Consent Under Coercion Album Cover by Sottish prog rock keyboardist Brian Johnstone
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A guide to the songs on Consent Under Coercion

The album Consent Under Coercion is broadly a view of the human condition, our inability to learn from mistakes and our dubious future as a species. We seem to be incapable of existing peacefully on our tiny planet. It may be a cliche but no rational person can be immune to the craziness humans seem to create and perpetuate  in the world. We appear doomed to fail as a species and arguably deservedly so. It seems we have an inbuilt ability for self destruction which we can’t avoid. Our instincts teach us to survive but our behaviour seems to be immune: we appear to consent under coercion.

The album consist of 10 songs:

5 ‘standalone’ compositions  and a suite of 5 inter connected songs
The last song “The Course of Empire” is a ‘suite’ of 5 pieces connected through a common theme and based on the series of five paintings by artist Thomas Cole.

Track 1: Precious Dreamer

So many unfinished books, paintings, songs or works of art lie around because the person gave up for all and no reasons. I believe everyone has a dream however grand or modest. But some people give up and others continue. Whether or not we all achieve our dreams and ambitions is arguably a moot point because it’s the belief that you will achieve your dream that drives the journey, and the journey is the reward. Ultimately it is your choice to pursue your dreams or not.

Track 2: Crammed In

We are all vulnerable to  ‘trial by media’ situation. Guilt or innocence is not the issue but trial by media has been a well known concept for many years and creates victims of a circumstance with no recourse or control. A journalist decides to write some undesirable things about a person and publish it. Even if the person is innocent and when the allegations are  withdrawn the damage has been done: it’s a classic one way function. A journalist with an agenda and a platform can simply throw some mud at the wall. Even if it’s the wrong mud some of it will stick.

In our age of ‘information at the speed of light’ information travels fast: regardless of its content, right or wrong….good or bad.

Combined with people blindly believing in anything published in the mass media and human bottom feeder behavioural desire for titillation, this gives a very dangerous platform for the dissemination of information. And in true tyrannical fashion if you don’t stand up to this behaviour you could be next.

Track 3: Judgement Day

Everyday everyone of us makes decisions about how we run our lives and the resulting impact on ourselves, others and the world in general. Every action and decision has an effect somewhere so it’s incumbent on all of us to be aware of that. All actions have consequences, however remote or small. I believe we all have to account for our actions one day.

Track 4: Lumang

China is one of the oldest and most spiritually rich cultures in the world, yet ‘The West’ (who appear to br devoid of spirituality) see it simply as a ‘market’ for which to extract vast sums of money. Conversely many Chinese people seem to buy in to the idea that the western materialism is of value. It is they who have the real (ie the spiritual) riches and they can’t be bought by all the money in the world. What an irony.

Track 5: Ujezd Tarantella (Taste the fear)

By definition you can never really have empathy with any situation unless you have experienced it yourself. Fear is a classic example. And a tacit one. Fear takes all shapes and sizes. But you know how it when you get there: how it feels, how it tastes. Whatever your fears are, you learn a lot about yourself when you are exposed to your fears.

The Course of Empire

A suite of music loosely based on the paintings by Thomas Cole. See more about the song/suite The Course of Empire.