Ten Songs

by Esbe

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05:16

about

Ten Songs utilises my voice and a couple of guitars – the instrument made for me by the excellent luthier Alastair McNeill, plus a steel-string I borrowed from my pal Clifford. I'd intended to borrow an electric too but never quite got round to it. Never mind, I was quite happy with the resulting production. Tracked vocals and lots of guitars.

Like the album, Far Away, as well as love songs, some of the poems are drawn from very personal subjects and can seem rather intense, in particular, (4) and (8) about homelessness, and 'Only You' (7), a reminder of distressing historical events – in this case Kristallnacht. There's also an unusual song about the brain (10). In comparison to the last two albums, this one was consciously written in the most singer-songwriter style. I enjoyed the discipline both lyrically and in production.

Sadly for me, these are the final recordings made before I succumbed to a condition called Musicians' Focal Dystonia. This can arise indiscriminately after the requisite 10,000 hours of attempting to prefect any task – from musicians to builders to golfers, where it's called the 'yips'. Mistakenly thought of as physiological, it's nothing like, say, Tennis Elbow, but a malfunction in the part of the brain which processes information for a particular finger or set of actions, in my case, the second and third finger of my right hand. Endless repetition in practice seems to cause a 'bleeding' of the message – and action which had become automatic - into surrounding parts of the brain. Or perhaps the pathway becomes distorted from overuse. Little is known and I spent several days participating in series of academic studies involving electrodes, electrical brain stimulation, and tasks performed whilst in a brain scanner. There is no cure.

The cover design is one of my earlier drawings experimenting with limbs and fingers to create a new image. The strings fly from the guitar led by fingertips with long pink nails. The guitar body is created from elongated feet; lips form the sound hole; fingers make the bridge.

For the title, my original idea was to use several translations of 'Ten Songs', but I loved the Japanese so much I decided to keep just this one – I also have one song with Japanese lyrics on the album.

credits

released September 10, 2019

All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, guitars), and produced by Esbe. Recorded and engineered by Esbe.

Mastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road Studios.
Artwork and album cover design by Esbe.

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about

Esbe UK London, UK

Esbe is a Royal Academy of Music graduate, a composer, producer, and vocalist from London. Her music is an eclectic blend of many influences, from her pure classical roots, but uniquely drawing on contemporary, world music and film scoring. Esbe’s writing has been partly inspired by her North African and Eastern European heritage. This eclectic blend makes for a unique and distinctive sound. ... more

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Track Name: Yet Another Day
All I see is you,
But all I see is something like you.
So how can I believe my eyes?
And in my canvas world,
The brushes highlight more than an impression,
But through the palette’s monochrome
I know it’s you.

And through the light and shade
There has to be a new perspective,
As if the lines are drawn by your smile.
So every colour speaks
With mellow hues, like distant rainbows,
And like a silhouette of love,
It will not fade, never fade.

And another day,
Full of my old delusions,
Yet another day, lost.
And another day
Paints a new illusion of you.

And so I turn to pastel dreams;
Your image stays forever new.
But with those vivid eyes
I sense you disapprove,
‘Cause you know;

It’s another day,
Full of my old delusions,
Yet another day, lost.
And another day
Paints a new illusion of you.
Track Name: Don't Believe
Don’t believe that it’s an ordinary day,
It’s just a lonely echo cry:
“You’ll never be free
To live, to love”.
And I know it seems an ordinary day,
But you’ve left it all behind,
Like you’ve never been there.

I love you.

And you thought it was an ordinary day,
When each minute seemed an hour,
But you have to believe
That the love that I give
Is for evermore.
I know that I can’t really find a way,
They’re only words you’ve heard before,
But if I tell you again,
I can make you forget
That you’ve ever been hurt.

I’ll never leave you,
You’re a love that’s flying high,
I’ll never leave you,
You’re a love that’s so alive,
I’ll never leave you,
Together we will touch the sky.
Track Name: Calling
My love has called my name,
Calling.
My love, he has called my name,
Calling.
And his voice is so sweet to me,
Hypnotise like golden eyes
That so could melt my heart.
Every word inspires the breeze
To carry love’s message home for free,
But it’s only for me.

My love will catch me if I fall,
Falling.
My love will help me fly the dawn,
Soaring.

And his arms are more than strength to me,
Make me sway like night and day
When the world was born.
Each embrace inspires the moon
To lighten the stars anew,
But oh, only if they knew.

My love,
He is calling.
Track Name: Pulse Of A Prayer
And he sits and he waits
And he thinks of a day.
And the calm is the maze
Where he’s losing his way.

Forgotten by psychiatry,
Exiled from society,
Dismissed by time.

And the air will obscure
What he knows of his mind,
But the hush of his gaze
Masquerades as a sign.
And he sits and he waits,
At the edge of his stare,
And inside, in disguise,
Is the pulse of a prayer.

Why?
Track Name: Weep No More
Weep no more, I’ll soon be back.
And I’ll be knocking at your door,
But like I’ve never done before,
So weep no more.

Weep no more, my love, I’m coming home to you,
I know I never should have left,
But sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us,
So weep no more.

And you knew that you’d miss me so badly,
And I knew that I couldn’t stay away.
Why must it take so much heartache, dear,
For us to learn our lesson?

And you knew that you’d miss me so badly,
And you knew that you couldn’t stay away.
But now I’m here wiping a tear-drop,
We can admit we were foolish,
Foolish, foolish love.
So come here, and weep no more my love,
My arms are waiting for you.
Track Name: Cha No Yu (revisited)
Make me green tea
With ceremonial grace.
Bamboo spoon, now it’s noon,
Stir, then be ready to taste.

Cha no yu – water, spirit of life.

Tea green, now seen
By the inscrutable eyes,
Blend with care, calm their stare,
Soon you’ll be almost as wise.

Every move, still to prove
Zen of truth and green tea.

Cha no yu – wakaru
Seimei no gensoku,
Cha no yu, wakaru
Seimei no yakusoku.

(Hot water of tea – to understand
The source of life.
Hot water of tea – to understand
The promise of life.)
Track Name: Only You
Only you, who live to remember,
Only you, who were there to see,
How they came in the still of the night,
You saw it all.

Only you, who saw each fire burning,
Know how it felt to walk on broken glass.
We must all bear witness to this, as if we were there,
For only you.

Only you recall their faces,
Only you can still hear their cries,
So we must each bear witness for you, as if we were there,
For only you.
Track Name: It Could Be You
And it’s a life, and it’s impossible,
And it’s a lie, and that’s the truth.
And it’s a life, well that’s debatable,
But try to cry, and you’ll be mute.

It could be you.

And it’s a life, and it’s contemptible,
Don’t wonder why who is to blame,
And when you’re high and life is whimsical,
A silent cry might then exclaim,

It could be you.
And it’s a life, and it’s lamentable,
You have a voice, don’t turn away.
And as a life, it’s not immutable,
So it’s absurd to sit and pray.
I’d give my life for you,
I’d give my life, if I was true.
Track Name: All I Have
All I have, I have to give to you,
All I am, I am for you.
Lay by me, through the night.

All I feel, I feel for you.
All I see, I see in you, it’s you.
Lay by me, through the night.
Track Name: Brain
I’m at one with this machine,
Not adjacent to its’ clean form, so pristine.
I am within.

It’s a cytoskeleton hell,
Firing neurons from each cell,
Plunging deep inside the well
Of my unconsciousness.

Brain, tease me,
Brain, feed me,
Brain, lead me on.

And my eyes, they will confirm,
As the senses baste the burn, cool, with each turn.
I am complete.

And the resonating scream
Emphasises just one theme, strong, tall and lean,
I am the source of your life force.

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