FINALLY!

8th January, 2012

As I sit here today, I have now the completion of Stage 1 of a project that has taken me almost 8 years to complete. It has been a mammoth task but, before I proceed any further, let me regress back a long time in my life. I believe that this first aspect is important in helping you to understand why I am so elated about what has been completed today.

For as long as I can remember, music has played a very dominant part in my life. That extends back to the years before I even went to school. There was nothing I loved doing more than being able to go up to the lounge room of my paternal grandparents’ home on the property where we lived and getting on the piano and just playing. In those days not even I recognised that I was actually composing music. Only my Grandmother recognised that (I say that because I remember her clearly saying on a number of occasions after I had been on the piano, “Another new piece of music?”) Never, until decades later, did I realise what she actually meant. All that music was (in a way) lost but it was the start of something that was to become a passion. I am proud to say that the very same piano has now the pride and place in my lounge room and it actually has 3 young children who really enjoy playing it (maybe history is about to repeat itself).

My Grandmother had been an opera singer, though no-one famous, and my Grandfather was also very musical. While on the other side of my family my Mum’s parents were both very highly acclaimed organists and shared what, as far as I can determine, is still something unique, in that they were both Fellows of the Royal Fellowship Of Organ Musicians. My parents, while not really being musical in the same sense as their respective parent’s, went on to make a name for themselves as champion ballroom dancers and teachers, such was the sense of timing and rhythm that they had inherited.

It was, therefore, hardly surprising that music was very much a part of the lives of my siblings and myself. While only my youngest sister (of my 4 siblings) still pursues her music to any great extent, it is still there. Music was always encouraged and, although none of us ever had any formal training, we were encouraged to freely express ourselves through our music.

It wasn’t until I left school that I actually started to get serious about my music (although I had learnt to play drums back in primary school, using a drum kit that my paternal Grandfather had actually made himself). It was while at university in the late 60's that I took to learning the guitar and started to seriously write music. It somehow seemed so very easy and, because I had no formal music training, I regularly broke what others deemed the “rules” of music. That did not worry me as I used my music to express what I was feeling and not to write according to a set of rules.

While my first music was definitely secular, it wasn’t long before Christian based songs also started to roll out of my head onto paper and recording tape.

In the late 60's and early 70's the rock musical started to emerge and, with it, came Christian musicals as well. At that time I moved to a small rural community (Bingara) where I had become involved with a band and was starting to become very serious about my writing. While the band was a great outlet, I wanted more from my music.

Then came what is still the most fantastic experience of my life. It was in April of 1973 and I was getting this feeling within me that something big was developing within me and, as Easter approached (and no bookings for the band that weekend) I started to feel that something was ready to happen with my music. After band practice at the beginning of the week, I took my organ and amplifiers home and turned all forms of music off. Good Friday came and when I woke up that morning (20th April, 1973), I knew something was about to happen. I even opted to not go to church that morning (something that caught even me by surprise).

At 10am that morning I entered my music room and the experience that followed was indescribable. From that time until 2am the next morning I recorded, arranged, wrote and prayed. I had followed Luke’s Gospel (for some reason I really like Luke and the way he wrote). The last bit of arranging and recording done, I collapsed into bed. Unsure of what I had done because I actually hadn’t listened to the finished product.

It was nearly 11am when I surfaced on Saturday and, after breakfast, went back into the music room to listen to what I had created. What was on the tape was 86 minutes that really blew my mind. I couldn’t believe what I had created, but I knew it was different. Thus my first musical, The Son, was written.

That was to be the first of many complete works I was to write.

About this time I started to think about what else could I actually do. The Bible had a wealth of material that could almost last forever, but I do know that it was, in those early years, that I first noticed a desire to put the Book of Revelation to music. Each time the desire arose, I became scared of the idea, because of a verse of warning at the end of the book which told of the punishment that awaited those who added to or subtracted from that prophecy (Revelation 22:18). I have lost track of how many times I thought about the task and then put it aside again.

In 2004 I completed a 2 hour musical called “From The Garden To The City” and, after completing that felt that maybe this was what I was meant to write instead of Revelation.

No! The desire did not go and it was at that time that the desire became strong again and, in April, 2004, the first song of what was to become The Revelation Suite was written, although it wasn’t until September of that year that I came to realise that I had actually written that song and another (in July) that were to be a part of it. That September was when I really started to get serious. By now I also had matured in my spiritual growth and realised that if God really wanted me to write that book, He would reveal it to me. Little did I know what was about to unfold. Over the next 8 years (almost) pieces of music came to me that all fitted in to the same idea and I then started to get serious, writing out a detailed plan (based around a printout of the book), breaking up the book into almost 40 parts that would finally come together. Many hours were spent planning and making notes of how each part could be done and picking out common pieces and themes that repeated themselves throughout the book. I have to confess that I often ignored those earlier notes when it came to the actual piece of music. It started out to be pure music but then the idea of dialogue came into the plan and then a couple of parts opened themselves to a straight song to portray certain verses.

The songs were certainly not written in the order of the book, but were written as the Lord gave me the music.

Right up until 2011, it was something I was doing myself. Then, during the early part of the year, a friend of mine who writes poetry, sent me a poem that screamed out to be used. I contacted Natalie and asked (as I had done with a couple of other poems she had written before) if I could use the words in the project. She was more than happy. That song fitted around the breaking of the sixth seal.

In recent years, I have had the privilege of mentoring a young boy who does have musical talent and had already started to compose short musical pieces and choruses. One day in May ,2011, River was working on something on the piano in the lounge and I was mindful that he was doing more than just killing time. We had already spoken about him contributing a drum piece for a thunderstorm related to the little scroll, and he had already produced that for me. Soon he arrived down and asked could he record this piece of music he had been working on. Before we started to record (as we wheeled out the recording unit into the lounge) he asked me a strange question, “Can music be written just with the black keys?” My answer was if that was what he had done then it was okay. We sat there and recorded him playing the piece and, as we did so, I had the realisation that this music also fitted the little scroll. I asked did he think that the drum bit he had done would fit in the middle of the song. We played around with it and, sure enough, it did. Then came the process of digitising and arranging the short piece. Suddenly, he was very excited about the piece and the entire piece was thus contributed by him. When he listened back to the finished product, he was truly amazed at what he had done (The Little Scroll).

He and his sister (Breeze) also recorded and dramatised the slamming of the door to the bottomless pit.

As 2011 drew to a close, the end of this mammoth project drew closer and closer. Finally, today, the last piece of music was completed and I can now share with you, my close friends, what has been happening.

Part of what has been done to share this is that I have taken small samples (mostly from the commencement of each piece of music - the samples varying from 25 to 45 seconds in length - approximately) and placed them online so that you might get some idea of what it is all about. In the table below is a full list of the songs and the relevant passages they refer to, along with other details about each song. Clicking on the song title allows you to hear the sample piece of music (they are all MP3's). In addition, I have zipped the entire set of sample tracks into a single file that you may download (if you desire) then unzip and play at your leisure offline.

That is the completion of stage 1 - all the music is completed, recorded and mixed. Now comes the huge task of recording vocals and dialogues for all tracks that these are required for (some tracks are to be just instrumental music). I guess this will take a while to do because I need it to be good, because it is for the Lord.

I can tell you that this has been an awesome experience, made all the more difficult by the fact that the Lord had made it clear that, apart from Natalie, River and Breeze, no one else was to know about what was happening. Sometimes it would have been great to just share it with someone but I wasn’t about to go against what had been very clearly impressed upon me.

Obviously, I am now going to ask that you each pray for me as I move into Stage Two of The Revelation Suite so that everything comes together in an orderly and high quality production. I am under no delusions that this next stage will be filled with difficulties, dangers and problems, because the devil is not going to be too happy that this project is drawing to a completed stage that can be presented to the world, as we move closer to the fulfilment of  the prophetic message that is contained within this book (in fact, last night saw a major attack from him).

As with what will appear on the double CD release, I am stressing that people should read the relevant passages from the book in order to get a clearer understanding of what has been done.

The length of the different pieces varies from just a few seconds to the complete Messages to the Seven Churches, which is a 16 minute and 10 second epic in its own right. The total length of the Suite is around 2.5 hours. All individual track times appear on the table below. Another piece of information on the suite is the instruments. The music incorporates 48 different instruments (as well as combinations of settings of these instruments). These range through classical, modern, folk, ethnic and other types of instruments. All of these instruments do not appear in every part, but represent the total range of instruments. Writing and arranging all of this was a mammoth task but one that has taught me a great deal as I have worked my way through it.

 Another fact is that there have been many other songs written during that time span that were never intended nor had any connection to this project, so I wasn’t only doing this music during that time.

As for the samples, I cannot stress enough that these are only sample tracks and that, in many cases the style, tempo, and presentation of the music can undergo some drastic changes in order to create “scenery” changes for the particular section being covered. For example, in track 16 (The Woman And The Dragon) there are 11 changes that correspond to the 11 scenes of this vision that John was given (just two of these changes are featured in the sample). I have just created these samples to give you a glimpse into the work. You will also note that there is no sample for the door slamming on the pit. The kids are still being creative on this one but I went ahead as there is no actual music involved with this bit.

I look forward to the excitement of the next stage as I start to record the vocals and dialogue. I imagine that could take quite some time, as I need to get it right.

Bob Burling
8th January, 2012.
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THE REVELATION SUITE - BASIC MUSIC INFORMATION

Track Chpt:Vs Title Date Time
CD ALBUM 1
1 1:1-4 The Prologue 11 July, 3005 2:53
2 1:5-80 The Greeting 2 April, 2011 4:00
3 1:9-20 John's Vision 17 July, 2011 5:06
4 2:1-3:22 The Seven Messages 30 Kanuary, 2011 16:10
5 4:1-11 The Throne Room Of Heaven 6 August, 2011 6:15
6 5:1-14 The Scroll And The Lamb 5 December, 2011 4:04
7 6:1-11 The First Seals 1 December, 2011 3:56
8 6:12-17 The Sixth Seal (words by Natalie Price) 5 May, 2011 5:20
9 7:1-8 The Elect Of Israel 23 July, 2011 3:16
10 7:9-17 The Chosen Ones 9 April, 2011 3:58
11 8:1-5 The Seventh Seal 20 December, 2011 1:24
12 8:6-9:21 The Six Trumpets 5 February, 2005 6:26
13 10:1-11 The Little Scroll (written completely by River-Deane Melia) 29 May, 2011 1:12
14 11:1-14 The Two Witnesses 12 June, 2011 5:20
15 11:15-19 The Seventh Trumpet 17 January, 2011 1:56
16 12:1-17 The Woman And The Dragon 3 January, 2011
CD ALBUM  2
17 13:1a The Seashore (seashore sounds) 19 February, 2011 0:30
18 13:1b-18 The Beasts Of Satan 2 August, 2011 4:41
19 14:1-5 The Lamb And His People 3 September, 2005 1:40
20 14:6-13 The Three Angel Messengers 24 August, 2011 2:42
21 various Lighting Up The Sky 11 April, 2010 3:51
22 14:14-20 The Harvest 19 September, 2011 0:53
23 15:1-8 The Final Plagues 4 April, 2011 3:20
24 16:1-21 The Wrath Of God 29 July, 2004 4:35
25 17:1-18 The Prostitute Of Babylon 26 August, 2008 3:43
26 18:1-24 The Fall Of Babylon 9 July, 2007 3:29
27 19:1-4 The Response 7 January, 2012 1:49
28 19:5-10 The Wedding Feast Of The Lamb 11 January, 2011 3:23
29 19:11-20 The Rider On The White Horse 25 July, 2011 4:30
30 20:1-3 Into The Pit 14 March, 2011 0:40
31 20:3 The Door Slams (literally) ****
32 20:4-6 The Thousand Years 30 August, 2005 2:07
33 20:7-10 Satan Is Defeated 2 August, 2008 1:16
34 20:11-15 Lake Of Fire 25 July, 2010 3:07
35 21:1-8 The New Creation 3 February, 2007 3:33
36 21:9-22:2 The New Jerusalem 5 September, 2009 4:03
37 22:1-5 The River Flows Forever 4 April, 2004 4:15
38 22:3-5 The Joy Of Heaven 14 July, 2011 2:10
39 22:6-21 The Revelation Finale 7 July, 2011 11:00