Christmess Conspiracies

by Matt Butera

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Christmess Conspiracies Liner Notes

Over the course of three acts, Christmess Conspiracies explores three tragic conspiracies that occurred in Holiday Seasons past. The Conspiracies and acts are as follows.

Act I: Sodder Family Disappearance

Here we follow the Sodder Family house fire of 1945. On Christmas Eve night, The family's house went up in flames. The parents and four of their ten kids escaped the house, but five of the children were believed to be trapped in the fire, and burned to death (Joe, the eldest son was away in the army). After the fire stopped, they dug up the rubble looking for the bodies, however none were found. The family proceeded to believe that the children were kidnapped, and spent the rest of their lives in search of their lost children. Movement I follows the tragic events of that Christmas Eve night, while Movement II investigates the mentality of self blame for situations out of our control.

Act II: Pleasant Valley Jane Doe

On December 18th, 1996, a woman between ages 50-60 was found dead in the infant section of the Pleasant Valley graveyard. She was laying on a plastic sheet, beside an 8" christmas tree, red painted nails, navy blue clothes, headphones on playing a comedy sketch cassette, and a bag over her head. She possessed a note that read, "Deceased by own hand...prefer no autopsy. Please order cremation with funds provided. Thank you, Jane Doe". Jane had no form of identification, and her identity is still unknown. Movement I is an ode to this seemingly meditative goodbye. Movement II delves into what motives one might have for not living another day in the Christmas season.

Act III: Warminster "Thing"

The year 1964 on Christmas Day, a menacing sound overtook the town of Warminster, UK. The sound was described as a sonic attack, and there are nearly a dozen accounts of different perspectives from residents all across the town. what caused the sound was completely inexplicable, however it was described as "Sudden vibrations overhead", "Hailstones falling from the sky", "A faint whisper, a loud whistling", "As if a huge chimney stack...was ripped from the rooftop, then scattered in solid chunks." Warminster became a hub for UFO sightings in later years, and the sound on Christmas Day 1964 still remains a mystery. Movement I follows the perspective of Marjorie Bye with a playful perspective of mystery. Movement II depicts numerous accounts around Warminster, and the exaggerated interpretations of the press.

Yet Again (A Christmess Conspiracy Companion Essay):

Christmas, oh how great thou art. There is little in life more constant, unchanging.

Yet again there is a tree in the same bay window. Yet again decorated with ornaments, memories. Yet again rooted on a shrine of generosity in the form disposable beauty (It's what's on the inside that counts!).

Yet again there is a full table. Yet again the food is bountiful, plentiful. Yet again it is pleasing and memorable, distinct and special, delicious and forgettable.

Yet again the munificence manifests within. Yet again charities' bells ring, and a heart beats, and from a pocket things unwanted are offered with a smile as a gift of meaningless value. Yet again butterflies scurry within full of joy and satisfaction.

Yet again the purchase is thoughtful. Yet again the cost is exponentially expendable. Yet again the value is subjectively placed while equality is slowly erased in unison with discrete distaste.

Yet again all constants are case sensitive, intuitive. Yet again pain and grief may conceivably exist as solely redundant. Yet again in one's jubilation, simultaneously there is an other's despondent existence, unknown.

Yet again I am trapped in a beautiful and perfect snow globe of congenital happiness.

Yet again I am oblivious.

An oblivious holiday to you all,
- Merry Matt


released December 24, 2016

All songs recorded by Alex Robinson, except "Do You See What I Hear?" recorded by Adam Lochemes, and "Haven't Gone Missing" recorded by Matt.

Mixed & Mastered by Tom Eisenbraun.

Matt Butera - Voice, MicroKorg, Minilogue, PerformaChord, TomCat, PortaSound PSS-480, Recorder, Detuned Violin
Tom Eisenbraun - Lute, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass
Alex Robinson - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lapsteel, Jingle Bells
Abe - Cymbal swells and other auxiliary percussion
Zacchaeus Dance - Banjo

A concise, yet sincere thank you to the following: Tom, Alex, Adam, Evan, Pat, Abe, Zacchaeus.

All songs written by Matt Butera in the Christmess season of 2016.

Recorded primarily in Matts studio apartment in Nashville, TN, but also in Adams apartment, and Toms house.



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Matt Butera Nashville, Tennessee

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