me
This is occuring
Everywhere in the country.

Then Anna stands up and gives her opinion
Her tone is assured, just like a schoolteacher's
Her enthusiasm spreads on the audience
She speaks to all, and each one in particular

And I take off, I fly
My feet don't touch the ground
I am fascinated
Fully captivated by Anna
Everybody’s under the
Spell of this little woman
So persuasive
Impossible not to follow her
Anna I love... and who loves me.

And I take off, I fly ...

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: Anna, me and the war
4 - Anna, me and the war (5 mn 53) Act I Scene 3

And it’s already September
Anna and I live together
Tilling the land is so exhausting
We don’t have a lot of money
But we love each other tenderly
And this mysteri-ous feeling
comforts me, helps me be-ar
The worst difficulties.

Yes but Anna does not accept
This situation and she fights
Day after day just to improve it
She wishes I were less resigned
But we love each other tenderly
And this mysteri-ous feeling
Comforts us, helps us be-ar
The worst difficulties.

Then war broke out…

Life is becoming very hard
And she doesn’t spare our idyll
So that, sometimes, some high tensions mount
Burst out and leave us dispirited
But we love each other tenderly
And this mysterious feeling
Comforts me, helps me bear
The worst difficulties.

Then war goes on…

I want to start a family and I want some children
What else to expect from a couple of twenty-two ?
Anna answers me « wrong time my darling»
I can’t see any future in Russia for our children
Then she shows me the papers displaying the defeats
Of a Russian army no more counting its retreats
Factories unable to produce enough
And Russian leaders cut off from reality

I tell her I still believe in our motherland
I flare up and I claim I want to leave Kotowski
Join a factory, support my country
She cries « The door is here : wide open, come on, go ahead! »

What came over me ?
I left her
I left it all behind me
Anger triumphed
And I wept
Yes, I wept.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: Live together
5 - Live together (6 mn 45) Act II Scene 1

I’ve been in Petrograd for more than a year
There I’m working in an armament factory
Time has done its work and I miss Anna
If only we could live again together ?
As before, together, once again, you and me.

Summer 1916, late afternoon 1916 ça se dit : nineteen sixteen ?
At last I’m in my village of Kotowski
With a lump in my throat, I push the door of her isba
But the house is empty, nobody’s waiting for me.

Will we love each other as before ?
Will she just accept me as before ?

I run to her parents’, they have a letter for me
Anna explains she still loves me as in the past
But the time is wrong to start a family
Uprising is brewing, the monarchy’s shaken.

She wants to take part in the fight right now
And she can no more stay passive in Kotowski
She’s gone to Petrograd for the revolution
Our love must wait for the end of the insurrection.

Will we love each other as before ?
Will she just accept me as before ?
Together, as before, together, once again, you and me.

I lost patience once more.
Her letter, I tore.
I volunteered in the army
And ended up at the front
I simply wanted it all over
I saw no more future for me
I don’t understand Anna and she doesn’t understand me
I don’t understand Anna and she doesn’t understand me

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: Blind and deaf
6 - Blind and deaf (5 mn 06) Act II Scene 2

It’s winter, at the front, poverty, I’m afraid, this is war
Feel stupid, we are all, cannon fodder, this is war.

Now new year passed without rejoicing
The year is 1917 (nineteen seventeen ?)
And sometimes I receive letters
Bringing me a semblance of well-being
You describe clearly all the events
In Petrograd where’s blowing the wind
Of revolution, it’s imminent
Winter is rough, famine spreads.
Winter is rough, famine spreads.

Each day spontaneous strikes appear
Always Anna lends her support
She militates for the uprising
We see her in all the gatherings
But the tsar is blind and deaf
To all the poverty around
Then he sends his troops at the crowd
And the blood of his people sheds.

So Anna and a few comrades
Are sent by a dark and cold night
To fraternize with all the soldiers :
Then the regiments join the rebels
The revolution triumphs
And a millenary regime
Collapses the tsar abdicates
A new government takes over

It’s winter, at the front, poverty, I’m afraid, this is war
Feel stupid, we are all, cannon fodder, this is war.

Anna regularly writes to me
I read her again and again
That’s my only entertainment
And all her sweet words echo in my head
She writes she loves me tenderly
But after the tsar’s fall, the town is jubilant
And at times like that, how she misses me..
I wish you were here by my side, my love.
I wish you were here by my side, my love.

But she also knows that her fight
Has not yet fully reached its goal
The revolution is not complete
The power is much too liberal
The provisional government
Is not able to foresee
That Russian people are fed up
With the war, with that damn slaughter

So demonstrations start again
And strikes break out every week
Now every day there are still more
New rebels screaming in the street
But the state is blind and deaf
To all the poverty around
Then he sends the troops at the crowd
And the blood of his people sheds.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: At the front
7 - At the front (6 mn 04) Act II Scene 3

But this war still goes on
This morning I fought again
We were told to charge
My comrades fell
Then we withdrew
Many died there
And this war still goes on
This morning I fought again.

But I still endure the war and the fights
And I hope, like most of the soldiers
For the quick end of that huge slaughter
To save what is left of Russia

But the war still goes on, This morning I fought again

We obey the officers’orders
We put up with their incompetence, their cruelty
The hierarchy can’t count the dead and the defeats
More and more numerous, the soldiers desert

But the war still goes on, This morning I fought again

Anna regularly sends letters
She wants me to join her, to desert
I worry for Anna, shall I join her fight ?
Will she survive long ? I miss her so, so !

But the war still goes on, This morning I fought again

But this war still goes on
This morning I fought again
We were told to charge
My comrades fell
Then we withdrew
Many died there
And this war still goes on
This morning I fought again.

It’s winter, at the front, poverty, I’m afraid, this is war
Feel stupid, we are all, cannon fodder, this is war.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: A beautiful morning
8 - A beautiful morning (7 mn 00) Act II Scène 4

The sun darts its first rays in the trench
they light my face, the weather is nice
It would be a pleasant morning
Had we not been ordered to attack.

The sun darts its first rays in the trench
That’s good this warms up my face, how nice it is
it would be a such a nice morning
If we were not to attack once again.

Now general Kornilov
Sends us to disaster again
Yes it will be only once more
Yes we know the process too well.

What am I doing ?
And will I stay long here ?
I will die here
What am I doing ?
Will I survive long here ?
I will die here! I'll snuff it here !

And that’s it we charge once again
As one man, we are the brave Russian soldiers
But the assault is a failure again
Our officers are not worth a brass farthing

the ennemy, under cover
Forces us to yield ground
And we have but one solution
We must withdraw and must protect our position.

What am I doing ?
And will I stay long here ?
I will die here
What am I doing ?
Will I survive long here ?
I will die here! I'll snuff it here !

But I think I’m going insane
Even far from the enn’my lines
And out of their firing range
my companions collapse, their bodies in shreds.

I do think I have got it right
By order of the general
Our machine-guns, our own bullets
Are shooting down our scared soldiers
Every reason for one to feel betrayed!

And I dunno how or why
But I went unharmed once again
I am disheartened, disgusted
I decide to try my best to desert

When the opportunity
Arises but it will not.
And my unit being destroyed
In one day I was transferred to the cavalry

What am I doing ?
And will I stay long here ?
I will die here
What am I doing ?
Will I survive long here ?
I will die here! I'll snuff it here !

The sun darted its first rays in the trench
they lit my face, the weather was nice
It would have been a pleasant morning
Had we not been ordered to attack.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: The mad warrior
9 - The mad warrior (6 mn 05) Act II Scene 5

I stroke my young horse and give it an apple
It is worth a lot more than many men
In this regiment : the cossacks of St George
Who, at the least thing, with no reason, slit throats

And here comes from hell the worst of us all
Serguei : mad warrior with no conscience
He thinks one is his friend if one dreads him
Everybody distrusts him, he’s unwholesome.

He enjoys telling ‘bout his exploits
How, being about to freeze to death
He had disemboweled his horse with his knife
And heartless he had warmed up in its guts.

Summer 1917, I am on the road, on the road to ruin. I know I must desert.
Summer 1917, I am on the road, on the road to ruin. I know I must desert.

I stroke my young horse and give it an apple
We are all cramped in huge carriages
We were given arms and some ammunitions
Serguei has it that we’re on a big mission

What is it ? We just don’t know
Where are we headed ? We don’t know
Complete mystery surrounds our mission
The officers don’t answer our questions

The train takes us at full speed
Serguei is impatient so it doesn’t bode well
I escape thinking of Anna : where is she ?
Suddenly all is black. We’re in a tunnel.

Summer 1917, I am on the road, on the road to ruin. I know I must desert.
Summer 1917, I am on the road, on the road to ruin. I know I must desert.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: In Petrograd
10 - In Petrograd (2 mn 47) Act III Scene 1

In Petrograd, the drafted
Soldiers don’t want
To be sent to the front
To be used as cannon fodder.

They have joined the demonstrators
Workers and peasants
They hold red flags with pride
The capital has rebelled.

Lenine’s party takes advantage
Of this illimited weariness
The provisional government
Wants to restore its power

They have decided to send
The Cossacks to crush the insurgents
And wipe out at the same time
Some influent Bolsheviks.

The answer to the people’s helplessness
Is repression, over and over again.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: The assault
11 - The assault (6 mn 54) Act III Scene 2

A heavy rain lashes the capital’s pavings
Out of the carriages, we get on our horses
Serguei harangues us : we’re going to charge
Blindly, cruelly, swords in our hands and no quarter
It’s raining on the city,
It’s raining on my life
I know today
I will be wrecked,
It will be over.

A heavy rain lashes the capital’s pavings
We gallop in the streets, vandals like
I can’t get out of the stream
Of horsemen charging the demonstrators
It’s raining on the city,
It’s raining on my life
I know today
I will be wrecked,
It will be over

The assault’s bloody, barbarian, inhuman, deadly
Stabs are given, guns are shot, stabs are given, guns are shot,
I get panicked at such fury then I settle down
At last I manage to get away from this bestial fight

I dunno if they are tears flowing on my face
I’m despondent, totally worn o-ut
That’s too much, my tired brain censored itself
It doesn’t want to face that reality.

Rain on the city
And rain on my life
This premonition
This apprehension
I know that today
I just will be wrecked
I know that today
It will be over.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: The drenched pavings
12 - The drenched pavings (5 mn 41) Act III Scene 3

A cry wakes me from my coma
I think I know that sceaming voice
I spur my horse with emotion
Now my heart beats like hail striking the roofs.

At the street’s corner, I make out
Face down on the ground, her arms outstretched
Here on the drenched pavings
A young woman, lying in her blood.

Serguei is standing next to her
Wipes his sword, looking satisfied
I jump from my mount, I’m anguished
Now I approach in a feverish state

Next to the corpse, I sit down
Under the rain, I upturn this cold body
That I held too rarely in my arms
Anna ! Hou Anna ! Anna…

I draw my knife in a fury
I am no more Anatoli
I am a Cossack of Saint George
I just pounce on Serguei and slit his throat

I collapse next to you, Anna
Face down on the ground, my arms outstretched
Here on the drenched pavings
Anna, I lie in your blood.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King
Track Name: The great evening
13 - The great evening (4 mn 58) Epilogue

My boots squeak in the snow, I walk at a resign’d pace
I walk on boulevard, the town is quiet in this early evening.
The wind is icy, although it’s only autumn
And I don’t feel the cold but I turn up my collar.

I’m walking in Anna’s steps
To the winter palace
She is there as she used to be
On the riverbank
She is right next to me
There’s nothing I can do
She will always be there
When our bodies get closer

I join Antonov and all my comrades
Tonight, a decisive leaf is turned in Petrograd
Anna had grasped the meaning of History
And I had failed to understand, I was a bastard.

I’m walking in Anna’s steps
To the winter palace
She is there as she used to be
On the riverbank.
She is right next to me,
There’s nothing I can do
She will always be there
When out bodies get closer.

I have never had children
I’ve never started a family.

I’m wolking in Anna’s steps to the winter palace.
She is there as she used to be, there on the riverbank.
She is right next to me, there’s nothing I can do.
She will always be there when our bodies get closer.

Copyright © 2010 Puzzle King