The Cross of Lorraine
Medicine Fanzine #1, Katrina Mendez
April, 2006

"The Cross of Lorraine" was Medicine's third album, predominantly written and performed by Caleb Weeks. Below is a review from Medicine Fanzine #1, written by Katrina Mendez.


I grew up as one of Caleb Weeks' best friends. After the schism, which has been rehashed again and again inside our community, Caleb and I eventually lost touch. However, although I haven't talked to Caleb in years, I have never failed to be fascinated by his artistic and spiritual pursuits.

I wonder what it must have been like, watching his fingers play the piano like some strange machine with interchangeable parts on an assembly line, moved not by visible hands although he was the only one at the piano. Four hands, his and two others; there were no invisible hands. You could see his divine Piano Teacher guiding him through each piece, from the simple Bach inventions to such complex pieces later on. I remember what Caleb says he was constantly told by his father: "For those who have ears to hear, let him hear." When I looked at photographs of him years later, I imaged God Himself teaching Caleb's ears how to hear by training each muscle to fire synapses in his brain somehow faster than those around him could.

One of the memories that stands out the most to me is when Caleb hunted down a piece by Antonio Salieri, Mozart's contemporary. He had covertly read a copy of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus and was fascinated by the composer who was cursed by God with the worst injustice for an artist: inferiority. After looking through a musical catalog, he found a piece and sent $3.50 into the sheet music publisher in coins to transfer that copy of a piece from a box somewhere into his hands.

In my eyes, Caleb was Mozart without his bizarre nature, gifted by God but unaware of his talents. Although he could easily read sheet music, Caleb developed a strange musical system to transcribe his pieces at a young age. Like Mozart as he composed his flawless librettos, Caleb was able to perfectly transcribe his pieces in his own structure which seemed illegible and frightening to anyone except him. The system was not based on a scale system but on strange hieroglyphics which he associated with each chord or run. He wrote in pictographs, and once he had written them down, he played the same piece the same way every time.

But like the rest of the world, I'm too fascinated by Mozart rather than his foil. Caleb understood the necessity of sympathizing with the plight of the rejected, and nothing taught him better than studying Salieri. In fact, I think a great deal of Caleb's highly-developed spiritual sense began on this search. During one of our many conversations after church, Caleb bashfully told me that he was not able to play Salieri's piece with the ease that he was usually able to. There was a sense of struggle not only in the way he played the piece, but in his understanding of the man who wrote it.

Instead of his blessings, Caleb was faced with the cursed life of Salieri. It was as if he was Abel in a strange afterlife, supremely happy but simultaneously feeling a righteous anguish for the plight of his brother and his brother's descendants. After reading Shaffer's treatment of Salieri, Caleb saw Mozart as a human blessed with the gifts of God and Salieri as the corrupter and poisoner of God's creation.

But as Caleb continued to research the piece, he found something most people don't: even those who seem entirely irredeemable are not.

When we went to the library together to research the best way for Caleb to approach the piece, he and I found that Salieri received far more acclaim than Mozart during his life. His reputation as a sub-par composer was actually caused, strangely, by a play written by Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin wrote a tragedy entitled "Mozart and Salieri" in 1831, only six years after Salieri's death, in which Salieri poisons Mozart. Years later, I found one of Caleb's papers at a park near his house. I still have it. The only words on it are from the play: Genius and villainy are two things incompatible."

In actuality, what we found was that the two were not only not sworn enemies, but that they were actually collaborators. Together, Mozart and Salieri composed "Per La Ricuperata Salute di Ophelia," a cantata for piano and voice.

But the legend went on. I found out later that the famous Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an opera based on Pushkin's story which further solidified the libelous myth against Salieri in musical history. In fact, Mozart and his supposed murderer were united in their creation of music, a force which glorified their creator. Later, in his work with Medicine, Caleb wrote about the entwined nature of evil and redemption in his album, "The Cross of Lorraine."

The Cross of Lorraine is a powerful symbol and a strange one, with both Christian and Satanic associations. If you told a child to draw a cross, he or she would likely draw two lines with the horizontal line intersecting slightly above the center of the vertical line. But the Cross of Lorraine is a double cross with two horizontal lines intersecting the vertical. This symbol has informed such varied groups that Caleb found it necessary to write an album expounding on each one. Throughout the album, Caleb's lyrics poetically describe the different uses of the cross historically and spiritually.



1.The Great Shepherd's Staff
2.Earth and Spirit
3.Joan d'Arc'Medici
5.The Knights Templar
6.The Cardinal
8.Forces Francaises Libres
9.P-Orridge and Rice
11.As Above, So Below
12.The Troubled Fountaine
13.The Clear Fountaine



"The Great Shepherd's Staff"

My yoke is easy;
My burden is light.
(His yoke is easy;
His burden is light.)
Ye shall find rest
Unto your souls.
(We shall find rest
Unto our souls.)

Our bodies are bound
To the Great Shepherd's staff.
His yoke is His love,
and we rest in that yoke.

His yoke is not cruel
but restoreth our souls.
He guides us through paths,
and we reverently follow.

My yoke is easy;
My burden is light
(His yoke is easy;
His burden is light)
Ye shall find rest
Unto your souls
(We shall find rest
Unto our souls)

My yoke is easy;
My burden is light
(His yoke is easy;
His burden is light)
Ye shall find rest
Unto your souls
(We shall find rest
Unto our souls)


"Earth and Spirit"

"As above, so below,".
the top line seraph sings.
The bottom: "I prefer to know
and kiss my sullied wings."

"Christ has risen, as will you,"
the seraph calmly states.
"I only seek a larger view."
The rebel bottom grates.

"As above, so below,"
the top line seraph sings.
And below, the bottom
in harmonic wonder rings.

"As above, so below,"
the treble seraph sings.
And below, the bass line
in harmonic wonder rings.


"Joan d'Arc"

Within her 16th vision lay
a truth which carries on.
He speaks to us when we speak first,
revealing His new dawn.

Upon a wretched burning stake,
Joan bore her burden through.
"Whatever good that I have done,
my voices bid me do."



"The purifying cross of art
lives on eternally.
This sharpening of the poet's dart
is given now to thee."

A gift of simple eloquence:
the praising of the pure.
Good doctors given only pence
will always find a cure.

Jehovah Rophe, our Good Doctor
does not want an offering.
His gift when taken is our proctor
to give thanks in proffering.

The cross of the de'Medici
is but a symbol given.
That we, His debtors, still might see
the joy of debts forgiven.