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Singled Out: Nowhere Nation's Rubaiyat (Sky on Fire)


K. Wiggins | 10-16-2019

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Nowhere Nation

Nowhere Nation just released their debut concept album, "Omicron" and to celebrate we asked Arthur Blume to tell us about the song "Rubaiyat (Sky on Fire)". Here is the story:

Omicron is a graphic-novel-like concept album. Set in Washington, DC and North Africa, it takes place in a more-secret-than-secret US government agency (called Omicron), and is about a love triangle between an agent ("Seven"), an assassin ("Nine"), and the agency's secretive and imperious leader ("Peter"). It's produced by Doug Rockwell in a hard-hitting mix of rock/pop/electronic styles, with powerful illustrations by Aidan Hughes of BRUTE! Propaganda. You can see the full interactive album at nowherenation.net/omicron. (Tip: Click the characters to see what they're thinking.)
 
Omicron's "mini-movie" plot starts with Peter, in an illicit relationship with his protegee Nine, convincing CIA agent Seven to join Omicron. Years later, Seven and Nine have both grown disenchanted with Omicron. They meet on assignment in North Africa, fall for each other, and resolve to leave Omicron together. They know they'll face angry, unrestrained retribution from Peter, so they plot to steal damning secrets before they escape. This song is where their plot unfolds.
 
"Rubaiyat (Sky on Fire)" is the middle of a three-song sequence, which starts with raļ-inspired dance music as Seven dreams of freedom, and ends with a searing rock/electronic clash between the characters, one of whom won't survive. The song is inspired by this quatrain from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
 
"Ah Love! could thou and I with fate conspire / To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then / Re-mould it nearer to the heart's desire!"

 
I wrote Omicron to be enjoyed start to finish, and "Rubaiyat (Sky on Fire)" is at the sonic and dramatic high point. I couldn't be more thrilled with Doug's production, and am excited to hear how listeners feel at this moment in the journey. Definitely check out the video starring Aidan's vivid, propaganda-style art.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself right here!


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