The Aviary

by Ana Silvera

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  • The Aviary CD
    Compact Disc (CD)

    Limited edition 4 panel digipack with artwork by artist Will Teather and photos/design by Kate Keara Pelen. Booklet with full lyrics. Only 500 copies available.

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about

Produced by Ray Singer & Brad Albetta with arrangements by Maxim Moston

Praise for the Album so far:

'Gorgeous...a stunning album that mixes operatic and folk elements with magical storytelling' The Guardian

'Dark and delicious modern torch songs' WORD Magazine

'There's both a lavish, vivid imagination and an intense intimacy at play in the music of Ana Silvera...altogether these are haunting, grown-up fairytales' METRO

'Refined by Silvera's delicate and cerebral artistry, The Aviary is a joy' R2 Magazine

'Melodies that just wont leave you alone and a voice that tugs at your heart. Lady Stardust sings her songs of darkness and decay...not to mention love, loss, illusion and dissolution" Max Reinhardt, Late Junction, Radio 3

"Silvera's voice.. has a Björk-like spontaneity - an ability to be gritty and fragile one minute, warm, rich and ripe the next" Arts Desk

'Within our visually over-emphasised culture.. to be transported so readily into a story through music is a welcome revelation' Aesthetica Magazine

8/10 - "Silvera applies such a richly detailed aesthetic to her work.. the result being a multifaceted and utterly beguiling piece of art" WearstheTrousers Magazine

"Ana Silvera is a poet who wraps her words in a style of music that is as personalised as the stories she tells. Her songs reflect episodes in her life, influences and characters, full of historical imagery and dramatic fantasy." Bearded Magazine

credits

released 12 March 2012

All songs written and performed by Ana Silvera
Produced by Ray Singer, Brad Albetta & Ana Silvera

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Track Name: Manon
You wake to the song of crows
On that rarefied street row
Where even the trees stand prouder than the rest

You took your coat and fled
Leaving evening's brocade dress
Hanging like a banshee from the oaken chest

Oh Manon, lay your cool hands down
And gather night up in your daybreak arms
And when the season finally turns
You'll see that everything's unlearned
You're standing naked in the town
The truths you wore once like a crown
Are rusting now - 

Oh Manon, those wet black leaves like pirate flags
They sail their branches on a wild wind fast
They think they're journeying towards the fabled stars
But they forgot that they are bound by roots and trunks and sodden earth
Still they sail, sail on

You left the dim light to contend with early Mars
You left what couldn't be still dreaming in the dark
Oh you and I, Manon, were captives from the start
We are sisters of this longing that's the keeper of our hearts
Pilgrims of this sorrow, with our flags nailed to the mast

With your will set
You light a cigarette
And watch the smoke make faces pensive and uncertain

And waiting for the train
In that dog-eared station cafe
The rain is lowered like a last act curtain
You draw his mouth in coffee
Paper for his hair
And the the chorus line sings:
"He's not here"
But you Manon will fill these broken lungs with air
"Miseria Cantare"
Track Name: The Harbour Song
The hours converge on a sea as hard as diamonds
White gold and glittering in the harbour
And the day begins to make its cloudy way nightwards
Now I know what I know I won't risk a second look backwards

I saw you on a sunken day
You were dancing on the deck 
It had already happened long before we first met

I turned till you looked my way
Bailed water from your wreck
I was hook, line and sinker swayed
By your drowning one-man act

I forged you from Sehnsucht a Harlequin's mask
I squinted and loved you for plain circumstance
But the world knew better, knew better than I -
It is watchful and far less desirous of lies

Well, the day sprang a leak with our treasures on board
Our coveted out-of-the ordinary hoard
But I couldn't care less for those jewels that I left 
I just wanted my safety of passage assured

Switching the tracks from black to blue
Glory train's bound but not for you
Head on my shoulders, my eye to the gun
I'll get away second time round

I saw you on a sunken day
You were dancing on the deck 
And it had already ended long before we first met

Oh I murdered it so artfully
I was quite the diligent
But you aided and abetted me
So don't play that innocent
Track Name: Gardenias and Cigarettes
Water on shingle and vagrant hours
That stumble round this sun-struck town
And white lantern blossoms
With torn off wings
Break from their branches
With pale yearning

Oh my mind came unmoored in the night
You set it adrift
With a kiss that was sweeter
Than anyone else's
That I've known before then or since
Oh gardenias and cheap cigarettes
On your mouth and your fingers I tasted

In the name, on the hands and the back of love
Ships were raised and lovers fought
And the Gods above watched from a ringside box
As cities were wasted to ashes and dust

I saw you go through a low window
By the idle tide of dusk
And I should have seen through those arrows and bows
That even golden apples rust

Oh my mind came unmoored in the night
You set it adrift
With a kiss that was sweeter
Than anyone else's
That I've known before then or since
Oh gardenias and cheap cigarettes
On your mouth and your fingers I tasted
Track Name: Notes from an Opera
I was in a hotel when the city first fell
It was gilded and sullen and neoclassical
I took up with an officer and then his general
He bought me almond biscuits and a freshwater pearl

And took me to the opera, and after to Pigalle
A dancer wearing tassels ate the rose off my lapel
These days I'm wearing Shalimar, no never my Chanel
Cos it reminds him of his mother

He wears me like he does his duty shoes
Immaculately polished, and he keeps my soul
In the Paris saloons
And he occupies my moods...

On the Rue des Abbesses
We could see violets
Had colonised the boulevards in June
I walked him down to the station
Banners fly from the irons 
And vapour trails
Come rising up
Like dove tails...
Bridal veils...

Sundial creeps its hours
Into July
Among the ruins
Lanternas light

I still count his steps
On this esplanade
Like rosaries...
Arms surround me
Arms surround me

I was in the hotel when the first bomb fell
It shook the chandeliers and that old crystal
Came tumbling down on the tiles like the steeples 
Of the St Paul bells

I get my pleasures in the dim stairwells
In fairground hands I undo myself -
Rise and fall like the painted poles
Of the carousel

And now autumn unthreads
Her last dress of gold 
Upon long lawns 
Shadows unfurl
I still count his steps 
On this esplanade
Where violets grow...
Track Name: Hometown
My soul runs in the waters
Runs in the waters
Around my home town
And my bones float with the rafters
Float with the rafters around my home town

My eyes are food for fishes
Served on sea dishes
For doves and for gulls
Won't somebody bear witness
Someone bear witness
That I'm smiling now

So tell all those well-wishers
To stop ringing their bells
Cos I don't need the time of day
Where I lay now -
No, I don't need those tears
And those bells
And those veils where I lay...
Track Name: Snow Queen
I'll make you a corsage
Of Chantilly lace
Comfrey and eyebright
And reeds from the lake

And tie it with cambric
Before you awake
Upon your heart sleeping
This precious keepsake

From here the land's edge
Is a scrawl on the sea
It writes and unwrites itself
Tirelessly

And I, in the eaves
On my eiderdown seat
See riddles and rhymes
Where your words ought to be

And the green-fingered lady
Who longed, longed me to stay
Made all the roses wither away

And smoke, lilac footed
As I climbed, climbed the gate
And reams of clouds hid me
As I made my escape

It was autumn, autumn
How long did I sleep?

The moon-coloured waters
They whispered your name
And said with her carriage
The deep snows came

And she kissed you and bound you
With icicle chains
Made winter your lodge
And gave frost to your veins

From here the land lies
Like a mast on the sea
It rises and banks
And it confuses me

And I, in the eaves
On my eiderdown seat
See riddles and rhymes
Where your words ought to be

The ice-shouldered Queen
Who vowed, vowed you'd remain
Made all the roses
Wither in spring

And from the snow palace
I'll steal you away
And my tears will make
Your poor heart bloom again

Like roses
Track Name: Coronation Dance
I walk at low tide
And watch that rag-grey sea
Trammel down the shoreline
To tear dust factories

And I salute the magpie
And sing a sad luck blues
And try to find a picture
That could take the place of you

But you're residing in me
An unintended guest
And now you've brought your friends and all your family
I've not a second's rest

I know I sinned and gambled and I wagered that I was immune
Like Troilus in the temple mocking star-struck lovers much too soon
It was me of course who was on course to get it in the eye
Darling, won't you hear my heart come riding stoned and blind

When the city's on you, and its scratching to get in
And the night is blacker than a plague of devil's wings
I'll be waiting in the doorway, for your mouth on my skin
And the stars will rain down silver like the angel's lucky win
And the road lines will pluck tuneful on their vagrant violin
And your words will taste of bourbon, and your hands will make me sing

We'll walk at low tide
and watch that eye-glass sea
Trammel down the shoreline
To tear dust factories

With a rose of black hawthorn
And an ermine out of down
We'll toast the coronation
To the very best love in town

But now you've taken over
It's a mutiny
You've changed the locks
And left me in a strange and somehow altered key

I know I sinned and gambled and I boasted that I was immune
Like Troilus in the court I didn't count upon the sight of you
It was me, of course, who was on course to get it in the eye
Darling, won't you hear my heart come riding stoned and blind
Track Name: Letter from New York
Pin your name upon my sweater

And walk with me to the launderette

We'll watch my socks play tag together

Hear the buttons sing, see the moon's ascent



I'll say your hair has grown much longer

But I think that you should keep it that way

Oh it's so fine here in September

When the river's red, and the sky's dove grey...



Two dollar psychic around my corner
I'll say 'Did you see me coming?'

But I guess she's heard that one before

And in her deck, there lives a viper

And a prince with lions and unshared troubles at his door



Well, I know death, it's a foreign country

It left me breathless, it left me rich and made me poor

 And I have made myself an island -

But I don't mind if you come ashore

And here is my letter, like I promised from New York
Track Name: All the King's Horses
Oh the bandstand is flooded -
Is flooded with rain
And the saints that came marching
In Jesus' name
Find their bugles and buckles
All rusted away
They will not be salvaged
For one last crusade

In this city of sinners
The children today
Grow up chemically vicious
With sex on the brain
And their babies have babies
So fat and so angry
We feed them and feed them
And still they are hungry

And all the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put our love together again
Once you gave me the moon
I was after the sun
That's the way it was always
And will be Amen

When I first saw you
At the Easter Parade
I knew from the start
How I'd whisper your name
How we'd wander the city
And dance in the lanes
And kiss by the lamplight
To 'Lily Marlene'

Now this city's for wasters
The coming-of-age
And hard-wired and dead-eyed
With cash and cocaine
But Jerusalem's coming
It's just round the corner
A holy man told me
Though what does it matter when...

All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put our love together again
Once you gave me the moon
I was after the sun
That's the way it was always
And will be Amen
Track Name: Salome
Then spoke the King
"Any earthly thing
To see you dancing"
How could I stop
Those words from rising
Like flames on my tongue
(Though not holy ones)
If God himself could not?

There's a man
There's a man
And he will not love me
Like all the others long to
So bring me his head
Upon a silver platter
And with his eyes
Still wide
He'll watch me dancing
And I'll be dancing for him

At night I dream
He pours cool water
Into my mouth
The veils turn water
Then he'll rise golden...

There's a man
There's a man
He was the only one I ever wanted
So bring me to bed
And they'll applaud my death
For who will pray
For my soul now to rise?
Track Name: Song for Daniel
Sky, heavy as bell rope
Is ringing the changes
August has cried
In her swell-bellied labours

She climbs up the steeple
And waits for the chime
Halos of rain on the conifers shine
Halos of rain on the conifers shine

I'd like the world to stop
Just for one morning
And tell me the hour
Now this kingdom is fallen

The livery's decked
And the courtiers are bloody
And lillies grow now
From his mouth and his body

And I could pound nettles
Till my hands were blistered
But swans crowd the lake and no -
I'm not their sister

In pedalos once we were brave sailor men
One two we fell, and then we stood again...
In pedalos once we were brave sailor men
One two we fell, and then we stood again...

I want to be grand
To mourn as an actor
Playing a bit part
So I don't have to feel this

Extend my arm gracefully
Sipping in silence
Bone china, behind a veil
So not to see this

And I search without walls
And I search without finding
I search like a blind man
With fortune to guide me
In pedalos once
We were brave sailormen
One two we fell
And then we stood again...

Roots, pale in September
And tender as memory
Seed in the rooftops
And flower in the belfry

Silent in amber
That once winter time
We slept safe as houses
My brother and I
We slept safe as houses
My brother and I
Track Name: Rainbows
Ever of faithless heart
My only allegiance is song
The flight and perch of birds
Half glimpsed on secret garden walls

Why must I always go
When the going's only good?
When the fight is overthrown
I'm sorry darling, I'm no good

"Stay in touch", he said
As I descended the stairs
Oh I still feel his touch
It's travelled miles with me, I swear

I poured rainbows down his throat
Sweet as cherry, thick as rope
He shook me till the touch light woke
Until this sin was worthy, beyond reproach

How can I redress
A river run to the sea?
It's too late to regret
The one I promised I would be

And though I act the part
I feel I'm just a ghost
Oh I still love my heart
But my head's been turned by a restless ghost

He drank whiskey, I drank gin
Our words were caverns to dive in
To trace the curve, to climb the arc
This holy light, this precious dark

"Stay in touch", he said
As I descended the stairs
Oh I still feel his touch
It's travelled miles with me, I swear

I poured rainbows down his throat
Sweet as cherry, thick as rope
He shook me till the touch light stirred
Until this sin was flew like a brace of birds