A 500-year-old magician. A ruthless, multinational egg corporation. A love story between a Hasidic girl and an Amish boy. A band of sauciers and dumpling bakers. An egg-hunt of cosmic proportions to save us all from eternal winter.
Welcome to the world of Easterween.
With a career spanning 16 years and 8 albums, John Southworth has produced some of the most unique song-writing ever committed to record. On his 9th outing, Canada’s most inimitable imaginator has upped the ante by enlisting the arranging genius of JUNO-winning composer-bassist-cellist Andrew Downing.
The result is a vertiginous, cinematic journey in the spirit of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. A 21st century metaphysical fertility tale set to surreal 19th century street-cabaret songs. Imagine pop music arranged by Igor Stravinsky, with lyrics dictated by David Lynch on a vision quest. If Easterween sounds like a movie waiting to be made, it’s for good reason.
A film buff who directs his own videos, Southworth wrote a 120-page screenplay for Easterween from which he distilled a dozen songs charting a hallucinatory journey and metaphysical rite of passage. Lacking the $ 10 million it would cost to make the film he settled for the next best thing: a one-of-a-kind album with arrangements by Andrew Downing. Having written a score for the legendary 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – a dark and dreamlike tale widely regarded as the first ever horror movie – Downing was the perfect collaborator.
Part Edgar Allan Poe and part Rite of Spring, Easterween tells the magic-realist tale of a mythological egg-hunt set during an eternal winter. Robert Kirk is a 500-year-old magician who contacts the Faerie kingdom to help him end the icy spell. The Faerie King and Queen choose a 16-year-old Amish boy named Johann and a 16-year-old Hasidic girl named Sylvia who, despite their different backgrounds, come together in a powerful union. Their essential task is to find three eggs of the utmost cosmic importance, hidden throughout Pennsylvania. While looking for the eggs they are hunted by sinister Noombs and the heads of GMO companies. If the teens find the eggs the corporate monopoly on the seed kingdom will be over. But in order for spring to happen Johann and Sylvia also have to return the eggs to Pennsylvania’s Mountain of the Egg – all by the eve of Easterween!