Chamber Works

by Crestfallen

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Luke Hartley
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Luke Hartley Truly excellent. Masterfully crafted and full of music that will haunt you long after you have finished listening. Favorite track: Narrations of a marooned pirate.
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    * each floral composition is unique
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about

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CHAMBER WORKS is a song cycle for intimate salons and small audiences. The music makes use of a wide variety of classical and acoustic instruments, demure baritone vocals and a powerful mixed vocal ensemble; all skilfully assigned to a certain role, for the purpose of dramatising the written words. The poetry tells of the artist’s self-awareness and his sense of duty, in the context of tormenting memories of a fearful and bitter boyhood. The album’s artwork, with photography lightly informed by the aesthetics of the English Victorian era, is designed as a pocket poetry book, battered and difficult to date.
Because of Alexander’s determination to fulfil his artistic vision of the ideal Crestfallen debut album without any compromise or haste, “Chamber Works” carries the cardinal quality of a work 8 years in the making: the assurance that it is done right.
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credits

released December 4, 2015

CHAMBER WORKS
written, composed & arranged by Alexander Zafiropoulos.

Recorded at Unreal Studios & Sierra Studios,
Athens, Greece in July/September 2013.
Engineered by the Unreal team.
Sierra sessions assisted by Thodoris Katsikas.
Tonmeisters Katerina Papada and Christine Petroyanni.
Sequencing by Asimakis Reppas.
Production coordinator Yannis Christodoulatos.

Produced by Alexander Zafiropoulos.

Mixed by Nikos Dimitrakakos at Unreal Studios
in October/November 2013.
Mastered by Yannis Christodoulatos at Sweetspot Studios.

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Guest musicians:

Iwona Glinka - flute
Tina Desylla - oboe, cor anglais
Merkourios Karalis - clarinet, bass clarinet
Vasilis Priovolos - bassoon
Christos Oreopoulos - trumpet
Yannis Arvanitakis - trombone
Panayotis Kamvisidis - tuba
Nikos Dimitrakakos - drums
Eugenia Votanopoulou - piano
Michalis Tselepis - guitar
Sotiris Debonos - mandolin
Lefteris Grivas - accordion
Yorgos Panayotopoulos - violin
Lefki Kolovou - cello
Vera Armeni - double bass
Christine Petroyanni - choral on s.9

vocal ensemble - members of the ‘Vocal Inventions’ Ensemble;
conducted by Olga Alexopoulou

All other instruments & voices performed by
Alexander Zafiropoulos.

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Crestfallen Greece

Gothic chamber music for intimate salons and small audiences.

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Track Name: Spleen Personality
“My ego stands for what is the inverted meaning of my mood;
Inertia and Indifference well mortised where once my feet stood
And thus – languid, I sleep the days away... –
Perhaps “homebound” gives flesh to what I say?!

Spare me the vicious “c” out of my pitch wor(l)d,
Form for me a tangible word – tangible, not cold... –
Something I would fain venture,
as an artist, to speak of its nature”

We’re in the woods, where I’m looking for the wordsmith’s shack;
The heavy smell of absinthe
Stimulates me to wake right after the old hag attack:

“Set forth with the vultures, you bird of doom!
The word you seek is “Spleen”, formed of blood and gloom!!!”
Track Name: Giants
When night hushes all rude sounds of daylight,
muffled voices and tell-tale moves on the soil draw my attention;
Then – without the slightest compunction –
I pull from under my bed my tools of exhumation…

Who is the young man who steps so boldly in the fields of art?
– I am like some scythe, claiming the fruits of your gardens
You consist only of the principal outlines – and yet, your cheeks are flushed
– For I fervently wish to see the human form stripped in its essential core

Subsequent to every night that skin’s been shed,
the giants creep back under the soil –
my fingers bleed and get swollen
in token of my honesty and toil

De profundis, Crestfallen
Track Name: Narrations of a marooned pirate
Please, be seated round my mouth
Comfortably on my beard
And listen closely to this tale:
“The narration of a marooned pirate”

Tall, bearded, muscular and lame, that is me;
I’ve earned some gold and some fame out to sea
On an island now, marooned,
I write songs to be crooned

Well, these songs are no sea laments meant to soothe
the sailor’s heart – they only meant to voice MY truth:
Human beings I do blame
for the hatred I can’t tame

And, though this inward raging storm never does cease,
the lighthouse’s upright, white form makes it a breeze –
Isn’t this what friends must do,
Or am I the only fooled?...

A loved one’s sweet farewell and godspeed
is all a seaman will ever need
to not become a pirate like the one in this tale,
who thinks a lighthouse will fill in where people fail.
Track Name: Wax Arlequin
He forms a path through planets in multiple shapes
Adorns the broken green of wound
A swirling mass of silver fishes
Eighteen moons in his palm
And the sun in his belly
The dark beauty of Saturn and his rings
Golden goats glean crimson meadows
He came in gladrags
For distant nebulas dress her in their haze
Track Name: As a boy, I never liked buffoons
The Buffoon’s been visiting me for most of my nights
…What’s left of me? – Wires in my veins to hold me upright

‘Tis in his presence that I write now –
– Is it you talking, or the beast?
… – Just me, quilling the débris
and how I got eaten on a feast

‘Twas in the small hours that I sighed:
“The absorbing powers of human touch I fancy”
…but somewhat dreaded a response –
“No-one likes you, nancy!”

The freaks attacked and tied my limbs,
while a dwarf s(h)at himself on my chest
This sound, the clack of his over-sized shoes,
always precedes my failure to his test

“I am the unhappy memories of your childhood
The dwarf paralysed you in your sleep
Your test, to witness and quill this feast,
to prove your manliness and not to weep”

A guitar, consisting of veins, led in;
A piano formed out of teeth… –
Then drums, out of stretched skin
and bones to hammer them with

Even destitute of the hideous growls and laps of the tongue,
rest assured, humans, this cannibal music is a bringer of tears
I simply can’t defend myself against my own traumas;
The Buffoon’s been gorging himself on me over many years
Track Name: Time, carnivorous Time
Barefoot dream, come close
Paper, dust, rain and lust
Do you sense my heat
Usurping the place of your feet?

Breathe against the glass and draw a tearful face
Something wicked this way comes…

If the hourglass was malleable
I would clog its waist
Time devours us all
In his belly we can view his soul

Light up a candle and follow me beyond Pluto
Anywhere, out of the world
Track Name: Henceforth, I seldom repose in it
Paper under my wrists
Be still
Allow me to stab you with my quill
Scratch your skin
And pour my blood-stained ink

Paper under my wrists
I apologise
My imploring glance embodies the eroticism of pain
I’m deep in the dark of frustration
Where all that glitters is tears

My lips and tongue
Numbed with futility
A ventriloquist, a voice discarded
But my hands were built prolific
Fountains of plaint

I was given this potter’s wheel
To mould my grief out of flesh-clay
And formed my body out of grief
My craft glows blue
For pain was made to endure

Writing is (just) an assemblage of words
This I tend to forget
One more disappointment
Thrown into that reliquary
Someone, flippantly, named heart
Track Name: Sleep Remedy
Hush hush
Hush me to sleep – deep deep…
With this nocturne hush me to sleep

Safe in my bed, drenching the pillow… –
Clutching my memories, constructing dreams
– Sleep is my remedy

When the head becomes the anchor,
I fall back and sleep again;
That sinking sensation…
Track Name: Less womb than the skin suggests
Yes, my breasts are empty
I’m not granted with the means to feed you
… – Accidentally she cummed in
and now in my imaginary womb I breed you

This sad of a man
– how could he possibly know anything about mirth?... –
wishes for a gender-neutral motherhood;
His body benighted of feminine privileges as pregnancy and/or birth

Silly thing, Mirth, to get in me,
Spleen is your arch-enemy!
…Yet, that woman obscured in me,
is my spleen’s arch-enemy…

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