The Black Atlantic - Reverence for Fallen Trees (2009)

by The Black Atlantic

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about

From the 29th of October until the 13th of November The Black Atlantic recorded a session in the Adirondack Mountains, upstate New York in the small town of Saranac Lake as part of the "In A Cabin With" project.
For this recording, drummer Marcel Wolthof was re-enlisted alongside singer-songwriter Kim Janssen on various instruments. Janssen co-wrote some of the songs for the recording and has permanently settled in and joined the band.
This session also
welcomed some of Brooklyn’s finest up and coming indie musicians: Leo Maymind
(Spanish Prisoners) and Peter Silberman (The Antlers).

The title of the album “Reverence for Fallen Trees” is a metaphor for “honour the dead”, referring to van der Velde’s grandparents, 3 of whom passed away recently in the past year. The album deals with such topics as ‘remembrance’ , ‘grief’, ‘family’, ‘love’, ‘disenchantment’ and ‘overcoming’, eloquently worded and brought to life in natural methaphors and direct references to this period in his family history. Musically the new songs showcase a much wider variety of instrumentation and willingness to experiment with sounds and soundscapes, and the use of multi-layered vocal harmonies; inspired by such acts as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and the Beach Boys. Rhytmically the group has chosen for a much more minimal, percussive approach touring with only a snare drum, floor tom and cymbal.

credits

released 21 August 2009

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Track Name: Fragile Meadow
Fragile Meadow


Woman, tranquilly labouring at our love’s cultivation
I do believe, I am fortunate to have met you 

Woman, how ephemeral our grace is in these wind stricken plains
I do believe, it is our fate to reside here

Away from the mountains of youth and safety
In a fragile meadow

Woman, I see you bloom in this sun that we have shaped
I do believe, you are my companion and a true lover

Through our rains and wintry phases
I have come to love you for you 
Track Name: Heirloom
Heirloom


Heirloom to an old sun
Now, you are in the light trees owned for so long

In this tide that explodes on your retina
Can you still look upwards into a vacant sky?
To inhabit the winds, on your own?
Track Name: An Ocean and Peril
An Ocean and Peril


I have neither food, nor water
I have neither pain, nor medicine
I can neither dream, nor sleep
I am in this blighted place
And, I am haunted by an ocean that beckons me
 
I hear its siren song of oblivion
And within contained: a sad and wonderful plea
Of eerie depths and cool embrace
I am in this blighted place
And, I am haunted by an ocean that beckons me 
Track Name: Old, Dim Light
Old, Dim Light


Old, dim light
Signed by the road
Showing us Home
Track Name: Walked-On Wood
Walked-on Wood
 
Last night you were running errands with dad, in his car
Tied the ropes 'round the fence
And saved a ewe flipped on her back
Come morning, the house was full of strangers
You stood out, like knots on old, walked-on wood
 
One bumped off the ladder
Another moves a rung
I can feel the summer in this current
 
Behind your shoulders he looms
What can you say?
When winter is lodged in your throat
Track Name: Dandelion
Dandelion


Now she walks the land
The heart of which she always belonged to
On the back ways
Finding wild flowers and stones
For a wise woman’s treasury
She set free to the wind
When the clock of her memory dispersed
Into uncountable, incomprehensible time capsules
Film rearranged on the reel
In her eyes, I would always be four years old
My dandelion 
(It is not uncomplicated when the life of a loved one fades away)
Track Name: Madagascar
Madagascar 

O, great and wondrous world
How the dice of evolution came up with a surprise
To make these tiny particles come alive
And for them to drape all things
With a cosmic blanket of meaning
When dust cherishes no memories
Makes you wonder
Whether man needs the lie like air to survive 
Track Name: Reverence for Fallen Trees
Reverence for Fallen Trees
 
Solemn is the expanse of canopy
A boundless cathedral
Funneling rays into this past I could not have known
 
I leave memories shimmering, pristine
 
And, in the glint of the light on the wavelets
I am reborn, somber green
In reverence for fallen trees
Track Name: I Shall Cross This River
I Shall Cross this River
 
My love, she has chosen me
For my candor of speech
She takes me to the river
Like a child at play
 
She sees not this bitter man
But the promise of a lover
When the darkness washes off
She moves into my arms
 
So too, my folks support me
Through my restless whims
They see not this failure
But the promise of a firstborn
 
When my darkness leaves
When my fall is complete
I shall cross this river for them