Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Faith Noel

For Tasty Licks Tuesday, we feature some great guitar work from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The instrumental “Faith Noel” incorporates the traditional carol “The First Noel” as well as original music from this band known for their Christmas performances.

“Faith Noel” opens their 2004 CD “The Lost Christmas Eve.” The premise of the CD is that an angel is sent from God to find the person that best exemplifies Jesus. At the conclusion, it is discovered that there are many who are in image of Jesus – especially at this auspicious time of the year.

Despite their Eurasian name that was taken from the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the band is American. According to band leader Paul O’Neill in an interview in the Citizen’s Voice in November, “In the 1980s I was fortunate enough to have visited Russia. If anyone has ever seen Siberia, it is incredibly beautiful but incredibly harsh and unforgiving as well. The one thing that everyone who lives there has in common that runs across it . . . is the Trans-Siberian Railway. Life, too, can be incredibly beautiful but also incredibly harsh and unforgiving, and the one thing that we all have in common that runs across it . . . is music. It was a little bit overly philosophical, but it sounded different, and I like the initials, TSO.”

While I haven’t been to Siberia, I have seen it from 30,000 feet in a Korean Air jetliner – it is a rugged, harsh, and unforgiving landscape. The area that I witnessed was not near the railroad, but rather on the far eastern coast and mountainous regions near the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. Somewhere, I have photos of the landscape from the air.

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