The Island at the Center of the World

(Music by Mark Smart; Lyrics by Mike Novak and Mark Smart)

Notes by Mark Smart

This 17-minute piece was finished, rehearsed and performed live by Iconoclast many times. Unfortunately, no completely satisfactory recording of it was made. I am finishing up a studio version in my home studio and at Pogo Studio, and have been for many years.

"The history of Easter Island is of unusual interest, because it shows what happened in one of the most isolated laboratories of human achievement to be found anywhere in the world. Here some of the most basic problems that beset mankind as a whole were confronted by a small group of vigorous and industrious people lacking the stimulation of outside ideas so typically fundamental to most human accomplishment elsewhere in the world. They arrived at many solutions and eventually reached a level of cultural complexity most unexpected in so isolated a community. In a typically human fashion their success appears to have carried with it the seeds of its own destruction. In the horrifying disintegration of the culture of this proud and successful people is reflected in microcosm the problems of twentieth century man."

--William Mulloy from the Foreword to "Island at the Center of the World" by Father Sebastian Englert

The Form



Depicts the journey of king Hotu Matua and his people (the Hanau Momoko) across the ocean and their first arrival on the island


The Strangers

Depicts the arrival of the second group of settlers (the Hanau Eepe), and the beginnings of their attempts to dominate the Hanau Momoko. Yes, I DO listen to Weather Report and Yes, why? (366K mp3)


The Song Of The
Statue Carvers

Depicts (instrumentally, for the most part), the carving of the giant statues and the gradually building hatred of the Hanau Momoko towards the Hanau Eepe. This section uses a real folk song melody from the island that, according to tradition, was sung by the workers as they were carving. It starts out like Windam Hill and ends up like Nirvana. There are no space aliens depicted here, just ambitious humans.


The Strangers

Depicts the battle of Poike, in which all but a few of the Hanau Eepe were burned alive.



Depicts the celebration of the Hanau Momoko


Conflict and

Depicts the quick disintegration of the Hanau Momoko into tribal warfare, cannabilism, and chaos



Just like it sounds.

Island at the Center of the World FAQ

Q. EASTER ISLAND? What a hackneyed prog cliche!
A. Sorry, but I wrote this between 1993-95 before I knew that there was a band called Easter Island or that Styx had done a song about it. Maybe I'm missing others, I dunno! The tune was inspired by the Englert book.