Stories of Bletchley Park during the Second World War – in song.
The boffins at the sharp end of course, but with a vast supporting cast (ten thousand people by the end of the war) from translators, intelligence officers, typists and clerks to canteen staff and the guards on the gates.
Stream or purchase CD or download here
Praise for A Crossword War:
I’m just listening to A Crossword War (for the third time!), and it provoked me to get in touch. I have to say I think it’s amazing. So many colours, but with a real sense of a piece of through-composition. It’s beautifully crafted too. I particularly like your use of musique concrète and found rhythms; brilliant. Sheena Masson’s performance on I’m Listening To You is lovely.
Martin Appleby, BBC Radio 3 studio manager.
Now I get it – it’s a concept album. And it really is excellent, for so many reasons. For a start, I love the CD cover and presentation inside. I can’t tell you my favourite track because each one is special for something: atmosphere, rhythms, melody, sound effects; and as for the lyrics – amazing! What a difficult theme to put into words, yet you totally succeeded. Can I give heartfelt Congratulations? The only other thing I want to tell you is that Captain Ridley keeps going round & round in my head – v. annoying!
I have just been listening to your CD through a pair of good headphones … I’d not truly experienced it all before. It was amazing. I could see the scenes in my mind’s eye and a very strange thing happened as I heard the train pulling into Bletchley. I could smell the smoke from the engine! All quite extraordinary; it’s an absolutely wonderful piece of work and I can’t tell you how much pleasure it’s giving me to listen to it properly with nobody interrupting – just me.
… what a delight! The CD was really original and inventive, and in some ways was already a good way down the line to being a documentary! And quite simply I also loved some of the melodies, such as An Invitation From His Majesty…
Rib Davis, playwright http://ribdavis.com/
Excellent! Really excellent! It must be sent to Cameron Mackintosh for a West End Show – it’s all there, the script, everything!
… one of the most inspiring CDs we have ever listened to… We rejoice in hearing every word of every song. The rhythms and colours of the music enhance every mood and every nuanced meaning. My hair stood on end as I listened to the pillow-talking girl listening to me. (That last happened when I first heard Billie Holliday sing Strange Fruit, which says something about the impact of your song!) You get inside the heads and hearts and hands of all the people, be they the troubled genius, Alan Turing, or the people like us, recruited to do the donkey work. You even get inside the machines, with their thoughtless thinking, expressed through the perfect marriage of music and lyric. I’ve run out of words. You’re a genius!
Roy (and Maggie) Nevitt