Grace and Delia Are Gone: Tales for the Stage, IV

by Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi

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1.
There was an old woman, lived on the seashore Bow and balance me There was an old woman, lived on the seashore Her number of daughters: one, two, three, four And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me There was a young man come there to see them Bow and balance me There was a young man come there to see them and the oldest one was struck on the head And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me He bought the youngest a beaver hat Bow and balance me He bought the youngest a beaver hat and the oldest one got mad at that And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me Oh, sister oh, sister let's walk the seashore Bow and balance me Oh, sister oh, sister let's walk the seashore and see the ships as they're sailing o'er And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me While these two sisters were walking the shore Bow and balance me While these two sisters were walking the shore the oldest pushed the youngest o'er And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me Oh, sister oh, sister please lend me your hand Bow and balance me Oh, sister oh, sister please lend me your hand and you may have Willy and all of his land And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me I never, I never will lend you my hand Bow and balance me I never, oh never will lend you my hand but I'll have Willy and all of his land And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me Well, sometimes she swam and sometimes she swam Bow and balance me Well, sometimes she swam and sometimes she swam untill she came to the old mill dam And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me Oh, father oh, father come draw your dam Bow and balance to me, Oh, father oh, father come draw your dam Here's either a mermaid or a swan, And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me The miller, he got his fishinghook Bow and balance me The miller, he got his fishinghook and fished the maiden out of the brook And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me Oh, miller oh, miller here's five gold rings Bow and balance me Oh, miller oh, miller here's five gold rings if you'll put me safe on shore again And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me The miller received those five gold rings Bow and balance me The miller received those five gold rings and pushed the maiden in again And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me The miller was hung at his own mill gate Bow and balance me The miller was hung at his own mill gate for drowning my little sister Kate And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me
2.
Grace... The water knows, The wind knows, Every hair on your neck knows, Every inch of your skin feels... Grace... Hope is your promise, Promise is your dream, But dreams cloud the water. Trust the water. Oh, trust the water. Look deep, and you'll see. Trust the water. Look past the face on the dream-clouded surface to see your body far below. Look at me, focus, deeper, deeper. Look at me, focus, deeper, deeper, deeper.
3.
In the beautiful tomorrow, sweeter than today There will never be no sorrow All the tears will pass away There will never be a sunset or a fading of the day In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today. In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today Where the sadness and the sorrow can't take my joy away Tears will always be memories I'll be happy every day In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today. In the beautiful tomorrow, oh the beautiful tomorrow There will be no sorrow, all the tears will pass away. There will never be a sunset or a fading of the day In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today. In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today. In the beautiful tomorrow, tears will pass away. There'll be no heartache, there'll be no pain In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today. In the beautiful tomorrow, In the beautiful tomorrow There will be no sorrow, all my tears will pass away There will be no dark clouds to block my gaze In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today.
4.
06:11
5.
6.
Here is a road A thousand miles long She walks down step by step She isn't at mile one I don't know how far she has to go, but she'll never walk backwards. Here is that day Filled with a thousand tears She tastes them one by one and thinks about the sea. I don't know how far she has to go, but she doesn't walk alone. Here is the room It holds tempest, holds a storm The wind picks up inside But outside all is calm. I don't know how far she has to go, but she'll never walk backwards. Here is the gun It holds a thousand threats but needs just only one. It turns around in the drawer It follows across the floor. I don't know how far she has to go, but she doesn't walk alone. She doesn't walk alone.

about

The original soundtrack for "Delia and Grace Are Gone" -- an aerial dance piece created by Jo Kreiter and Flyaway Productions, exploring issues of violence against women as seen through the lens of the American murder ballad. It is an assemblage of murder ballads, propulsive percussion, spine-chilling whispers, and powerful vocals conceived by longtime Kreiter collaborators Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, and featuring guest appearances by Shahzad Ismaily and Mark Orton. Other Kihlstedt/Bossi collaborations with Flyaway can be heard on Ravish and Other Tales for the Stage, I, and on Niagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III.

Kreiter's dance pieces are something of a touchstone for us as composers. We've been writing music for her every several years for two decades now. They are dark and full of personal and socieital complexities. They give you no answers but leave you seeing, feeling and questioning more deeply. 'Grace and Delia...' is no exception. The tradition of the American murder ballad is an old one, and when seen with a backdrop of American militarism and the unrelenting violence against women, a picture we'd perhaps rather not look at, emerges. Sometimes we must stand and look at the most difficult parts of ourselves and our culture, where beauty, strength, violence and despair comingle.

The final ballad, "Mile One" uses this quotation from Rebecca Solnit's "Pandora's Box and the Volunteer Police Force" (from "Men Explain Things to Me") as its point of departure:

‘Here is that road, maybe a thousand miles long, and the woman walking down it isn’t at mile one. I don’t know how far she has to go, but I know she’s not going backward, despite it all—and she’s not walking alone. -- Rebecca Solnit

credits

released September 16, 2016

Carla Kihlstedt: Voice, Violin, Viola, Nyckelharpa
Matthias Bossi: Voice, Drums, Percussion, Found Sound, Piano, Programming
Shahzad Ismaily: Guitar & Bass on 'Beautiful Tomorrow" and "Mile One"
Mark Orton: National Steel and Dobro on "Beautiful Tomorrow"
Aoife Cahill: Mournful Lullaby

Recorded by Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily, and Elisha Wiesner
Mixed by Matthias Bossi
Mastered by Jon Evans at Brick Hill in Orleans, MA

Album photo by RJ Muna

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Rabbit Rabbit Radio Falmouth, Massachusetts

Rabbit Rabbit Radio is the song-spinning duo of Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi. Collectively, they are founding members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat, 2 Foot Yard, Causing a Tiger, The Book of Knots, and Fred Frith’s Cosa Brava.

Drawing on their love of both art & folk song, industrial & improvised music and heart-wrenching balladry, their songs are raw, beautiful, sparse and rich.
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