"​.​.​.​"

by Isaac Vallentin

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Nick Green Diane’s wrapped in ink stained bed sheets,looking like a poet’s muse,and she writes with such intensity, that her hand’s becoming bruised ...... Favorite track: Diane in the Morning Light.
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1.
Diane’s riding in the back seat With an earring of hope She goes looking through her purse And finds a match to light her smoke Then she exhales in a grey plume And thinks to herself: Most of what we call tragedy Is disguised as something else Diane, free from her mind In the back seat of a dark car On the shores of time Oh Diane, she’s swimming back to me With an arrow in her eyes With an earring and an ashtray In the morning light Diane walks on heavy carpets With a dusty scent of pine And she wanders around the gathering Greeting distant friends of mine When she spots a plaster statue Of a man without a face She’s reminded of her destiny To return some other place Diane, free from her mind On a statue, up the river To the shores of time Oh Diane, she’s swimming back to me With a secret in her eyes With the scent of sawdust carpets In the morning light Diane’s wrapped in ink-stained bed sheets Looking like a poet’s muse And she writes with such intensity That her hand’s becoming bruised But she dives a little deeper; Without a moment’s rest She wrote everything she thought she knew Until there was nothing left Diane, free from her mind On the outer sandy reaches On the shores of time Oh Diane, she’s swimming back to me With a blank page in her eyes With a bed sheet and a library In the morning light Diane kneels before a candle And she says some holy words Her windows are all open wide Letting in the sound of birds Then she crosses herself solemnly As she finishes her prayer And she takes of all her tired clothing Except the earring that she wears Diane, free from her mind In a black-and-white cathedral On the shores of time Oh Diane, she’s swimming back to me With a cardinal in her eyes With a candle and a question In the morning light Diane shivers in the bathroom And confronts the cloudy mirror; Her cheeks are red and swollen But her brown eyes are crystal clear Then she leans down to the faucet And with never-ending thirst She keeps drinking until she forgets I went down the river first Diane, free from her mind Wading in the shallow waters On the shores of time Oh Diane, she’s swimming back to me With a memory in her eyes With a mirror and her warm breath In the morning light
2.
Winter Song 03:06
The northern winds grew warm Toward the end of May And in due time We’ll be just fine, I’m sure of it When the grass grows green And comes up to our knees We’ll go out on the shore Like we’ve been there before You turned to look at me Your expression took away my words We got the news early this week But another mouth to feed is just another worry When the earth unfreezes We’ll plant our summer seeds And add a little more Than we would have before Oh, how long is the winter, my dear? It’s longer every year Oh, how long is the winter? How slowly time does pass It’s knocking at our door
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about

Dear friends,

I share with you my third album, titled "...". You can pronounce it "ellipsis" or "dot dot dot;" either works.

These songs were written in the span of a few weeks last March (2020), during the first wave of the Coronavirus. Like a wave, too, the words came crashing in, drowning me completely for a time. If you listen closely, you can hear the uncertainty of the zeit beneath my fingers.

The album was recorded and mixed in three days. The accompanying hiss and warble is courtesy of an ancient MCI 2" tape machine we used to capture the performances. Apart from my partner Allyson's voice on "Diane," it's just me, whiskey, silence, and the odd word from engineer Seb Perry.

I'm not releasing it on vinyl because I've already lived through that fantasy, and it just doesn't make sense. But, if you write me a letter (isaacvallentin@gmail.com) and include your mailing address, I'll send you a paper response.

Now, about the songs.

"Diane in the Morning Light"
I wanted to write about a modern woman, independent; not in relation to men, love, or grief, as so frequently portrayed in folk ballads. I failed miserably: here is a song about a woman overcoming the loss of someone dear to her. We're all Diane.

"Winter Song"
A premonition: I flee from the city, and live as a peasant near the ocean. (N.B: it's looking quite likely).

"The Ballad of Nunangat"
This song focuses on (but is by no means limited to) the possible experiences of a young Inuk growing up in Nunavut or Nunavik between the 50s and the 70s. It’s a serious risk to make any statement from the perspective of a culture and history not one’s own, and I do not take this risk lightly, or without deep consideration. The intention of this song is to honour the lives and voices of Indigenous Canadians; the lyrics come from what I’ve seen and heard working in their company—I collected these words, I wrote them down, but did not invent their meaning. The Inuit "saimaqatigiingniq" translates to “when past opponents get back together, meet in the middle, and are at peace.” I hope this song may act as a small contribution towards our reconciliation. If I have been misguided or ignorant, then please accept my sincere apology. This effort comes from a heart full of love, longing for change. For more information about the history that this song concerns, I recommend reading the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s "Thematic Reports and Special Studies 1950–1975."

"Three Scenes of the Apocalypse in Montréal"
I took two tabs of LSD and went to Parc La Fontaine on the first (barely) warm day of spring.

"Joe the Crow, Rusticoville"
A triptych portrait of my uncle John and aunt Isobel (and Joe, corvus errans), who used to have a flower farm on Prince Edward Island. (N.B: Isobel still operates as a florist and is oft found at her booth in the Charlottetown farmers market, at the back, next to the smoothie stand). The time I've spent in their company has been deeply instructive of how to behave selflessly in love, family, and community.

"As I Wake from an American Dream"
I thought it piquant to write 50 verses, and indeed penned nearly as many. For your listening pleasure, it has been edited down to just eight. The killing of George Floyd happened afterwards, though it fits into the picture seamlessly, as does the recent storming of the Capitol building. Hope illuminates the outlines of the shadows.

. . .

Album title considerations included Beautiful, Modern, Sexy; Waiting Room; New Gothic Pros; North America; The Wild World Itself is Holy; The Temple of Very Short Prayers; Portrait of a Young Man as the Artist; and Songs of Privilege. I settled on "...", as silence seemed the wisest choice.

On that note,

IV

credits

released February 3, 2021

March–May 2020, Montréal-Tiohtià:ke.
Written, produced, and performed by Isaac Vallentin.
Allyson Rousseau sings on “Diane in the Morning Light.”
Engineered and mixed by Sebastien Perry at Studio Mixart.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering.

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Isaac Vallentin Montreal, Québec

See also: regex.bandcamp.com

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