We’ve all heard tales of soul-searching, and of the strange and mythical happenings that come from venturing deep into the heart of the rugged Russian wilderness. This is the story of one such adventure, and of a man who revolutionized symphonic music...
A LONG TIME AGO, IN A COUNTRY FAR, FAR AWAY Paul O’Neill was inspired. It was the middle of 1980, and he was fortunate enough to have visited the Russian/Siberian countryside. He describes his experience with the land as “incredibly beautiful but incredibly harsh and unforgiving as well.” This description would transcend a mere description of the landscape, as great-thinker O’Neill goes on to say that “Life, too, can be incredibly beautiful but also incredibly harsh and unforgiving…”
Led along this literal and philosophical track, O’Neill fondly recalls his experience with the Trans-Siberian Railway, the “one thing that everyone who lives there has in common that runs across [Russia] in relative safety.” This was his moment of truth. It was from this railway that O’Neill took the name Trans-Siberian, which would later be applied to his progressive, symphonic rock band, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO).
Since its inception, the TSO has been making waves. The flood of its popularity came in 1999, following the production of their album The Christmas Attic. They have a unique sound, and “elaborate concerts, which include a string section, a light show, lasers, ‘enough pyro to be seen from the international space station’, moving trusses, video screens, and effects synchronized to music.”
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also known for their extensive donations to charity and volunteerism. As O’Neill said when asked about TSO’s origins, “the one thing that we all have in common that runs across [Life] in relative safety is music.”
Whatever they do, TSO tries to uphold the meaning of their name.
Check out this Christmas mix if you haven’t heard it yet!