The Pulvinar Movements

by GioSafari

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about

The Pulvinar Movements is a companion album to my first full-length, Heliotropism. It features 15 new tracks, including the earliest and rawest recordings of many songs on Heliotropism, mis-takes, field recordings, and one previously unreleased song that was considered for the album but ultimately scrapped.

All of it was recorded on my iPhone and was originally going to be called "Heliotropism: The iPhone Files". But "The Pulvinar Movements" sounded way cooler and was more relevant (pulvinar movement is the mechanism in heliotropic flowers that allow for their turning toward the sun). Plus I couldn't resist the musical pun.

The attached album art was my original idea for the Heliotropism album art. I sent it to Alex Velazquez to create and render the final album art. He did an exceptional job, as per usual. Both versions are included in The People's Hymnal, a pamphlet of lyrics, liner notes, and sheet music to be included with physical copies of Heliotropism & The Pulvinar Movements (coming September 2013, see merch page for details!)

credits

released June 16, 2013

Voice actors on track 9 are Jessica Mendes and members of Occupy Raleigh

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about

GioSafari New York, New York

GioSafari was 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 (Take 8)
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...
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: 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: Unanswered Prayers
I pray for peace in my life,
I'm always busy, hurried, anxious.
I pray for peace in my family,
but I rarely ever get in touch.
I pray for peace in my relationships,
But I hope to avoid confrontation.

But God doesn't seem to listen.
No, God, he never gives me what I ask.
I daily pray for peace,
Oh, where is the change I seek?
Goddamn, he never answers prayers.

I pray for peace in my home,
I hardly make the time to keep it.
I pray for peace in my building,
I've yet to meet my neighbors.
I pray for peace in my neighborhood,
And I don't support local businesses.

And God doesn't seem to listen...

I pray for peace in my city,
I refuse to confront its injustice.
I pray for peace in my country,
I prefer the cheap goods made in others.
I pray for peace in my world,
but I won't be the change I pray for.

And God doesn't seem to listen.
No, God, he never gives me what I ask.
I daily pray for peace,
Oh, where is the change I seek?
Goddamn, he never answers prayers.
I said Goddamn, he never answers prayers.

And God inspired me to write this.
Yes, God, so pull that stick out of your eye.
Cuz if you want world peace,
You've gotta be the change you seek.
Maybe then will God answer our prayers.
Yes, I think only then will God answer our prayers.
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.