The reading of the book "Chernobyl" by Serhii Plokhy. "History of a Tragedy" inspired Long Tall J to write and record this piece carrying the same name.
Voice actor Martin Mens from the Netherlands reads part of the text on the actual recording and the sound effects on his voice transform his into another musical instrument. If you like to know more about his work please take a look at his website: www.martinmens.nl
Chernobyl was a nuclear power station in Ukraine that was equipped with a so called "RBMK" reactor, that had serious safety shortcomings and design flaws.
The management of the station had decided to carry out a turbine test to simulate a power outage. This test was carried out in the night of April 26, 1986. At 01:23:58 a.m. disaster struck when the first explosion took place that blew the 1000-ton roof off the reactor and resulted in a fire. More explosions followed and the spreading of intense radiation begun. The worst nuclear disaster in the history of human mankind was a fact.
The Russians were reluctant to admit the disaster and subsequently slow in starting to contain the spreading of the radiation and the much needed evacuation of people living in the area. The Soviet reputation and state system was more important than Ukrainian lives and the lives of people in adjacent countries. Neighbouring Belarus was badly contaminated as a result of the disaster.
The Chernobyl disaster accelerated the downfall of the dictatorial Soviet system and the independence of the former Soviet states.
Long Tall J intends to honour with this piece the firemen and helicopter pilots, the many liquidators and others who gave their lives or the quality of their lives to stop the disaster from spreading any further.
The music in this piece has many influences: from the almost folky intro to a more upbeat funky bit to a verse that is more prog style. In the chorus we hear a New Wave melody on the keyboards that could be from the eighties. The sound reminds us of OMD with their hit "Enola Gay".
There are upbeat parts in the piece illustrating the positive effect of countries gaining or regaining their independence and freedom while the more serious parts of the music intend to show the disaster that Chernobyl really was.