Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Track 12: Slow Release


I let the dog out from the window
And I saw it hit the ground
There was no body to take care of
There's nothing to see here, I told the crowd

I caught a rumour the other day
It slipped through my fingers, then got away
It contained no glory and no fairy tales
But it eased my conscience, at least you are safe

This is the final song. At this point I've gone through a metamorphosis. No more silly girl with thousands of instruments. Just a blond fairy and her piano. No, just kidding. Still dark. Still new instruments to explore, but this time, I suspect it will be a slightly more electronic experiment. Don't know yet.

This song is the end of the first box session. It is a blanket made of piano wires. The wire melodies walk towards a hill. Beyond that hill, there is another hill to climb. And beyond that, yet another one.

Next week:

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Track 11: Paper View

Alleviation, there is no morning meeting
Since the boss got stuck behind his belly
Then the printer blew

Determination, there is only one way out
We have to leave the office
Crawling underneath the paper view

We'll meet again
(I never thought we'd meet again)

You know the story has to have an end

This is a giggle song. A perfect nonsense, someone said. And I agree. You know, you go to work, or school or whatever you do during day time. You sit through endless meetings, discussions, coffee breaks while your mind wanders out of the building. It stops at the shore, at the giant field where the dogs play. One big brown dog is being followed by a very small white one, chased by an even smaller dog and so on. An endless chain of chasing dogs. Nothing is as happy as a happy dog.

Your mind carries on to the sand and the water and its pockets bulge with sea shells and funny shaped pieces of stones. Some stones are shaped by the sea to fit in your hand. You've got lots of them at home. Your mind puts them back into the sea. The stones are as happy as the dogs. The dogs are as happy as your mind. Your mind is as happy as the trumpet in the middle of the song, which leaps out of the office and never returns.

Next week:
Track 12 - Slow Release

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Track 10: A Spoon That You Can Bend

When I'm said
I think of it as music
A song that has an end
A spoon that you can bend

When I'm sad
I think of it as music
A song that has an end
A bike that you can mend

Don't worry love
You will get by

Don't worry love
You will get by

Do you remember Uri Geller, the spoon bender from the eighties? I tried to bend so many spoons when I was a kid. No luck, there, unfortunately. No fortune there, unluckily.

Sometimes I think about changing the band name into The Uri Geller After Experience. The after experience is something that happens after (duh) you've met Mr Geller. According to himself, his bending powers are so strong, they tend to affect you hours after your rendez vous. I want to cause after effects too. It doesn't necessarily have to be huge, just a little tickling in your left foot, or a funny hairstyle.

I think the song came out as a mix between these thoughts and the fact the everyone in my surrounding were so sad that I ran out of comforting words. Thus, I wrote a song that goes on forever, forever and forever, that rocks the cradle into oblivion.

Next week:
Track 11 - Paper View

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Track 9: The Vault

Translucent sun
Our drilling long stares
We slowly evolve
what we would name flares

Her hips, her bones
The noise keeps her sane
Obliterates 'til nothing remains

I told you so
a year ago

Prismatic lense
it sprinkles you in tens
We share a year
Then nothing makes sense

I told you so
a year ago

This song was recorded the day before a huge exam, explaining the slightly desperate voice in it. The lyrics, however, consist of a mish-mash of thoughts, pieces of African poems and dictionary knowledge.

On stage The Vault becomes a fast running horse, a hungry eagle and a waterfall spreading in every room and corners. Then as a sudden change of weather, it disappears, leaving nothing behind but a question mark.

Next week:
Track 10 - A Spoon That You Can Bend

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Track 8: I Was A Bubble Boy

I was waiting for the bus
when suddenly surrounded by a bubble
I saw lobsters crawling by,
a coral forest
and brittle stars above all

I asked a lady at my side
how she could manage
staying under water all her life
But she just smiled and shook her head
and then she said

If we bide our time
we will find the shore
All you do is float
all you do, is float

(I was just waiting for the bus)

One day, I came across the story about a bubble boy. He was born with a rare disorder called SCID, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. To avoid life-threatening infections, he was placed in a germ-free plastic bubble, where he remained until he died, only twelve years old.

If I was a bubble boy, my bubble would be surrounded by water, covered in sea shells, illuminated by bioluminescent dinoflagellates. I would take long walks on the ocean floor and hang upside down in the coral trees, watching the manta rays hover towards the surface. Then fall into a weightless sleep, dreaming of dry sand between my toes and wind in my ears. And maybe a hug.

Next week:
Track 9 - The Vault

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Track 7: Leaving Smears

There comes a time when you've been capable and competent
for it to last at least a hundred thousand years

You still pretend that this how you like it -
you ain't got no time for longing,
cheesy feelings, hopes and fears

It happens that you wake up as a
beetle stuck upon a pin
with listlessness all over,
leaving smears

Is it all that matters?

Together though thick and thin
the trees screen the garden for the wind
And I don't remember the smell of yours
or anybody else's skin

This heart is a precious souvenir
and I'll be leaving it here
And then I'll wait,
and then I'll wait
I'm in my prime, don't you see?

But is it all that matters?

This song just turns in to a slobby mess if I try to explain its meaning. I hope the lyric says it all. The middle part is my favourite, being itchy and slightly dissonant. It took hours to learn how to play those few tunes on the violin. And this is what came out, haha.

Next week:
Track 8 - I Was A Bubble Boy

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Track 6: When Others Go South

Where we'll go
There won't be nothing but snow (not correct English, I know, but you know, l'art pour l'art)

If you could build the igloo
Maybe I could climb the icebergs
And then bring our walrus neighbours
Back for tea

We won't stay here forever
But as long as we're together
And the snow and ice is all that we could see

Where we'll go
There won't be nothing but snow

This is the first song I made for the album. It's somehow stained by the music I used to do in band in box version 1.0 (together with Elin); innocent lyrics and tender melodies. I had just bought the (probably stolen) clarinet (the first of my monthly instruments) and these were the first tunes I could record without the neighbours screaming and the houseplants melting down in agony. I hadn't yet begun working with the vocals the way I did with the rest of the album tracks, I kept it plain. Although this is the song that initially attracted attention to the new band in box (version 2.0), it's not my favourite tune. On the other hand, it belongs in the collection, acting as an interlude or a short Antarctic break.

Next week:
Track 7 - Leaving Smears

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Track 5: Let Your Birds Out

You'll find a place
Where you could rest
Take your clothes off, cut your hair
Make it to a nest

Place your thoughts under a log
Let the birds out of your chest
Watch them fly towards the East
Then call them back from the West

Come home, come home

Cars could hit you
You'd better look out
I'll be your eyes
If you'll be my mouth

The sky could eat you
You'd better look out
I'll be your eyes
If you'll be my mouth

This fiction, this forest. Moss lining cheek, lichen nest. Sleep like a log, in a log, wooden tent. Clarinet tounge, nutmeg sound with prickles, pickles. Birds in chest, bird in nest, birds far west. Needle hair, smell of pines, parallel lines in bark. Swampy ground, pangolin breath. Bog asphodel, ant-hill, wind.

Then sky, the usual clouds, sun behind branch. Wing tip, wing flap, hiss.
Needle hair, nutmeg sound, then sleep.

Next week:
Track 6 - When Others Go South

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Track 4: Nocere

I am bent and bald and blind
Please, just take me to the shrine
Before you'll cover me in turd
Listen to my last wise words

I was born as one of five
My bread was buttered on both sides
I made the world into my own
Then fell off my golden throne

They wanted me to become a queen
But I had seen that life on TV
Fancy men and fancy dresses
I said no, couldn't stand the pressure

Then they threw me into irons
Locked the door, turned out the lights
Said 'This is how you'll live your life,
Unless you change your mind'

I let my hair out of the window
Sat down, waited for the prince to show
(When I'd waited a whole year
I finally got out of there)

I ran a thousand miles an hour
Then got caught in another tower
I had done it all in vain
But I would do it again

Like Princess Rapunzel I once was caught in a tower. I did try to let my hair out of the window, but it didn't really reach down to the ground, plus there was no prince waiting for it to happen, so it didn't matter. Anyway, I decided to take things into my own hands and gave the guards some herbs which made them fall asleep for a hundred years until the frog prince could kiss them awake, or if it was the opposite, don't really remember. I got out and started running in a pair of cat boots that I found outside. It really went quick, I remember each step being a couple of hundred yards. The scenery was magnificient, but I was a bit stirred by the fact that I could be caught again, so I didn't raise my head enough, which was quite stupid, since I suddenly bumped in to a new tower and was stuck in it. However, I'd had a great time running and the new tower was filled with all sorts of great instruments. I probably stay there for the rest of my life. But I don't regret it, I don't.

Next Wednesday:
Track 5 - Let Your Birds Out

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Track 3: Lost & Foundland

She drew a picture of their faces in the sand
Then let the sea go back on parts of its land
He wrote a poem that he hid inside his hand
It disappeared as did the drawings in the sand

There will always be pictures
There will be lost words
And there will be music
No one has ever heard

It would be easy to step forward and say 'Hi'
But despite my cravings, I'm still too shy
I don't tell stories, and I don't tell lies
If I ever felt a thing, I've already let it die

There will always be emotions
That will force you like thirst
You could hide from them forever
But sometime, you will burst

The worst thing i know is being bitter. People being bitter have chronic wrinkles around their lips caused by sucking on lemons for a long time. There are, however, times when bitterness is unavoidable. Being ditched for instance, causes wrinkles and cynicism. Heaps of cynicism. When that happens, since it does happen once in a while, there are certain things you could do to make the symptoms affect you less. Like writing a song.

Basically, this song contains two messages: 'Easy come, easy go' and 'Shit happens'. Since those are quite trivial messages, I added more words to somehow make it more artistic. Or to cover the fact that I'm a mundane being.

That's one interpretation. However, I don't want to overdo it. Let's just say I had the urge to make something purple with blue waves in it. This song is purple. Covered with blue waves.

Next Wednesday:
Track 4 - Nocere

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Track 2: Elevator Theme

If this was a film
my name would be Frances
and I would be dancing
all over the screen

But there is no film
it's all fake
and when the lights are out
I have to try to stay awake

And in the dark
I move things apart
and while looking for glue
maybe, I'll find you

And in the dark
I move things apart
and while looking for what's true
maybe, I'll find you

The making of Elevator Theme began as an experiment, actually it was the first time I used any kind of percussion, and it contains at least eight voice tracks on top of each other. One voice is reversed, another is transformed through a carpet of delay effects, a third one is made unrecognizable through pitching and a heavy reverb. Although all voices and instruments are real, the song is nothing but fiction. It is a rocking chair, a magic carpet, an elevator raising through the ceiling.

Next Wednesday:
Track 3 - Lost & Foundland

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Track 1: Icaria II

I once had a house
but it was flooded
all kinds of wet

I had to find my friends
so I checked the depth
and held my breath

And I swam in circles

I then found my loved ones
their cardboard covers
were soaked in mud

I tried to clean them up
restore the order
and get things right

But I'll just walk in circles
I'll just run into squares

He smells like a book
his skin is paper
his teeth are words

And when I turn the page
I see an ending,
a happy ending

Where I'm not walking in circles
where I'm not stuck in squares

Icaria II is Icaria I seen through a mirror. And vice versa. While Icaria I is about running away, looking for goodie bags overseas, Icaria II rather stays at home, searching for interesting things left in the wardrobe. Imagine there would be a giant tsunami and a flood in your house. Not a tsunami killing people, but a tsunami messing with the order of things. While some belongings would inevitably sink the the bottom, others could rise to the surface. Old smells, old faces and brand new perspectives.

Written, arranged and recorded by Siri af Burén
Vocals, guitars, percussion: Siri
Cat voice: Krister
Instrument of the month: Wooden frog

Next Wednesday:
Track 2 - Elevator Theme