Two suns. A dark horse. Thick forested hills all around. A drunken man chucks an apple. In this moment of the dirt road apocalypse, all is well. There is no cell service. There is no clock. There are however ticks, so tuck in your socks. You're going to get tired now. So tired! Everybody falling apart all the time. No economy. You help because it's easier than dealing with your own unhappiness. Alcoholic relapses, the death of parents, divorce, the suicide of your cousin. He was just like you except you came of age when a bachelor cost 700 and nobody knew what the future held: dharma. Now your job is a chainsaw on your lap: take care of the farm. All of a sudden your partner tells you she's pregnant—she expects it will be a boy. Enjoy months of childhood hallucination like a hammer to the skull. Clang! Eyes pop out. Throw up in the car. Mercy. You need to fix your house, a tree fell through your window and it's almost winter. Shaken up yet? There's a hole in your heart and it's winter. Don't worry about all the songs you're not writing—it's a girl.
. . .
This album was conceived as a single piece of music at the end of summer 2022. I don't remember what happened, other than it happened fast.
"We are in a space without a map. With the likelihood of economic collapse and climate catastrophe looming, it feels like we are on shifting ground, where old habits and old scenarios no longer apply. In Tibetan Buddhism, such a space or gap between known worlds is called a bardo. It is frightening. It is also a place of potential transformation."
That was written by Joanna Macy.
Total madness, and the total acceptance of madness: sanity.
It started with a hurricane that sent a tree crashing through my window. Somewhere in the middle I bought a saxophone and became a father. As I write this, twenty-thousand hectares of the province I live in are on fire.
Tat tvam asi: thou art that. Or, everybody's got something to hide, except for me and my monkey.
released September 14, 2023
Written, performed, recorded, and produced by Isaac Vallentin.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket Mastering.
Cover photograph by Megan Foote.
Dedicated to Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-2022), and Ramona Maitri Rousseau Vallentin (2022-).