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Steven Lugerner An amazing collection of works recorded by two of my best friends. Oh, and their also my favorite songwriters - Angelo Spagnolo & Anthony LaMarca. Favorite track: I Know I Have Eyes (The Word Of The Cross).
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    Comes with 21 page digital art book by Angelo Spagnolo.

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about

This record was made between 2010 and 2011 as Angelo and I wanted a new outlet for making music that was not The Building or In One Wind. In particular, we wanted something that would push us to write differently, get us to think about putting together a song differently. Around this time we were also both being defeated by a few books by writer and monk, Thomas Merton. Using these books as a catalyst for lyrical content seemed an appropriate way to get ourselves writing outside our own perspective and spending more engaged time with the texts. The books, in particular No Man Is an Island, deal largely with self transformation, which is what we were trying to achieve in this process; letting outside circumstances change our level of comfort and decision making process.

Around this time, Angelo had shared with me artist William Kentridge’s stop motion films; which are created through a process of drawing, erasing, redrawing, erasing… which led me to share Anton Bruhin’s vocal piece, “In Out”, which is made through a musically complimentary process of using a recorder to grab segments of sound and piece them together without attack or decay. These two artists helped us settle on how to go about recording. We figured it would be best to just start recording rather than start by writing the material first. Most started with a simple idea. We would record each part into Angelo’s digital voice recorder, listening to a metronome's pulse coming to us via an earbud. Using this method, we could not hear previous takes or sections when recording. So rather than record in a linear way, we more or less just gathered one sample at a time, which we would later organize and assemble. Everything was done quickly without too much re-consideration. Sometimes the lyrics would be written while performed; improvisations on a few pages from the books. For some, we’d flip to a page and start reading the words out of order while writing them down. In the case of “The Poverty of Death”, the melody was improvised to pre-written lyrics, and each part was layered as it was recorded. In short, the song has 24 voices and took 24 takes to complete. Each time we would work on a new song, the time spent actually playing and recording was only about three hours. However, the editing and arranging of these samples was a much longer, grueling process.

I was sharing some of this music with a friend and he asked how this project brought us closer to Merton’s writing. I had no answer because I hadn’t considered it. Although we had been spending so much time with his words, it seems we were attempting to understand these dense verses by futile means. Taking them out of context, rearranging them into almost nonsense. However, if we were to go to the pages of the source material, I believe we’d find these songs have the same sentiment. The ideas don’t get lost totally, but are translated into this abstract vernacular, which still carries the weight of the original text. But whether or not the text’s integrity is intact or not is not so important I think. The process did draw us to Merton’s work and message. We pushed ourselves to do things that were not natural, not instinctual. Which is what is found a lot in Merton’s books; that our instincts about how to love and our spiritual character are not the only way, just because they are the first or easiest. That level of engagement is a lot of work and is usually counter-intuitive and unselfish.

credits

released June 17, 2012

Made by Angelo Spagnolo & Anthony LaMarca
All images by Angelo Spagnolo

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Track Name: Quarter Age The Devils
You and I
Men were made
In the One
Another age

Distinct in God
Remaining all
Consuming fire
Alone the slag

Will reflect
Forever His
By the Rock
Dirt by love

Into Him
Union pure
Sanctity
We will remain

Quartered age the devils
Members limb to limb
Cities by the fire
Saints the innocent
Track Name: Good News
Good news for a man like me
I'm cornered here, not four but three
Open wide our conditions here
They're necessary for our early years

Not quite sure that I'd take it back
My enemies and all they lack
Threw me down and I stole what's theirs
A tragedy for what I've left upstairs

The promise I received from You
While grabbing hold to all misused
Gather modest gifts for you
Your arms are open and you're the only one
Track Name: Him As A Stranger
Him As A Stranger
Instead of trusting
My own fail me
And transform my freedom

I must show my
Human liberty
Natural if he
Intelligent light of a gift

Glorious strengthen
Some who think they
Of what make I
Profit by abandoning myself
Track Name: Infinite Rare
Dig my knees in the floor
For my highest love sits near
And you breath when you stare
Through my back please don't compare
Our eyes and all they bare
Who's worth the trials that came
On an only son to reign?

Dig my knees in the ground
For my only rest has come
Through your feet, proud, we'll dance
Even though you, my friends, can't stand
Take heart it's a lighter land
Not bound by wires and chairs
Or attempts to float through air

Action life then pure two right
May serve in one intention
With God
Ourselves apart from God outside
Resolve action that places in us
Satisfying interlude by now
They outward
Drown the stream
More matters
Infinite Rare
Track Name: I Know I Have Eyes (The Word Of The Cross)
We are carried over
Not in our real selves
Not in the froth stirred
The impact of beings around us
We are warmed by fire,
Not by the smoke of the fire

My soul is hidden
Even from myself I can't see it
Even from too close, nor can I see
My own eyes, I know I have eyes
We are warmed by fire,
Not by the smoke of the fire

The word of the cross is foolishness
For them that perish

My soul can also reflect itself
Mirror it's own activity
Mirror of words and actions
My being partly manifests what is seen
We are warmed by fire,
Not by the smoke of the fire

The word of the cross is foolishness
For them that perish

Words outside myself are dead things
Quickly gone the hidden life
Quickly accomplished acts outside
Much depends on the soul itself remains
We are warmed by fire,
Not by the smoke of the fire
Track Name: Bodies Be For
This time no consolations
The driest that we yet know
Face with His pure adverting
Either without mind without
He to love time no longer
Means on instants that can last
A second from another
Movement places in the road
Mass however even and
Exterior conditions
In our own
Bodies be for
Track Name: Centrifugal Flight That Flings (Electric Bomb)
Admirable in many respects
If they fulfill their promises
They can do much more for man
Never solve his deepest freedom
Return to the root
Flight that flings
Outerspace
Isolation
Without objective
Track Name: Our Self-Denial
To avoid
They taste, which way
Of the spirit.
To God, them and us without presumption.

Our self denial
worse still, although it is true
Our self denial is a contradiction

Must be more
To our own

Unless it be guided
What is from God
Remaining completely
Directed to God
Track Name: Silent Road Meal Thoroughfare
This is the time no longer proud
To expect in our anything
Driest all attention we cannot
Pray

Man who can face such dryness and
Ask nothing but to do His will
Here adverting without moving time
Love

Deep secret movement daily be
Silent road meal thoroughfare
We recite an exterior as
Time
Track Name: The Poverty Of Death
The secret from ourselves
And from our prayer
We must be detached from our work
To plunge into the desire
We seek only interior failing
If we our hearts avoid preoccupation
We proceed with our work
Spiritual Fatigue
Thought that it’s very will
Not to disperse our recollection
Strengthened by what it could never find
Interior recollection
Must seek in vain
To die necessary
Our last significance
Every death of this world of Christ
Either in words or for life
With more expression
Have more many
Our poverty is divine
Coming face to speak with the eloquence of death
For the poorest uncertainties
Silence and a conclusion
The poverty of death
Track Name: New Seeds
Yours cannot share anyone which does matter.
Something sick will never be.
Simply that God exists.