This December marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Ashfield native Cynthia Elbaum. She was a photojournalist on assignment for Time Magazine, covering the Chechen / Russian war in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.
At about 4 pm on December 22nd, 1994, while Cynthia was photographing survivors sifting through the rubble of the previous nights bombardment, Russian jets attacked again.
She was one of the first journalists to be killed in the war in Chechnya. A Smith College alumna, her photos are now housed in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College in Northampton, Ma.
Two years ago Tony Jillson was approached by Cynthia's mother, Jude, to create some original music for a short film on Cynthia that was to be shown at the Ashfield FilmFest. The film was well received, as was the music he created. Because of that positive reaction, he decided to expand on that work and create a full cd's worth of music. He replaced the 'computer' parts with real violin, cello, guitar and percussion. It was recorded at his studio in Ashfield over the course of the past two years.
"Jillson wanders far in these instrumental pieces, and proves adept at employing these rather un-rock instruments to create an intriguing variety of textures." - James Heflin, Valley Advocate
For Love, For Friendship
Most of us have lost a loved one: a Parent, a Partner, a Friend. This is Tony's reflection on loss and the emotions one experiences, both initially, as well as over the long haul. But this is not merely a requiem, it's also a dedication and celebration of the life of this person. The music reflects both the sad and the joyful.
For Truth, For Us All
Journalists all over the world face incredible dangers to bring us the information that we would never get otherwise. The information they deliver saves lives and allows us to make more informed decisons. We need them now more than ever. We should support them, and recognize them as the heroes they are.
"...pungent and percussive, charged with not grief and remorse but rather dance-like vitality" - Joseph Marcello, Greenfield Recorder
For Cynthia Track Listing:
- For Cynthia
- The Phone Call
- Solo Cello 1
- Stargazing Prelude
- Stargazing at the Golf Course
- The Seaweed Monster Vs. Clay Girl
- Stargazing Postscript
Total Run Time: 43 minutes
Here are a few samples:
Music by Tony Jillson
Kelly Halloran Violin 1, 2
Daniel Plane Cello 1 - 4, 5 - 7
Joe Jewett Violin 5 - 7
Written, Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Ratite Studios, Ashfield Ma.
Artwork: Birdwaves Media
Photos courtesy Jude Elbaum / Smith College Archives; Panos Pictures