Heliotropism

by GioSafari

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    This is a double album including both Heliotropism and its companion album, The Pulvinar Movements.

    The CD packages were hand-made with pages of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. The envelopes are stamped with the original album art by Alex Velazquez (@x2creator) and also contain a pamphlet of liner notes, lyrics, and sheet music called The People's Hymnal, a packet of sunflower seeds, and a sticker of the album art.

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Double-album disc, packaged in recycled cardboard sleeve stamped with original album art by Alex Velazquez; includes The People's Hymnal, a pamphlet of liner notes, lyrics, and sheet music.

    Includes immediate download of 10-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.
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05:05
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03:09
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about

Please join us for the album release show!
www.facebook.com/events/153534978178258/

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
• From God’s Grandeur, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
• Matthew 6:28-29

THANKS
I give thanks first and foremost to the source of all light, the One on whom I daily set my gaze. Then I thank all who have stood with me in the fields as we pursue the Sun together, singing at the top of our lungs. Somos nuestros musicos especiales. They include but are probably not limited to the following (and I apologize in advance for forgetting people whom I love, despite my faulty memory):
Mom, dad, Anais, Amy, Danny, Los Espinositos, Brandon; Zach & Denny (Lost Trail), Tony (Knuppel), Alex, Jessica, Topher, choir members & comrades at Occupy Raleigh; Clinton, John Mark, Tom B, Martin, Enoch, Lylekar, Matt M; Gary, Alf, Mike, Jose T, Matt F, William & Caroline, Elam, Jose D, Linnea, Joanlie, Kevin, and the rest of the TGC Heights crew; Ben, Vern, Mando, DJB, MAW, Jen, Diane, and the rest of the Word Up crew; Jorge, Jonny Atlas, Sam, Ricky, Skip, Sophia; Janet, Madeline, Cindy, Paris, Annie, Garry, Jose I; everyone who’s booked a show, put me up, given me a lift, or otherwise helped me out while on the road; Jacob, Eric, Diana, Emily W, Whitney, Philip, Betsy, Kristen, Sarah, and the whole flock of wild geese; Victoria, Stefan, Becky, Milo, Lawrence, Chris, Matt & Christina, and all the other comrades who occupied Wall Street, Washington Heights, Chattanooga, Athens GA, Jacksonville, Chicago, across the country and across the world with me last year. We press on.
Finally, I dedicate this album to my abuela Angela, who demonstrated how to stand as a humble sunflower; we trust that she now knows ever unclouded grace.

credits

released 15 September 2012
Lyrics & Music by Gio Andollo
Engineering by Zachary Corsa
Mixing by Gio Andollo & Zachary Corsa
Slide guitar on tracks 4, 6 by Zachary Corsa
Piano on tracks 2, 6, 7 by Anthony Knuppel
Gang vocals on tracks 2, 8, 9, and voice-acting on track 5 by Jessica Mendes & members of Occupy Raleigh
Choir voices: Kathrine Becker, Sarai Moore, Joanlie Shiah, Alex & Kisha Velazquez
Art & Design by Alex Velazquez

Recorded at Sleepaway Camp, Burlington, NC

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about

GioSafari New York, New York

GioSafari is the pseudonym for singer-songwriter and peace activator Gio Andollo. He lives in NYC, where he has committed to music - songwriting, recording, busking, performing, promoting - and activism. He speaks truth to power in the heart of Empire, recalling the subversive musical traditions of American folk & punk, singing for peace & justice, and advocating the use of bicycle helmets. ... more

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Track Name: O Morning
Hark! I’m called through early dark to join the ancient choir,
to trumpet solar steeds before a chariot of fire.
I summon Dawn with shutters drawn, with sleep stuck in the corners -
Now here she comes, the promised one, still fresh and rosy fingered.

I’ll wake her with a gentle kiss,
whispering sweet nothings into the mist;

Oh, morning.

At the brown brink eastward springs, through the prisms skyscraping,
a rainbow. Awake my soul to sing.
A step to the street and down the block, downhill along the fence I walk;
Around the bend, down many steps, along the fence, up to the park.

With no entrance I threaten to intrude
because it’s there I see the Spirit brood.

Oh, morning.

Over the bent world, with warm breast and with bright wings,
the Holy Ghost waves from her post across the black chain links.
But in this oasis prison it’s the desert that’s the fraud;
I barge to where the world is charged with the grandeur of God.

I sit amidst the trees and lift my face;
the Light and choir help me fill the space -

Oh, morning.
Track Name: Lord, The Things I've Seen
Rocky and smoky and snow-capped mountains
And desert as far as my eyes could see,
I’ve seen men without homes living in houses
While those with most riches make their home on the street.
I’ve seen tall redwood forests and Japanese gardens
And thumbed my way across the nation.
I’ve played songs of protest on the road to Brooklyn
As friends were arrested for revolution.

Lord, the things I’ve seen.

I’ve seen endless rows of wheat and cotton,
I’ve slept on a stiff field of corn.
I’ve seen families desperate to slave these same fields
Just to live in the place I was born.
I’ve seen monkeys and sharks and rhinoceros beetles,
Diners and brothels in Thailand.
I’ve heard heart-breaking fireside stories
As occupied hearts were pried open.

Lord, the things I’ve seen.
Lord, lord, the things I’ve seen.

I’ve plumbed the depths and I’ve scraped the skies,
Hiked over mountain and canyon and stream,
I’ve traveled the earth with open eyes,
By the seat of my pants and the limits of dreams.

I’ve seen seven countries and twenty two states,
I’ve surfed both the west and the east
I’ve seen many a subsistence garden
And a farm whose main crop was peace.
I’ve seen Bangkok slums and Tijuana beaches
And explosions at the Eiffel Tower.
I awoke before dawn at a park in Manhattan
To show police who has the real power.

Lord, the things I’ve seen.
Lord, lord, the things I’ve seen.

I’ve skied and snorkeled and walked on water
Paralyzed by the cold.
And I’ve walked among a people more frozen still,
Apathetic and under control.
But I’ve also seen a rare breed of wild geese,
And a treehouse hostel on fire -
Singing and dancing and occupying,
Subverting and resisting empire.

Lord, the things I’ve seen.
Lord, lord, the things I’ve seen.

I’ve plumbed the depths and I’ve scraped the skies,
Hiked over mountain and canyon and stream,
I’ve traveled the earth with open eyes,
By the seat of my pants and the limits of dreams.
Track Name: On The Road (Song For Robert)
I’m out here a thousand miles from my home,
Walking a road other men have gone down.
I’m seeing your world of people and things,
your paupers and peasants and princes and kings.

Hey, hey, Bob Dylan, I’m writing this song
For the man with a brand you would never take on.
You say “you’re born with the wrong name, it happens you see...
Call yourself what you want, it’s the land of the free.”

So you left home behind and you never looked back,
Just rambled and gambled your way ‘long the tracks -
All alone on the road with the spirit ahead
And old Rob back in Minnesota, cold and dead.

You know I went with you all the way down to New York.
Tried following your footsteps but the road got too dark,
And the imprints more shallow each step ‘long the way -
Twenty one grams you lost with each role that you played.

Then I lost you and couldn’t get on by myself;
And I couldn’t believe I was anyone else.
So I sought all those characters in people I knew
And the drama’s been guiding me cue after cue.

So I pray that you’re doing alright on your own;
As for me, well, you know I’ll just keep moving on,
With my comrades and company, this road occupied -
Making all the difference that it’s less traveled by.
Track Name: Poem For the Pyre
I stepped off the bus before past centuries
Wrapped with high-flying roadways and trains,
But I’d walk the rest of this lorn journey
From the corner of fourteenth and main.
Steps ‘long the tall grass, balanced on the rail tracks,
Indifferent to moldered relics of industry.
Factories and hydrants and sewers and sirens,
Tall barb-wired fences and penitentiaries.

But my passions were roused by a found cardboard box,
One man’s trash and my treasure.
This rough paper corner could now become home
To a sign or a song or a letter.
How I’d like to write to my friends abroad,
To tell them they’re free and valued and loved;
But compassion’s illegal and I’m too much a coward
To join them behind those cold walls.

So despondent, I resolved to make instead
A sign reading “protest songs are dead!”
To lay it by my open heart and case
As I played to earn a place to lay my head.
Thus I could justify to join and occupy,
To add my flame to this conflagration;
But as I soon learned, the fuel was out-burned
With two wingnut incarcerations.

My passions were roused by a found cardboard box,
One man’s trash and my treasure.
This rough paper corner could now become home
To a sign or a song or a letter.
I wouldn’t share my music or solidarity
With the occupy demonstrators out on the street
But there still was another possibility
For this brown would-be composition notebook sheet.

Trees glowed with orange and yellow and red
As Autumn inspired with fiery grace.
A homeless man passed under the bridge,
But I followed my Muse to a holier place.
Dozens of churches, yet buried in graves,
With steeples peering over top of a hill
Joined in chorus as I turned the bend to pay
Respects to a moment’s song (unfulfilled).

My passions were roused by a found cardboard box,
One man’s trash and my treasure.
This rough paper corner could now become home
To a sign or a song or a letter.
As each memory dripped a new hue from my pen,
For a palate to paint a new traveling song,
And my journey drawn near its beautiful end,
The blaze at the corner of Barton and Home.
Track Name: "it's a post-industrial world"
There’s a fac’try in China where toys are made
And the children who work there are hardly paid
Living wage for their time, Nevermind it’s a crime;
It’s a small world after all.

Then those toys are sent to the U.S. (of) A.
To restock our shelves every holiday
Put a gift ‘low the tree while its makers’ hungry
It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world.

Lining up at stores, trample all your peers
Cheap consumer goods the best price all year
Get that gift or that toy for your girl or your boy
It’s a small world after all.

Purchase all your gifts, go on get your fill
Credit card comp’nies will foot all the bills
Pay them no mind at all til they’ve got you by the balls
It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world.

Careless spending’s what got us into this mess
So we’re living in luxury and excess;
But the truth’s we’re in debt, we’re all drowning in the red.
It’s a small world after all.

Think you’ve got it bad? ‘Magine all the poor
Working pittance wages so you’ll have more.
Spend all day making clothes can’t afford for themselves!
It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world.

As you purchase gifts for your holiday,
Please remember the poor who are far away -
Do yourself and them a favor, don’t support sweatshop labor
Cuz it’s a small world after all.
Track Name: Everyman Awakened
I awoke in a cell, silent and dark,
a plate was slipped through a crack in the door.
I didn’t belong here, I knew it too well,
so I stripped the striped uniform that I wore.
When a wrecking ball crashed through the fourth concrete wall
I stood naked, alone, and ashamed.
The audience roared in laughter and applause
as I curled on the floor of the stage.

Then a script was passed from behind the curtains,
highlighted to stand to my feet.
As I read through my lines and rehearsed the blocking
it occurred to me I was the lead.
All my co-workers, family and friends
made a noteworthy supporting cast
and the folks riding the train or walking the street
were just extras with B-roll soundtrack.

Shakened, awakened, I’ve come to my senses -
roused from nightmarish subconscious pretenses,
like Russian dolls, my dreams incepted
in layers of reality.

Now I found myself bound by my own ambition,
a straight-jacket pure and white.
Like a cubicle office or suburban family:
2.3 kids and a dog and a wife.
I sought freedom in privacy, asylum in debt,
my own snowflake amidst static white sound;
plugged in and tuned out, on automatic,
”normal” by every postmodern account.

Shakened, awakened...

It’s a soggy morn in this concrete jungle,
I’m up with this ragged war-weary platoon.
We’ve marched and fought days and days on end
Trusting our victory, delivery’s come soon.
Against no human enemy have we lift our swords;
but we’ve ravaged these labyrinthine walls between us,
revealing the world was never a stage at all
but a combat arena of bread and circuses.


Shakened, awakened, I’ve come to my senses -
roused from nightmarish subconscious pretenses,
like Russian dolls, my dreams incepted –
But now I’m certain these solipsist episodes have ended
As I lay in bed with my eyes wide open,
piercing the heart of Manhattan,
With vision for community.
Track Name: Blank Page
Some say there’s nothing so frightening.
At least they’ve come that far.
Most days I’m lucky if I can get there -
Apathy, complacency, ambivalence, distractions
And sometimes just a book face
Get in the way.
Windows into the soul-less, I’ll gaze long into those eyes:
A face with no expression,
A book with no real phrases,
Just fragments, abbreviations, acronyms, and lies.
And lies.

Language dissolves,
And while that book is no book at all
These bound compositions
Wide-ruled, hole-punched, and perforated
(are) Each a perfectly blank page
Each a black, blank, blank...

Can I take back two cents?
Perhaps they’d buy me some lost time,
And a new blank page; but I fear it’s too late,
For I’m hopeless - that face,
those eyes have sucked me in deep.
Am I in too deep?

Will I recall
That while that book is no book at all
These bound compositions,
Wide-ruled, hole-punched, and perforated
Each a perfectly blank page.
Each a blank, blank, blank...

I’ve become a character in the story,
Codependent with the rest.
And even with the binding
that straps us ever tighter,
We suspect that everything’s unraveling;
We’re crashing...

Into these walls.
And while that book is no book at all.
These bound compositions,
Wide-ruled, hole-punched and perforated
Each a perfectly blank page.
Each a blank blank blank,

So now I’ll get on the ball
‘cause while that book is no book at all,
These bound compositions,
Wide-ruled, hole-punched and perforated
Each a perfectly blank page.
Each a blank, blank, blank..
Track Name: Sing At The Top Of Your Lungs
I’m writing this song while riding in the car
from Tampa to Gainesville, couple hours, not too far.
I’m curious to see just what will come out.
Hopefully before I’m done I’ll know what it’s about.

An experiment in writing, I hope not to disappoint.
A poem on the fly, a rhyme scheme slightly disjointed.
I need to write, I need to have a little discipline,
or else I’ll have no songs to sing with you, my kickass friends.

Sometimes a little discipline is really all it takes
to wake us from our stupor, help us see through the haze,
the bullshit all around us, the violence of the state.
They want us in our apathy to simply waste away.

What’s the reason in the schools the arts are first to go?
Well, you know, it’s we the artists’ job always to show
the way things are; we artists must choose never to ignore
the violence, incompetence, injustice, endless war.

Now I’ll step off my soap box, I just wanted to say:
though it may seem small, this really is the greatest way
to subvert Pax Americana, to quietly smash the state -
So go out there and sing, dance, paint, write, smile, and create.

I just wrote this song while riding in the car
from Tampa to Gainesville, couple hours, not too far.
I’m curious to see just what has come out
and now that I think I’m done, I know what it’s about:
deciding for ourselves what this life will be about.
Track Name: Siyahamba
Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'.
We are marching in the light of God.
Caminamos en la luz de Dios.
Track Name: Forever Falling
God clothes all the lilies,
though they will one day fall.
So I, a humble sunflower,
will stand to heed the call -
to set my gaze upon the Son
as I ponder my fate -
so when beneath the pall I’ll know
ever unclouded grace.