Reveal

by David Garland

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1.
02:52
2.
04:18
3.
4.
5.
02:43
6.
04:27
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9.
03:57
10.
02:50
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13.
02:41

about

Over the years I’ve organized many ensembles of unusual instruments to play my music, but recently I’ve been inspired by some of the wonderful guests on my radio show Spinning On Air to see what might happen if I perform my unconventional songs conventionally. On this recording I present my newly devised, innovative performance format: guy with guitar. All of these arrangements were developed in the last half of 2005, using a 12-string guitar I bought for $99. Half of these songs (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9) were composed in 2005, some (6, 8, 10) are from recent years, and others go way back (“I Am With You” is from about 1982). The new songs have already been recorded in different, orchestrated versions for my next studio album [Noise In You]. The final song is by a woman named Connie Converse who, for a while in the 1950s, wrote and performed her songs in New York City. Later, in the 1980s, she was editing a political journal, and at that time notified a few friends that she was changing her life, then disappeared. Except for an unreleased recording by Converse herself, as far as I know no one else has recorded her extraordinary “One By One.”
--David Garland, 2006

credits

released February 1, 2006

(limited edition CD)

David Garland: vocals and 12-string guitar

all songs © 2006 by David Garland, except “One By One,” written by Connie Converse in 1955. Recorded at home, NYC, November 14–22, 2005. Produced by David Garland. Engineering assistance: Kenji Garland. Cover portrait August 2001 by Kenji Garland.

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about

David Garland New York, New York

Composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist David Garland has been steadily shaping songs in new ways since 1980.

"Like many great songwriters before him, Garland pushes the limits of acceptable harmony and dissonance, yet never at the expense of beauty. If it's not possible for popular music to reach the heights of the great classical masters, it seems no one has told David Garland."
--Sean Lennon
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Track Name: Damn Dreams
Damn Dreams

Go ahead and laugh about it,
cry, cry, cry and laugh about it.
Close all your eyes, eye all the doors,
the doors that direct all your dreams,
your dreams.

Go ahead and cry about it,
laugh, laugh, laugh, and cry about it now.
Pull on your wings, wing it again,
Icarus toast, burst the damn dam;
damn dreams.

On a Sunday morning
breath in through mouth like you mean it;
sincerely exhale.

Go ahead and laugh about it,
cry, cry, cry and laugh about it.
When you’re all grown, groan all you want;
want all you bring in the brain valise;
dear dreams.

On a Saturday night
breath in, breath out, look around and say in the darkness
let me have my dear damn dreams!
la la la...
Track Name: Diorama
Diorama

Up the granite stairway,
through the ancient doorway.
The pictures in the museum stare down.
Frozen in a diorama
prehistoric man builds a fire.
Plaster flames in a cave of paper maché.
Sort of life-like.
Diorama—Frozen ice age—
Diorama—text book in tableau.

Locked in a darkened display case:
fragments of a moon rock.
Next to that, pieces of meteorite
that once fell to Earth
from some far planet
that exploded back when the caveman
first thought of painting his plaster fire.
It was lifted hot, white hot,
and brought here from its crater nest.

Back in the old diorama,
cavemen wait patiently.
Diorama—trompe l’oeil background—
hold still hist’ry—diorama
Track Name: My Contraption
My Contraption

Here’s the plan for my contraption;
let’s build it now.
Clear a space on my face for construction;
my head is the foundation.

Just flip the switch,
engage the gears.
Pull this lever
then I’ll start perceiving.

Consciousness is my contraption;
it works OK.
If there’s a hitch or a glitch in its function,
it’s hard to say.

Plug me in.
Set me up and turn me on.

The collapse of my contraption
will come some day.
But for now I know how to spark connection
and how to keep it going

Flip the switch,
engage the gears.
Pull this lever
and start receiving.

It seems I’m trapped in my contraption,
but that’s just my perception.
Track Name: Under the Blanket
Under the Blanket

He wears his wristwatch,
she wears her jacket,
under the blanket.
They’re never naked.
They’ve almost forgotten how.
She’d like to touch him.
Yeah.

All of a sudden, they’re hearing music!
Hah! Hey!
He’d like to touch her
under the blanket.
Yeah.

His wristwatch has wound down.
Her jacket is empty.
And under the blanket it’s so warm.
Track Name: oh my god
oh my god

Oh, my god, is that really you?
Oh, my god, is this really me?
I thought I knew you.
I thought I knew myself.
Oh, my god is that really you?
-----
Oh
Track Name: My Tiny Life
My Tiny Life

My tiny life.
Circumscribed by a moment or two of the part
of a moment when you and I start
looking further than just right in front of right here,
contained and confined by our fear
of containment, confinement, and fear
of just being just only just here
for just such a tiny time in our tiny lives.
Oh, my tiny life.

A brief interlude of bad attitude;
a short episode in a lachrymose mode;
no sooner begun than pretty much done;
my glimpse of the sun—my tiny life.

Unprepared for the limits so quickly defined
by the limits prepared by my mind,
with each thing that I’m choosing, I’m losing the rest,
forgoing the knowing of an always growing,
refining, defining collection
of things I’ve not done
with just such a tiny time for my tiny life,
my tiny life, my tiny life.

With just such a tiny time for my tiny life—
oh, my tiny life.
Track Name: I Don’t Want to Know
I Don’t Want to Know

As close as rain and rust
Like dust on shelves
We intersected, we connected
in entropy’s final wind-down,
passively, with a sigh.

I think what I think I must,
we place ourselves into the background,
while in the foreground
clutter, chores, and appointments
cushion the question why.

I love when the frame of my life collapses.
My ghost loves to look down from way up above.

No, no, yeah I don’t wanna know
Yeah, no, yeah, no, I don’t wanna know
Yeah, no, yeah, I don’t wanna know
Yeah, no yeah, I don’t wanna know
Yeah, no, yeah, no, I don’t wanna know.

I turn my volume down,
you frown for me.
We’ve got a system with a ticking rhythm
making the moments march by, passively, with a sigh.

I’d love to be held like there’s a tomorrow.
My ghost looks through my eyes from way far away.

No, yeah, no, etc.
Track Name: On the Other Side of the Window
On the Other Side of the Window

The lifting crane,
the crowded train,
the slap of glue,
the rendezvous.

The pavement laid,
the payment made,
the traveled mile,
the answered smile.

Out there on the other side of the window.
Out there on the other side of the window.

the letter mailed,
the job that failed,
the great success,
the warm caress.

Out there on the other side of the window.
Out there on the other side of the window.

What was your intention? (repeated)
The building lot,
the cultish plot,
the conference room,
the bride and groom.

Cross-eyed seer.
Van Goghish listener.
Insulated toucher.
Mute-buttoned talker.
(shoe shod shambler)

What was your intention?
What was your invention?
What was your contention?
What was your convention?
What was your dimension?
What was your—don’t mention it!

The lifting crane,
the crowded train,
the slap of glue,
the rendezvous.

Out there on the other side of the window.
Out there on the other side of the window.
Track Name: Drop By Drop
Drop By Drop

Should you go?
No, no, I don’t think so.
Stay with me,
cool and free,
drowning in the sea.

Please don’t roam.
Please come into my home.
Be my guest
let me rest
this box of books on your chest.

More.
Drop by drop,
pound for pound,
the accumulating increments
are adding up and adding up and adding up.

Hold my hand.
Walk with me into quicksand.
There’s time to have said
I thee wed
before it closes over our heads.

More.
Drop by drop,
pound for pound,
the accumulating increments
are adding up and adding up and adding up.
Track Name: ESP
ESP

If I had ESP
your mind would be revealed to me.
Each and every thought within
would be as naked as your skin
when it has been unclothed.

If you had ESP
my captive thoughts would be set free.
My pregnant pause would then give birth,
revealing all for what it’s worth,
with depth or dearth exposed.
Extra Sensory Perception—
it’s a tinselly deception.

We are, each of us,
doomed to be discrete,
locked inside our homes of meat.
—please read my mind—

If I had ESP,
then I could shed uncertainty.
But as it is, I have to guess,
and your thoughts, I must confess,
are more or less unknown.

Extra Sensory Perception—
it’s a tinselly deception.
We are, each of us,
doomed to be discrete,
locked inside our homes of meat.
—please read my mind—
Track Name: My Pony’s Falling
My Pony’s Falling

Bright, my herd of buffalo.
Dark, my quarrelsome me.
Bright on an open field of starting over,
saved from extinction only in a dream.

I could build, but I’m not building.
I’m not finding open fields.
I should try, but I’m not trying.
I’m in a chasm, not open fields.

Bright, my dreams of mountain tops.
Dark, my quarrelsome me.
Bright at the top above the timberline,
where a harsh wind has swept it clean.

Clean into the gully,
where I live in the shrubs.
In the shrubs in the gully awaiting the chance
to be hit from above, by the avalanche.
Saved from extinction only in a dream.

Hey, watch my pony.
He’s falling down.
Track Name: I Am With You
I Am With You

I wish I may, I wish I might
know what I do and where it goes
once it’s done.

All consequences can’t be known,
Some consequences take their time.
They’re on their way.
Here they come.

I am with you.

Take a piece of paper in your hand.
Write a message of your secret thought.

I am with you.

Now try to tear the note in half,
and once again tear it in half.
One piece still.
Track Name: One by One
One by One
lyrics and music by Connie Converse

We go walking in the dark.
We go walking out at night.
And it’s not as others go,
two-by-two, to and fro,
but it’s one by one.

One by one in the dark,
we go walking out at night.
As we wander through the grass
we can hear each other pass,
but we’re far apart.

Far apart in the dark,
we go walking out at night.
With the grass so dark and tall
we are lost past recall
if the moon is down.

And the moon is down.
We are walking in the dark.
If I had your hand in mine
I could shine, I could shine,
like the rising sun,
like the sun.