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(Detail from "Quarryman at work" by Unidentified Artist)



« Stonecutter » is intended as an anthem to perseverance and is based on one of my favourite citations, one which has helped me on several occasions, the following quote by Jacob August Riis :


When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.


The main challenge of this composition was to have exactly 101 hits on the snare drum, with the 101st corresponding to the climax, the hammer hitting the rock one last time to split it in two.


The piece is an instrumental, to which I have written the following verses :


Don't mind me stone worker as I sit to watch you
There's a rock of a kind I need to cut in two
And I strain and I strive but when nothing will do
I come here to witness how it's going for you


Strike the stone sledgehammer in your tenacity
There's beauty to behold and much courage to see
Smash your rock stonecutter in your self-confidence
There is strength to be gained and much reassurance


It's not as if you were stronger than I can be
Your own rock shows no cracks though you keep bashing it
No it's more in the way that it appears to me
As if you know no doubt that monolith will split


Nail your test sledgehammer for your dedication
I have praise to offer and much admiration
Boom your block stonecutter sing your faith with that sound
It's the music one hears when this gem they have found


As the maul pounds the stone you are expressionless
Just focused on your goal in all seriousness
And when you deliver the bang that gets the win
On your face there's a grin as mineral gives in


Crush your foe sledgehammer know your mercilessness
Brings a warmth to my heart that melts all hopelessness
Hit your aim stonecutter in your decisiveness
There's a light shining bright that dispels all darkness


And although that last blow seems the critical one
It was no more crucial than any heretofore
No it was over time that this challenge was won
This outcome the feat of all that has gone before

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Tags: demo, jacob august riis, music, perseverance, poligraf, prog, prog rock, progressive, progressive rock, quotation, More…québec, rock, snare drum, stonecutter

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