Endurance

by Project Blackbird

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anton north Such a diverse, intelligent and talented album.
Absolutely one of my favorites this year.

Can’t wait for a live concert someday.
Thx
/
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    Even classier Limited Edition double 12" vinyl; gatefold format includes full lyrics and credits. Features the incredible cover photo by Helena Aguilar Mayans. PLEASE NOTE, PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE POSTAGE.

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05:15
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02:45
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03:59
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02:56

credits

released August 10, 2018

Project Blackbird (live) are: Ming Nagel, Jon Read, Alan Roberts, and Jamie Varley

Project Blackbird (album) are: Thure Gade Johansen, Ming Nagel, Jon Read, and Styx

Thanks to our special guests: Joycelyn Bebberley Harris (Tracks 6 and 11), Kevin Hewick (Track 12), Carise Zangerle Murray (Tracks 8 and 11), and Hari Trivedi (Tracks 2, 7, and 10).

Album recorded at Deadline Studios, Leicester.
Engineered by Adam Ellis.
Produced and mixed by Adam Ellis and Project Blackbird.

Album design by John Harris of multishake.com and Ming Nagel.
Cover photograph and detail: “Wilderness” by Helena Aguilar Mayans, supplied courtesy of Saatchi Art. Manipulations by John Harris of multishake.com.

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Project Blackbird England, UK

The "extraordinary" Project Blackbird, as BBC's Tom Robinson has called them, offer an immersive listening experience both live and on record - atmospheric, genreless, hypnotic. As a fan suggests, "Imagine a party at Ronnie Scott’s where Sade, Björk, Jeff Beck, and David Byrne meet Portishead and then go for a late night curry to exchange ideas…sublime”. ... more

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Track Name: Aurora Borealis
Home is the ferocious and unreachable light / indecision that splits us inside and out / Light is the crash and spark, the elements / the roar at a distance that comes / in draughts and whispers / (like summer cicadas playing their wings) / (like the sky having learned a magic spell) / The colours make us blink, shield ourselves. / How it blazes, this light. / How it lives. / How it stretches beyond boundaries / and dances its chaotic jig. / You are the savage and unreachable light. / You are home to the words / and the pause / and the dance. / You are the infrequent / and constant incantation: the viewer / the spectacle / the whole.
Track Name: Same Heart
The station air is heavy with the heat / of commuters shutting down their daily lives / A rush-hour cologne of the bodies pressed together / Slick as seals that have landed on the rocks / Eyes stay fixed on tiny, glowing screens / A “like” away from human touch / But one man stares only at the tracks / Like he’s looking for salvation along the third rail // We share the same blood / The same blood / We share the same heart / The same beating heart // A woman turns around to reveal / the crow’s feet that line her tired face / She holds the man in her gaze from an arm’s length away / Gives an almost imperceptible shake of her head / Her mouth moves to form the words / But the sound is swallowed up by the train / She lifts her hands, reaching out to him / As he opens up his coat and steps towards the void // We share the same blood / The same blood / We share the same heart / The same beating heart / We share the same soul / The same soul
Track Name: Endurance
On the moon-bleached peaks of the highest mountains / From abandoned fishing boats upon the tranquil seas / Through the tendrilled jungles and through the drowning / Sands of deserts, and the ceintures of cities / A ghost woman marched, sailed, and swam, determined / To slake the thirst of our enduring rage / And to use her voice, for as we have learned, it / Risked becoming subsumed on an earth-bound stage / Her heart was swollen, not with love but with anger: / Escorted by Luna and the pull of the tide / She was keen in her quest to find guidance and answers / To injustice committed against her own kind / When at last she arrived at her strange destination / The closest point that exists between land and the moon / She bathed throat and lungs in the illumination / And gathered her voice – to howl, and to fuel / Her call: “No more,” she cried; “no more mutilation / Of our sisters’ bodies and our daughters’ minds / No more insecure men who, fearing castration / Wield their weakness as a weapon against our lives / No more doubting our rights, no more guns for our brothers / No more of the deaths that shouldn’t have been / Of those of us killed because of our lovers, / By their hands, or at the command of our governments / No violation of flesh, no more no means yes / No removal of choice from the paths that we take / Mother, I come to unburden our distress / And to ask you to bequeath us some of your strength!” / The moon hung, suspended, in the vast blot of ink / In the still, sombre night and the silence of space / And tolerated the force of all of the torment / That this spectre, on our behalf, had unleashed / And her cratered sphere became pocked through with holes / As if moths had fed on a circle of linen / Then scattered, and sparkled like specks of pure gold / Each piece of the orb released from its prison / Of celestial logic; and freed, they flew / Dispersing into the dark sea of comets / Where, emboldened, each one held fast and grew / More powerful than all of the dizzying planets.
Track Name: Postscript
Fifteen weeks before the earth fell in / I lost my nerve outside the gate / Inertia turns into the undoable / Like broken glass before it breaks // 900 miles / Our fingers disentwined / I sent your clothes back home // I watch my flight as it gains altitude / And send a message from the ground / There’s no reply. That night I dream about the bridge / I’ve crossed it now – and I can’t ask you to forgive this // 900 miles / I lost my sense of time / I had my fill / And thought that you’d stay still / And thought that you’d stay, still
Track Name: Elevation
You will never forget those first winter mornings as you stepped out / into the ineffable nation of a new life / Each day was like a fresh descent from the deck / and each day you asked yourself, What have I done? / How well I speak and walk and work / who I am, who I am perceived to be / could truly make or break me / become my undoing, or my reason to go on // Rise – we will rise // This is what you still think about, even generations after you have learned / to ignore those who question your citizenship, identity, or faith / that the hateful language you hear does not represent the true spirit of home / that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully / you don’t stoop to their level” / Instead, you try to find dignity and power in the lessons they have never had to retain / because “When they go low, we go high” // Rise – we will rise // It seems so long ago now / But you will never forget that morning as you stepped out, lifted your chin / saw that it was spring - / and for a brief moment, mistook the buds of the magnolias / for hundreds of sleeping doves, their heads tucked into folded wings – / those Others who were waiting, who were dreaming / who would at any moment awaken and take flight
Track Name: Sunflower
It’s a scene that I know like the back of my hand / “What I said”, “No you didn’t”, it’s all part of the drama / You walk away, I’m enraged, I just can’t understand / how domesticity can twist us into respective horrors / I lie in bed, rest my head, try to get some perspective / You do the dishes, keeping busy, try to gain self-control / We’re both ridiculous to think that we won’t regret it / if we just carry on repeating the same old, same old // You’re the thunder / In a field of flowers / We’re relentless / like a waterfall // But with time I always find that the skies are much brighter / We stop and listen, reposition and the edges are gone / I’m no fool; when we’re cool you’re positively enlightened / And it’s true, if not for you I wouldn’t be writing this song / On another day // You’re the sunflower / In the field of thunder / You’re the sunlight / In the waterfall
Track Name: Underneath the Ramparts
As I lay down on Burrough Hill / The sun burned red and air grew still / I closed my eyes to take some rest / ‘Til a blackbird lit upon my breast / He sang his tale so soft and low / At first my senses did not know / If I were dreaming or awake / By what enchantment could he speak? / “I’m brother,” sang he, “to one who toiled / On this hill-fort’s most fertile soil / She worked the land by ridge and furrow / And every night she drowned her sorrow / For Mother killed me, Father fed / Upon my bones when I was dead / You’ll find my sister’s broken heart / Underneath the ramparts” / “Blackbird,” I said, “how well you sing / Please sing that piece for me again” / “No, I’ll not repeat my sad refrain / ‘Til you give me your golden chain” / I took the chain from round my neck / And put it round his feathered head / He bowed to me and sang once more / In a voice so plaintive, clear and pure: / “For Mother killed me, Father fed / Upon my bones when I was dead / You’ll find my sister’s broken heart / Underneath the ramparts / For Mother killed me, Father fed / Upon my bones when I was dead / We had so much and so much lost / Underneath the ramparts”
Track Name: The Old Whim-Horse
He’s an old grey horse, with his head bowed sadly, / And with dim old eyes and a queer roll aft, / With the off-fore sprung and the hind screwed badly / And he bears all over the brands of graft; / And he lifts his head from the grass to wonder / Why by night and day now the whim is still, / Why the silence is, and the stampers’ thunder / Sounds forth no more from the shattered mill. / In that whim he worked when the night-winds bellowed / On the riven summit of Giant’s Hand, / And by day when prodigal Spring had yellowed / All the wide, long sweep of enchanted land.... // But the whim stands still, and the wheeling swallow / In the silent shaft hangs her home of clay, / And the lizards flirt and the swift snakes follow / O’er the grass-grown brace in the summer day; / And the corn springs high in the cracks and corners / Of the forge, and down where the timber lies; / And the crows are perched like a band of mourners / On the broken hut on the Hermit’s Rise. / All the hands have gone, for the rich reef paid out, / And the company waits till the calls come in; / But the old grey horse, like the claim, is played out, / And no market’s near for his bones and skin.... // He is limping still round the old, old track. / Now he pricks his ears, with a neigh replying / To a call unspoken, with eyes aglow, / And he sways and sinks in the circle, dying; / From the ring no more will the grey horse go. / In a gully green, where a dam lies gleaming, / And the bush creeps back on a worked-out claim, / And the sleepy crows in the sun sit dreaming / On the timbers grey and a charred hut frame, / Where the legs slant down, and the hare is squatting / In the high rank grass by the dried-up course, / Nigh a shattered drum and a king-post rotting / Are the bleaching bones of the old grey horse. (Here comes a light – it’s glowing)
Track Name: The House That You Blew Down
Blow wind blow // Didn’t I drink the ocean / Didn’t I show you empathy / Didn’t I set the fire / when the wolves were circling? // Blow wind blow / I will stand before the wilderness // Didn’t I build a shelter / when you had nowhere to hide / Didn’t I withdraw the arrows / that would have bled your psyche dry? / Didn’t I make you virile / acting out your fantasies / Didn’t I bear the burden / of your child strapped to me? / You will not be what defines us / To my pain I’ll not be bound / I will stand before the wilderness / At the house that you blew down // (She awakes in the gloaming, as if from a deep sleep / Mouth open, tongue lolling over pointed teeth / Her eyes are bright amber; her coat has become dense / She can smell the heat and the tang of her scent / She feels her heart racing; her mind begins to quicken / But is emptied of words; she has no more need for them / At first wary, her sinews attune to the magic / And lengthen her stride through the forest of ashes)
Track Name: Nearest Relative
I don’t want to hear the hammer / I don’t want to see your eyes / With their centres out of balance / Telling stories of the wild // I know this is not you / But to you it’s the truth // If I live to tell the doctor / She could write another script / Give you all the best lines to memorise / When the meaning starts to slip // I know this is not you / But to you it’s the truth // As the hinges start to buckle / And the static fills the line / How can the voice coming through stay so calm and serene? / “Please state your address one more time”// I know this is not you / Disco lights of neon blue / Dancing around you / But to you it’s the truth
Track Name: Blackbird
Rest your wings a little while / They work so hard to give you flight / Stalwart heart, I won’t leave your side / ‘til you decide that it’s time // you never know what the sun will bring / my love // I had a dream I was falling from / A sailing ship in the sky / Falling towards oblivion / I worked so hard to find you // you never know what the sun will bring / my love

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