Race: The Portrait Of A Town

by Allan Pray

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In the fall of the year 2013 I lost my only close friend. In an attempt to cope with this loss I made a little doll in the image of my friend using a private collection of his personal items that I'd been building from the day we met until the day he left me. That Christmas, now completely isolated from humanity, I traveled to visit my very distant mother. When I showed her my new creation she told me that she had made a doll in her friend's image too when as a little girl her closest friend suddenly left her. My mother brought me up to her attic and I saw not only that doll she had originally made but the dozens of other dolls she had apparently made since then. In fact, over the years she had constructed a whole miniature town complete with her own hand made dolls, painted roads, cut-out paper mache mountains, wax-tipped bonsai trees, some of me and my brother's old action figures and some of our old aluminum toy cars, trucks, and boats as well. My mother had surrounded the town in water telling me, "That's so they have to stay with each other," and she said that beyond the water there was nothing. Of the town's 71 dolls and figurines the only one with a name was my mother's first doll, her long lost friend "Margaret Ohlinger". The town itself was also named; my mother called it "Race".

I stood there in the attic long into that night and as I watched over Race I gradually began to experience the unfolding of a tremendously intricate and poetic drama. As I studied the details of this miniature environment I noticed passionate love affairs and bitter isolation. I saw painful disappointments and happy celebrations. I saw wonder, hope, courage and trust, fear, regret, confusion and lust. I saw kidnappings and murders, sermons and recitals, soldiers and newlyweds and mismatched lifestyles. I saw my mother, and I saw myself, and I saw my friend, and pretty much everyone else I had ever come across. 
Up to that attic I dragged a mattress, a microphone, and as many musical instruments as I could find and I started making songs. If I was going to protect myself forever from this cold isolation, I'd somehow have to get myself deep into the very heart of Race. The only way to do this would be to try to understand and embrace the hearts of every individual within Race, so I wrote and recorded music as and of all of these miniature people. Eight months and 21 songs later I had touched every member of Race with as much of my mind, body and soul as I could manage and the result of this interaction is what has become this complete music project, titled: "Race: The Portrait Of A Town".

*Hard copies of "Race: The Portrait Of A Town" include All 4 EP's (North, South, East and West), a Full Introduction, a Character Tree for all 71 of the town's residents, an Event Key, and Lyrics. They can be ordered online at www.allanpray.bandcamp.com.


released January 1, 2015



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Allan Pray Cincinnati, Ohio

Allan Pray is a
composer/song writer/multi-instrumentalist from Cincinnati, OH. He writes primarily for acoustic instruments including cello, violin, voice, piano and guitar and he plays these instruments himself as he records the music in his home studio. The music is subsequently arranged for and performed live by a 7-10 piece classical ensemble which includes his brother and sister. ... more

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