Prison in the Heart
The CD \'A Prison in the Heart\' (2004) which proceeded \'The Spirit of Andy Devine\' contains 15 tracks, five of which are instrumentals from the soundtrack of the stageplay \'A Prison in the Heart\' which Bob Ryan wrote and directed for Sharkey Productions -- first for a performance in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 2002 and then in Phoenix, Arizona at the prestigious Herberger Theater Center, Stage West. The play, and the songs on the CD, were written over a period of 7 or 8 years during which Bob and his wife were involved with refugees from the wars in former Yugoslavia. That began first with a 2-week involvement with a refugee camp in Eastern Croatia in 1995, during which they experienced a bombardment by the forces surrounding the city of Osijek. When they returned to their home in Phoenix, Arizona, they discovered that thousands of refugees of the Bosnian conflict were being resettled there. That led to a grassroots humanitarian effort with Refugees that lasted from Summer 1995 until spring of 2002. The stories of those people and the experience of several trips to Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina over those intervening years influenced many of the songs Bob was writing at the time. The CD then, is a chronicle not just of the senselessness of war, but of the range of experience -- loss, greed, sadness, hope, fear and goodness that humans meet every day in this life, with the Bosnian conflict serving as a filter. As on \'Andy Devine,\' the engineering, mixing and mastering were done by grammy award winner Billy Williams. It\'s a little more of a stripped-down effort than \'Andy Devine.\'