Conceptual Realizations (FTP001, 10.02.2007)
Written by Martin Schneider
“Come on in and have a seat.” beckons the first line; inviting the listener to relax and listen in a comfortable environment. Starting softly with Aquariums and crashing into the heavily synthesizer based Escape with a glass rattling explosion sets the stage for the dynamic range and changes present throughout the album. Two Hundred and Seventy Five, a Tom Waitsish piano number with the atmosphere of a carnival is a jaunting ride down back alleys careening down dirty side streets and stumbling into the esoteric and ethereal Ghosts. Drums don’t make and appearance until about midway through and are highlighted in the chaotic and cyclical Far From Home. Taking the listener through several musical landscapes, Far From Home paints a fairytale-like picture of two travelers lost in a foreign place trying to find their way back together. The final track, Goodnight, coming almost full circle, brings the album to a close in a gradual decay and peaceful ma nner leaving you in a relaxed dreamy state.
Conceptual Realizations was recorded mainly in solitude at various houses and apartments occupied by Schneider between January 2006 and July 2007. Finding it helpful to remove himself from routine and the stresses of daily life, Schneider wrote mainly while on the road in different cities in the Southeastern United States often etching out lyrics on scrap pieces of paper while barreling down the concrete streams that form the Eisenhower Interstate System. Some took over a full year to reach their final form. A lot can change in a year, and these songs were allowed to grow and transform through the recording process into something wholly and totally different from the original idea. There were never any restraints put on this project. The ideas and emotions contained within 'Conceptual Realizations’ are what occurred naturally. They are what happened without guidelines or wires.
released 02 October 2007
Credits for 'Conceptual Realizations':
MARTIN SCHNEIDER: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Fender Rhodes, melodica, synthesizers, bass, piano, vibraphone, Celeste, organ, and drums on track 9
CLARK SIMMONS: drums on track 10 and percussion on track 8
CLAIRE ADAMS: vocals on tracks 8 and 9
Written, Recorded, and Mixed by Martin Schneider at the various places he lived from January 2006 to July 2007.
Come on in and have a seat. Sit back and listen you’re in for a treat as your mind wanders to some other plane. We’re born then we die. In between multiply till we suck all the energy, suck all the life in this world and recall the times in our minds and say, “It’ll get better.”
Track Name: Aquariums
Surrounded by images of a perfect life. Believe in us or suffer their plight. Bred on deceit and fear. Watch out someone’s near. You wouldn’t want to make them mad. He thrust his hand into the water. We watched as his blood grew hotter and hotter. He did what we all wanted. Kill it now he’ll never flaunt it. Nothing so beautiful can exist in another man’s cage. Wicked child you’ll be a wicked man. Then the cycle starts over again. Endlessly frustrating; never content, never elating. All you know is what you’re fed; lies upon lies until you’re dead. Just outside I see the truth, to let it in dispels the ruse. You must find it for yourself across three miles of barbed wired hell. Plucked from life at the age of nine, made to die slowly over time. Waste away desensitized. Nothing’s real. Nothing’s real. “It can’t be true.”
Track Name: Escape
Their eyes they glisten. To the pulsating waves they listen, shrouded by linen in the dark. “Be quiet. Don’t make a sound.” Don’t want to arouse suspicion in this town. Soon you’ll come to know the look of a friend from the gaze of a foe. Soon you’ll come to know the mast is broken the hull has sprung a leak. Floating dead water until we sink. Step out carelessly falling like lemmings into the sea. It won’t be easy; no one must know. Leave across frozen water hidden by snow. Cover our tracks, but threats arise. Must leave in search of friendly skies. On a merchant’s vessel far out at sea, radio for transport recklessly. “Identify yourselves.” Let us just hope that all is well.
Track Name: Salvation
Track Name: Two Hundred and Seventy-Five
Goodbye palm trees, Goodbye ocean, Goodbye city; I’m now in motion. The morning air is cool. I’ll be in a pool of humidity. Close your eyes and breathe in. Once more; then begin. Two hundred and seventy-five days left counting down to your death. What are numbers? Values assigned so we can understand. Why count down? Why count up? The end will come, and then what?
Track Name: Ghosts
The voices resonate from below with word of ideas and concepts I’ll never know. Conversations on world affairs emanate from under my stairs. There’s jelly on my counter and spoons on my floor, a box in the attic with no locks on my door. Look in my window and peer through the shades. There’s not much in here and hasn’t been for days, just the box in my attic and spoons on my floor. Come on in there’s no locks on my doors.
Track Name: Nineteen Ninety-One
The year nineteen ninety one; that December, your last. I never really knew who you were and I apologize for never really crying. I did not fully grasp the concept of dying, but now as I look back I understand the feelings they had. Fifteen years later I go through your drawer. There are so many things still left to explore. Locked on my wrist, is a memory of you slowly passing time.
Track Name: Lovely Mother
To see you weep it breaks my heart, as I lie next to you blanketed by the dark. When you wake in my arms you feel a comfort that nothing can harm. Feel it beat from in your chest. Closing in feeling compressed. Everyone is so well dressed. Lovely mother she knows best. “Lay your hands upon my breast.” It beats twice no more, no less. “I’m here for you don’t second guess.” And I can’t begin to pretend to comprehend you and how you must feel. I’ll be right here ever near never further than an arms reach. ‘Cause at times like these I know you need me and I will seek to keep you from being weak. The future’s not nearly as bleak as you might think.
She knows she has your love. And I’m sure when the time comes she’ll be looking down from above in sweet admiration and adoration of her little girl. Lovely mother I know you are leaving. Don’t go away before I get the chance to say goodbye.
Track Name: Far From Home
“When I was a young girl I had a nightmare.” Lost in the forest “I’d never been there.” Have we ever ventured this far before? I’ve never been more than three steps from my door. Those earthly hands reach up with their claws to pull me down into their jaws. And bite at my legs and tear up my flesh. I cry out to above. Lay your hand in mine, I’ll lead the way. No time wander. No time to stray. Lay my hand in yours, you lead the way. No time to wander. No time to stray. We must hurry to make it out alive, I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to die. Our feet leave the ground, we start to take flight. The sun’s going down, it signals the night. “No don’t close your eyes.” Just fight off the rest. I promise that we’ll make it out of this. Far from home.
Track Name: Make Believe
You are not alone in this land of make believe. You wail and you moan and weep tears of disbelief. We paint the landscapes of a brighter tomorrow. The end is coming no time left to borrow. The leaves change and we must leave this place before the shadow of death falls upon your face. I knew a man with wisdom in his mind and rotten life on his breath. He said, “You will soon meet death.”
Track Name: An Answer
Something is eating a hole in side of me and I can feel it. I’ve tried many things but none of them seem to fill it. The bottom doesn’t get deeper. The surface just grows higher and higher again. I haven’t spent enough time lately just thinking. Wish I could shut up sometimes and quit drinking. I find it hard to do what I should. I wouldn’t save myself if I could. The rain it burns my eyes. It won’t let up or part from my skies. Some things are larger than my understanding. My legs feel uneasy on this landing. I climb higher to see for miles. The view is hazy, distorts my smile. Something is eating a hole inside of me and I can feel it. I’ve tried many things but none of them seem to fill it. How much longer must I cry out there before I get an answer?
Track Name: Love of a Brother
Well, I love my brother, and he cares for me. He prays for my soul right before he sleeps. I haven’t been to church in years and I never pray. I got to get right with God and settle up today. Just talk and open your heart you’ll know what to say, “Dear God I beg for forgiveness.” ‘Cause I’ve lost my way. Well, I love my brother and he cares for me. He prays for my soul right before he sleeps.
Track Name: Goodnight
Wake up mama you’re sleeping. The circles form under your eyes. The clouds they form in the heavens. The darkness shuts out the light. The time has come to say goodbye. We all must leave here tonight. Don’t be frightened no reason to pack. The things you have are no use to you now. For when you die who will remember if we all go. Your history is lost. ‘Cause I know you will try to follow me there with two handfuls of earth clenched in your palms. ‘Cause you want to hold on to the things you can’t keep. Just leave it all behind and come with me.