[04]

Toller’s Song (Prayer for a Gun)(Nas Hedron, Canada/Brazil) 3:26

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Toller Zolf is an illegal gun dealer.  He’s also a mentor of sorts for Rani, giving her advice on everything from which handgun to use to how to wear her hair.  We first meet him when Rani needs a new gun and visits him at home.

Toller is flamboyantly gay. Tall and well built, with flowing black hair, he works to keep his muscles sleek but very toned.

Today he’s wearing casual women’s slacks, a light knit top, and topsiders, all in shades of tan, cream, and white. Around-the-house casual wear.

In the macho world of guns–among the colorful Jamaican rude boys and the rigidly disciplined Chinese Big Circle boys, the teenage Vietnamese gangbangers with spiky plumes of hair and beefy Russian mafiya with hieroglyphically complex tattoos, all the endless varieties of gangstas and gangsters–no one would think of mocking Toller’s sexual orientation.

First, it would be bad for business. He’s the city’s leading supplier of light and heavy artillery, guaranteed untraceable to any source and guaranteed not to be ballistically related to some prior crime.

Second, he has a temper. As Toller would say, his bitch would come out, and nobody wants that. Toller’s bitch will see you dead no matter who you are, no matter what the circumstances. And given his reputation, no one will help the fool who let the bitch loose in the first place. There’s just no mileage in it. So you’ll die alone and be quickly forgotten. Toller is simply too dangerous for him to bother with pretense.

Toller’s Song (Prayer for a Gun) is one of two tracks I created myself, the other being Track [09], Overnight to Amsterdam (Prayer for Forgetting).

The first half of this track consists of a spoken word performance of my poem Prayer for a Gun.  Both this poem and Prayer for Forgetting were written independently of the book, then re-purposed for use here since they happened to embody two of the notions I wanted on the album.

Prayer for a Gun sets Toller’s unhealthy enthusiasm for violence to music.  In the poem, as in Toller’s skewed world view, the gun represents everything that is energetic and ambitious in human nature—the urgent lifeforce in every human being that sometimes impels us to greatness, but that may also use brutal violence in order to achieve its goals. It’s an exhuberant paen to a world where, if you’re not a predator you’re almost sure to end up as prey.

Prayer for a Gun
Gun is the thing that
when you take it out
you have to use it, it’s
the thing that is
cradled and rocked.

It’s the element found
right between gold and lead,
the purest, the most elegant fuel.

First word in every sentence
taught by mothers to their children,
first thought on waking.

I’ve placed my recording of the poem in a faux live setting by using samples of applause and other crowd sounds drawn from various sources (see the credits at the bottom of the page for details).

The poem then leads into an energetic tango called Passion Tango, Part One by the Slovene theater production group Juice Connection.  The tango seems to me to sum Toller up well:  it’s passionate, beautiful, energetic, and dangerous.

This track is also the basis for the second video from the soundtrack, embedded below.

____________________

This track is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Credits:

Toller’s Song (Prayer for a Gun) is an original track by Nas Hedron that incorporates an original recording as well as sound and music elements under license as set out below (in order of appearance).

1.  The applause prior to the poem is taken from a recording of the aria Je Vais Le Voir recorded by Teresa Macdonald, which can be found here and which was released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  

2.  Gunshot sound is from a sound file, gshot, from FreeSound.org contributor SoundCollectah, released under a Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal License (public domain).

3.  The poem Prayer for a Gun is an original work recorded by Nas Hedron.

4.  The applause after the poem is a combination of two sound files, clappy1 and clappy2, both from FreeSound.org contributor theMfish, ala indie filmmaker Jonathan Carr, both under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

5.  The tango section is an edited excerpt from Passion Tango—Part One by Juice Connection, which can be found here and which was released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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