Aagoo Records has announced they will release a 7" single from producer/composer TheUse, the solo project of Michael Durek. The lead track 'On My Deathbed' is a dark but upbeat composition. Renowned artist Rachel Mason lends haunting vocals set to the English translation of poetry by Xu Lizhi, the FoxConn worker from China who jumped to his death, leaving behind an archive of poetry, preserved by friends on Libcom.org
. His powerful words are part of the global wake-up call about the hazards of the electronics industry and his story has made international news, underlined by TIME Magazine's infamous 'The Poet Who Died For Your Phone'.
This song will feature in the documentary 'Who Pays The Price? The Human Cost of Electronics'. Four years in the making with 1.2 million YouTube trailer views, this focuses on a Chinese activist with leukemia who is helping young workers poisoned on electronics assembly lines. Heather White, the film's director, says “Xu Lizhi's poems underline the alienation and despair felt by those trapped in a dead-end existence, where work is the only measure of one's daily experience.”
“When Rachel brought Xu Lizhi’s words to my instrumental track, it just felt right, and the melody she wrote is gorgeous. I just wanted to cry right there in the studio when she tracked it. The poem by itself is really sad, but through this music, it becomes powerful and transcendent,” says Michael Durek.
Rachel Mason said: "Xu Lizhi's poetry just really sung themselves to me, and miraculously matched the songs that Michael was crafting. Some poems just seem to have a melody built into them and you can hear it." An adept lyricist herself, Mason has previously set the words of political dictators to music and collaborated with artists such as Josephine Foster, to imagine the minds of political leaders in her two albums 'The Ambassadors'.