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To Evening Lands

by Luke Gullickson

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Little Bird 03:54
Little bird with a golden key Little bird, you fly faster than me Little bird with a blue paintbrush Little bird, it's no race, there's no rush Little bird at my fingertips, Ain't the sunlight carved up in strips? Though you don't play the harp no more Little bird, won't you pull the rug off the floor and dance? It ain't a crime. Toss the village kids a dime. Sing a song to make them pray. Just run. Make a scene. Point a mirror down the hall of gasoline. Both will wash away. Little bird with a golden key Little bird, you're a mystery to me With your blue Honduran scarf and your leather case, Ain't you just a vision in this place? Sitting chirping above my door, Must I come out and scare you off once more? When the lights are low and the sooth's been said, Little bird, I know you'll crawl out of my bed and fly To pretend that we're not the weak, that it's not the end of our Grecian holiday. The sun turns the page, the lowing of the cows will set the stage, Both will wash away.
Fall 02:35
Shadows by the doorway Paintings on the wall Flickers in the night sky Petals watch them fall Petals by the doorway Shadows on the wall Paintings in the night sky Flickers watch them fall Paintings by the doorway Flicker on the wall Petals in the night sky Shadows watch them fall
The House 03:22
In my dreams there's a house Set as wide as the plains It's a simmering sight when I catch its dim light through the rain Though its walls they stand tall The wind cuts right through It'll make still the tide but you have to decide what to do It'll unspin the thread 'til the face of the meadow is blue As the fog settled in We were out on the swing With a chill in the air as you whispered of terrible things And the stories I told They were some of them true Our two paths did collide and we had to decide what to do Can't unsay what I said 'til the breath of the meadow is blue In my dreams there's a house Set as wide as the plains And my grandaddy said that the plans could be read in the grains And it's empty and clean Never dust on the loom It springs up from the sight of the pale morning light in your room All the leaves will glow red and the arms of the meadow will bloom
The City 03:48
Ash flakes float from the welkin's moat in a tune he wrote up on Broadway. The gale awoken, a screen door broken, a vesper spoken at mid-day. The pallid tawn of the old salon with its story drawn on the ceiling -- home's a cloak of the winter folk and there's always smoke lingering in the air, in the trees, in the prairies cut to the lees. The queen bats her eyes, the burning lands will arise. I learned to talk on the coal sidewalk where the doors don't lock and the string breaks. The river packed as the bridge was cracked, only the birds react, a lapwing makes the wind and the rain seem a sunset seen from a train. They realize the burning air will arise. Before the playhouse closed Mr. Lill composed and we all supposed that the wiretap would smell like a diving bell and the oneiric spell of the lyre would send a crackling sound across the toneless plane of the ground. We still revise, the burning earth will arise. He feels it sear on the coldest day of the year. We still revise, the burning earth will arise.
Sophia 03:58
Sweet Sophia with a crooked smile Put down the book and look at me awhile You see creation from your chair As though it weren't a yellow world out there Come show me all your sheepskin shirts I'll show you exactly where it hurts St Augustine was a crooked man With a snake tattoo and a sheepskin tan He saw creation in a feather pen As though in Jesus was a why or when She's crying over all his shirts He knows exactly why it hurts The Holy Ghost is a fickle beast It's played my guitar four times at least From where it comes, can't say I know, But when it leaves my cabin, it leaves me low As though the last ones will be the first In the place within me where it hurts Sophia disappeared into the deep blue sky The eagle don't know where and I don't know why Sweet Sophia with your grin so deep You haunt my songs, you haunt my sleep Creation's just a crooked scheme The world it's just a yellow dream Your snakeskin savior, your threefold thirst Will tell you exactly where it hurts


This album is a labyrinth. At its gate is perched a lapwing who bids you follow it down the crooked pathways. You might remember this bird from its few beautiful appearances in James Joyce's Ulysses, the story of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom. It might symbolize keeping one's secrets, as a lapwing's nest is always carefully hidden.

As you trace the paths you might lose the lapwing ahead, and find yourself alone. You might think of Daedalus, the great engineer of Greek myth, who built a labyrinth for King Minos to imprison the Minotaur. The story of Daedalus' subsequent escape from Crete, on a pair of homemade wings alongside his doomed son Icarus, is well-known. But few remember how Daedalus came to Crete, as an outcast from Athens. He'd taken an apprentice, his nephew Perdix. Warped with jealousy at Perdix' superior genius, Daedalus pushed him from the top of the Acropolis. But Athena, goddess of the city, saved Perdix by turning him into a partridge in mid-air.

So Perdix flew away, that day. But partridges still make their nests low to the ground; they remember too well the terror of the fall.

I found these songs in Wyoming in March 2013. My gratitude extends to the Ucross Foundation, for taking care of them until I got there, and for treating me so well while I wrote them down. The hills are full of songs.

"Across the sands of all the world, followed by the sun's flaming sword, to the west, trekking to evening lands." -- JJ

Luke Gullickson, piano / voice
Ellen McSweeney, violin / voice

music & lyrics by Luke Gullickson
arranged by Luke Gullickson and Ellen McSweeney
recorded & produced by Ben Hjertmann and Luke Gullickson
cover art by Emily Howe

© 2014 by Two Labyrinths Music (ASCAP)


released April 8, 2014

2LR 000

℗ 2014 by Two Labyrinths Records
PO Box 10185
Albuquerque, NM 87184

Visit twolabyrinths.space

2LR is a division of the Two Labyrinths Institute for Sound and Symbology.


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Luke Gullickson Albuquerque, New Mexico

Musical maps and labyrinths

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