Rufus Wainwright today released “Sword of Damocles”, his musical response to the Trump presidency, along with a lush music video.
Wainwright explained the parable behind the video: “At a lavish banquet, King Dionysius is confronted by his servant Damocles – a brat who is jealous of the king’s splendor and power. Through supernatural forces, the two roles are switched. The smug, inexperienced commoner becomes the king. But his joy is short-lived. He quickly realizes that being king isn’t all crowns and cheeseburgers. With great power comes great responsibility.”
He added: ‘“Sword of Damocles” is my artistic response to what I see currently transpiring within the American government and how its collapse is affecting every aspect of existence for us all. With the Midterm Elections around the corner, it’s important for everyone to take a stand and contribute in some way – whether it’s bringing awareness to issues in your community, protesting/demonstrating, watching the news to formulate your own opinions, creating, yelling – it’s all hands on deck. The famed, ancient expression “Sword of Damocles” is a parable of impending doom of and to those in positions of power. This timeless tale points out the hard fact that with great power, comes great responsibility, and for all concerned, great danger. VOTE.’
Said director Andrew Ondrejcak: “Often my work is concept-driven but for Damocles, I knew that I wanted to focus on a more traditional narrative storytelling. I’ve also been playing with a more formal approach to color – and I wanted to experiment with a Wizard of Oz effect – to begin the story in brownish tones, and then once Dorothy lands in Oz, the creamy sepia tones of Kansas turn into the candy-colored Technicolor of Oz. I think this also speaks to this duality of reality and imagination, of the Real and Unreal.”
Proceeds from the track and video benefit Swing Left.