Ancient Lands, Eternal Souls

UPDATE: Ancient Lands, Eternal souls was submitted to a number of smaller film festivals in Texas in 2023. So far, it has been selected for two.

In the fall of 2022 my friend Mark came out to the ranch to do some hunting.   Late at night after a few beers, we were sitting in the cabin listening to Dead and Company when he said, “Do you want to see something?”  He then proceeded to get out his laptop and show me this set of amazing photos, and to narrate the story about the year he spent as a Lt. Colonel in Afghanistan in 2003.  I was so amazed by his detail and honesty, about what excited him and also what frightened him…  My father was a lifetime patriot who served 29 years in the Army, and then worked as a military contractor.   He did tours of Berlin, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, and Iraq.  He passed away a few years ago and sadly he and I never had a chance to talk in such detail about his experiences as a soldier abroad.  I think he just chose not to do so… Thank you Mark for sharing your story with me…and us…

From the documentary “Ancient Lands, Eternal Souls – My Year in Afghanistan”

That evening and that conversation inspired me to compose my first soundtrack consisting of a six song cycle that represent my emotional response to Mark’s story. As I wrote and arranged these songs, I spent a lot of time looking at photos of my father when he was in the military and stationed abroad. And, since we never discussed these tours in great detail, I tried to imagine what he felt like during those trips. The six songs represent six different moods a soldier in the bush might feel. These songs were used to divide Mark’s story into chapters, following the narrative arc of these moods.

“Intro”Duty, honor, mission, attention to detail
“Marching in the Sand”Joy and wonder at being in a strange new world
“Into the Arms of the Infinite”Sensing the existence of a timeless force far greater than nations and armies
“Ancient Lands, Eternal Souls”Recognition that you and the enemy are very different people
“Get Up”Fear and paranoia – forcing yourself each day to get up and confront the chaos
“The Voice of God”Finding that rare source of peace and serenity during war
Music is available on all the major streaming and social platforms.

Watch Documentary

I recorded Mark’s narration a few weeks later, and put together a 30 minute documentary that tells the story of that year he spent in Afghanistan 20 years ago.

Ancient Lands, Eternal Souls – My Year in Afghanistan

Watch The Trailer

Trailer for the video