Attendre et Espérer

by The Duke of Norfolk

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Shrug A beautiful collection- especially ‘the bell jar descends’ - quite rare that a track instantly resonates without having to seep into your soul with familiarity. A gem! (Also a great accompaniment to chocolate with a touch of sea salt!!)
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about

Late in the summer of 2015 my father left. Nobody knows where the leaving go.

Seeing death so close, I began–as many do–to see death everywhere. I saw him in distant wars & with starving children, with the still-born baby & the teenage suicide, indiscriminately picking from the old and the young. Present in the daily newspaper and in ancient myths, the question of every scripture and a pulsing undertone of the romantic poets.

Though there is nothing to say that is yet unsaid, there is comfort in the saying.

This album is for Jerry Howard and for Barbara King and everyone they left behind; for Sandy Howard, Jordan Howard, Hanna Hutchinson, and David Bard. It is for everyone who leaves & everyone who is left. 

Grief is the price of love & it is always paid too soon.

-Adam Howard / Feb 18, 2018

credits

released November 2, 2018

Written by Adam Howard

Recorded & Performed by Adam Howard with the help of:
Cameron Reed - Cello
Jodi Reed - Violin
Hanna Haas - additional vocals
Bethany Shorey Fennell - Clarinet

Mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering

Additional thanks to Henry Fennell & Bethany Shorey Fennell for providing a space in which to record, Caroline Overy for consistently giving thoughtful and invaluable feedback, Claire Laurensen, Roseanne Watt, and Stuart & Paul Thomson for taking me to Shetland to clear my head and for playing the songs with me until they found reliable shapes, to Hanna Hutchinson & Ali Burress for encouraging me during the sometimes discouraging process of bringing this album into the world—you told me it was good and I believed you—and to everyone who has inspired and provoked me in conversation during the years spanning its creation (especially Peter Myers & Paul Abbey); you are too many to name but too dear to be forgotten.

Texts & Samples Used (by track #):

1. Lyrics adapted from 'Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night' by Dylan Thomas (1951).
3. Text ('Quant à vous, Morrel…') from 'Le Comte De Monte Cristo' by Alexandre Dumas (1844) read by Éric Herson-Macarel for Sixtrid's 2015 audio production of the book.
4. Text from 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath read by Maggie Gyllenhaal for HarperAudio's 2003 audio production of the book.
6. Traditional Jewish Prayer of Mourning.
9. Text ('I caught a glimpse of the meaning of death…') from 'Manalive' by G.K. Chesterton (1912) read by Alastair Smith. Lyrics from 'And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time' by William Blake (1808) with melody adapted from 'Jerusalem' by Sir Hubert Parry (1916).
11. Lyrics adapted from 'If I Should Die' by Emily Dickinson (1892 published posthumously).
12. Text from 'Le Comte De Monte Cristo' by Alexandre Dumas (1844) read by Madeleine Brossier.

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The Duke of Norfolk Portland, Oregon

The Duke of Norfolk is a peripatetic singer/songwriter from Oklahoma.

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Track Name: Dylan Thomas / Bitter Bitter
Heavy the rain doth pour and heavy the tongue.
The light does miss the forested face.
Bitter, bitter the pendulum swung

Bitter, bitter the pendulum swung

Open the sky for me and cut out the heart
the fruit does spoil the children’s laughter
Bitter, bitter the blackest of arts

‘Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright’
the sun does try despite the shadow
Bitter, bitter ‘the dying of the light’

Bitter, bitter the dagger in the fight
Track Name: Kharon
I was alone and aquiver on the boat to ford the river
And, oh, my hands were cold
But that mighty river flowing
Surely knows where it was going

and I have to wait

I held the gold in my hand as I struggled towards the land
when the sparrow called me home
and I felt the wind was blowing
against the course that I’d been rowing

and we start to sink

I am drifting into to madness
despite your promise
and I am frightened by the violence
of your psalmist

For I’ve seen that I am like him

The face of joy defaced and sallowed
and nothing slowing
I have let myself lie fallow
still nothing’s growing
Track Name: Shema
October fire, November rain
I left the fleece outside again.
The dampened ground, the thirsty wool
and I, the faithless fool

You dinnae wait, but I dinnae call
and you dinnae comfort me at all
So I blamed a woman and cursed the fall
I curse them devils and angels all

but whose is the voice now keeping me from rest
when all I want is sleep?
and whose are the hands pressed hard upon my chest
and oh, I cannae breathe?

the city’s dark, the winter cold
the raven crow, its wings unfold
but fly from me ye demon bird
I will not make myself the third

Whose is the voice now keeping me from rest
when all I want is sleep?
and whose are the hands pressed hard upon my chest
and oh, I cannae breathe?

October cries, September pains
the blood from birth which comes again.
The farm to yield, the crop is slain.
The bloody labourer maintains

But whose is the blood now smeared across my door
while, oh, the shadow creeps?
and whose is the voice that’s calling through the noise
says, ‘go ye prophet, lead’?
Track Name: Plath (Interlude #1)
"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."
Track Name: The Bell Jar Descends
Warm summer, a soft story lay beneath my head
of two devils; the serpent and tree, the garden and me
one hero; a rider in white, the comfort and the sight
three heralds; Elijah will come and stand by their side

oh father, with pain he bequest the riches he possessed
three scions of this peerage have come; the daughter and the sons

Oh my soul, I’m scared of all but what I know
and everything I don’t is bourgeoning
But you were told look to the prophet from the east
and the prophet by degrees escapes from me

Long shadows cast in the night, a dimming source of light
See, I’m haunted by strivings and strife, eternity and damned impermanence

Oh my soul, I’m scared of all but what I know
and everything I don’t is bourgeoning
But you were told look to the prophet from the east
and the prophet by degrees escapes from me
Soon you go. is life just only what you know?
Its evanescent hold, a scalpel deep
Oh my god, I'd cut my eyes open to see
Is everything I need at point of reach?

three heralds regarded as one; the daughter and the sons
Track Name: Kaddish (Interlude #2)
קדיש יתום:
אבל: יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא. [קהל: אמן]
בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
קהל ואבל: יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:
אבל: יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרומַם וְיִתְנַשּא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא. בְּרִיךְ הוּא. [קהל: בריך הוא:]
לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא בעשי”ת: לְעֵלָּא לְעֵלָּא מִכָּל וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
עושה שָׁלום בעשי”ת: הַשָּׁלום בִּמְרומָיו הוּא יַעֲשה שָׁלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן: [קהל: אמן]
Track Name: Pale the Ghost / Sharp the Edge
Pale is the ghost hovering
the muffled spectre in my sleep

sharp is the edge that splits the flow
the waters above and the waters below

there’s a wind upon the sea that pushes and breathes
and the earth still turns as I begin to slow

/

bright is the flower that tastes the sun
in the garden of my father’s home

but barren the branch when the winter comes
death is lead by death lead to grow

the body betrays the mind, given time
and the earth will shake when the seas start to grow

/

I glanced your open doorway but declined to go inside
then I sat about the railway looking down the other line
they say don’t mix the forms and borders or have your tea with wine
I think it’s all so damned obscure I don’t see why that I should mind
if nothing is consistent and nothing doth remain
and all that you can hope for is some subtle, dark refrain
call the terms and orders give infirmity a line
for chaos to be buried, let the benediction fly

/

the clouds begin to flare like
some fire on the air.

If indeed there is a heaven,
Then I hope to see you there
Track Name: Loch Lerna
Blood still weakened from the beast you'd slain
The serpent rose again the head now twain
The arrow pit against the viper's fang
One was severed so it two became

A sturdy shield and a keener blade
A stubborn will and a will to stay
You struck the two so they four became
a twisting devil and a mounting pain

A father lying in a foreign bed
A parson trying to awake the dead
A tempest brewing in the rundown shed
The captain sailing where the hard wind led

Oh so horrid how my heart doth cry
That fate should give the beast a place to lie
A blight so great upon the southern sky
That he should live and the warrior die
Track Name: Jerusalem (Interlude #3)
‘I caught a glimpse of the meaning of death and all that—the skull and cross-bones, the memento mori. It isn't only to remind us of future life, but to remind us of a present life too.’ … ‘I don't deny […] that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say that at certain strange epochs it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.’

Bring me my Bow of Burning Gold;
Bring me my Arrows of Desire;
Bring me my Spear; O clouds Unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of Fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
Upon this green and pleasant Land.
Track Name: The Waters Below
I fell asleep when the sun came to rise
and I tried to rewrite what is right and where it dies
but I’m still a child on the ground where I lie
it’s funny how the dark is reflected in the eyes of the light

I want for attention though all eyes are on mine
and my escape was addressed by a brilliant design.
but I took my gun and I shot / shot it down.
now the wounds in my side can be found in his blood on the ground.

oh the wind, it will blow it will blow
and my heart, like a stone like a stone

oh the wind, it does blow it does blow
and with the sound like the croak of a crow

Still I want for attention though all eyes are on mine
now a hole opens up in the sky.
so I took my gun and I shot / shot it down.
now the wounds in my side can be found in his blood on the ground.

oh the wind, it will blow it will blow
and my heart, be it stone be it stone?

oh the wind, now it swells as a groan
and the sound it does grow it does grow

and my voice like the kraa of a crow
like the cliffs does begin to erode

still my voice like the kraa of a crow
with my hands I must sow I must sow

count the scars, expel the lies.
we’ve used half our seven lives
but if that’s the cost to have our eyes
are you happy that we have died?
turn the page, open quotes
this the line that heaven wrote:
‘the colours right this side of earth /
I believe in second birth’
Track Name: Memento Mori
If you should die
and i should live
and time should gurgle on
and morn should beam
and noon should burn
as it has usual done

behind the echoes
behind the pleas
behind the wooden rind
under the heaves
and warring sighs
is there a ease of mind?

If birds should sing
in wake of eve
and oceans currents strong
still healthy breath
I see them fall
I see them coming down

I ask now comfort
I ask now peace
I ask now bread and wine
I ask routine
memento mori
golden harvesters
Track Name: Shema Reprise / Attendre et Espérer
‘Vivez donc et soyez heureux, enfants chéris de mon cœur, et n’oubliez jamais que, jusqu’au jour où Dieu daignera dévoiler l’avenir à l’homme, toute la sagesse humaine sera dans ces deux mots : Attendre et espérer !’