|The Quiet Earth Orchestra|
|Produced by John Ludi|
|Released on 2008|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution scan]
A one-man band is a perilous endeavor; a one-man orchestra is suicide. Prog storytellers, however, are more likely than most to charge against an army of critics with puny sword in hand, screaming “for the Shire’s honor” or some such nonsense. At least that’s what happened on Anthropia’s Ereyn Chronicles, and it was all I could do not to close my eyes at the fearless futility of it. So when The Quiet Earth Orchestra arrived in the mail, a vanity label release with a cheap photo of a graveyard on the cover and a makeshift, long-in-the-tooth lyrical booklet stapled together that spoke of a concept about the Apocalypse, I winced once and shelved it, not wishing to witness the imminent slaughter of another dreamer. However, after finally listening to this disc, John Ludi (the creative force behind Quiet Earth) is not only left standing but has successfully vanquished the demons that have destroyed so many other DIY efforts. Taking a cue from prog heroes like Marillion, Steve Howe and Van Der Graaf Generator, Ludi has stitched together a strong epic of a Prophet’s journey through a world bent on destruction. Handling guitars, vocals, keyboards, drums and production is an enormous undertaking, yet the myriad of multitracks rarely stumbles. The more I listen to Quiet Earth, the less relevant its single source of inspiration becomes, the roar of one voice becoming an army in the imagination. There are more proficient players in the prog canon to be sure (Howe, Hammill, etc.), but conceptually Ludi can hold his own with any of them. I’ll concede that his distaste for humanity may not be for everyone; the band might just as well have been called Misanthropia. Yet prog is fueled by fantasies like this, from 2112 to Godbluff. A study of prophets reveals that they often come from the unlikeliest sources, and in the end it’s the message and not the man that matters most. The Quiet Earth Orchestra may not have profited its maker much, but prog labels take note: Ludi is a diamond in the rough who, with a little support, could indeed become a master of the game.
JOHN LUDI -- vocals, all instruments, engineer
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