Leonard Cohen/Democracy

In 1995, composers tomandandy wrote the music for a project called “The United States of Poetry” — a beautiful collage of little “poetry videos”,  directed by Mark Pellington, which aired on PBS.  For a few segments, producers Josh Blum and Bob Holman had several great songwriters, including Leonard Cohen, read the lyrics of some of their songs for camera.  For “Democracy”, tomandandy took Cohen’s reading and added an ominous, brooding musical underbelly — a treatment quite different from Cohen’s original recording of the piece.  Reinvented, “Democracy” would go from subtle and satirical to overt and ominous. It was 1995 when this piece was produced, and back then there was plenty of reasons to project an ominous mood, but today Mr. Cohen’s savage poetry of “Democracy” seems more apt than ever…

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