Bird Languages

by Sen Wisher

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about

Sen Wisher presents “Bird Languages,” a modern mythology that follows neighborhood birds through forest-sized feelings.

The thirteen songs therein represent three years of lessons learned in Eugene while living near Hendricks Park and going on walks along the Willamette River.

The album’s soundscape is many-feathered. Bedroom hymns at an organ slowly take flight. Frustrated drums dissolve into jubilant brass. Xeroxed harmonies appear. A viola soars above the birdsong of self-talk below. And bristling nylon strings conjure cross-stitched drones.

It's equal parts intricate vector folk, orchestral parrot pop, chirp-rock and eagle-eye’d-power-trance. But you could just as easily mistake it for radio interference from the aviary just down the street. We wouldn't blame you for that.

credits

released November 23, 2018

P-E-R-F-O-R-M-E-R-S

Ben Swisher — benswisher.bandcamp.com

Vocals, electric guitar (2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12), pentatonic guitar (11), bowed and plucked banjo (3, 5, 10), pump organ (1, 7), electric organ (11), guitar feedback (1), recorder (13) and clapping (4, 5, 10).

Sophie Blair — nymph-music.bandcamp.com

Bowed and plucked viola (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13).

Stephen Cope — officerjenny.bandcamp.com

Vocals (2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13), cornet (2, 8, 9), piano (4), pump organ (11, 13), nylon guitar (13), MS-20 (1), organ pedal (3, 8, 13), electric toothbrush (11), percussion (6) and clapping (4, 5, 10).

Stuart Wheeler — thisisaquiethouse.bandcamp.com

Vocals (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13), trombone (2, 4, 6, 8), recorder (2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13) baritone guitar (2, 3, 4, 8, 12), nylon guitar (13), piano (3, 6), electric organ (3), MS-20 (2, 9, 11), organ pedal (4, 6), chimes (4), drums (1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12), drum machine (11), percussion (2, 5, 13), glockenspiel (2), guitar feedback (1) and clapping (4, 5, 10).

Additional vocals (8, 11) by Alex Vincent, Ally Nickell, Stephen, Stuart and Ben.

Additional clapping (10) by Alex Vincent, Ally Nickell, Jasmine Stack, Stephen, Stuart and Ben.

Processing and collaging of birdcalls (1) by Lexi Slovik.

A-R-R-A-N-G-E-M-E-N-T-S

Strings arranged by:

Stuart + Stephen + Sophie (2)
Stuart + Sophie + Stephen (5)
Stuart + Sophie (1, 6, 13)
Stuart + Stephen (10, 12)
Stuart (3)

Horns arranged by:

Stephen + Stuart (8, 9)
Stuart + Stephen (2)
Stuart (4)

Woodwinds arranged by:

Stuart + Stephen (2)
Stuart (4, 6, 10)

Vocals arranged by:

Stuart + Stephen + Ben (3)
Ben + Stephen + Stuart (13)
Stuart + Ben + Stephen (5)
Stephen + Stuart (1)
Stuart (10)

Choir arranged by:

Stuart (13)

Percussion arranged by:

Stuart (2)

Drum programming by:

Stuart (11)

P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N

Produced by Stephen Cope, Stuart Wheeler and Ben Swisher at Studio Studio Dada in Provo, Utah.

studiostudiodada.com

Mastered by Nich Wilbur at The Unknown in Anacortes, Washington.

anacortesunknown.com

A-R-T

Art for singles and album was done by Madeline Rupard.

madelinerupard.com

Generative font design based on my handwriting and other promotional art by Very Cool Studio.

verycoolstudio.com

Music video for Feather Tongue (1) by Jared Clark Gay and Jasmine Stack.

youtube.com/watch?v=ljfuLlS42uc

Upcoming bird simulator videogame for Person Mythology (6) by Luke Williams a.k.a. Luscho.

lukewilliamsmusic.com

And upcoming music video for American Robin (3) by Jessica Li.

jjjessicaliii.com

F-U-N-D-I-N-G

This album and everything listed above was first made possible by Song Club Records.

songclubrecords.com

Additional funding for this album was made possible by the generous help of supporters from our kickstarter.

kickstarter.com/projects/1753158952/bird-languages-by-sen-wisher

T-H-A-N-K-S

To everyone who helped make this album possible! And to anyone who still cares about the things I make with my friends. I am eternally grateful.

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Track Name: Feather Tongue
I can hear you
From my window

Major triad
From the backyard
To communicate
Of course I relate

Your survival
It depends on
Being good at song
We’re not here for long

Common raven
Western scrub jay
And the mourning dove
While I’m on the floor

You transcend me
In the branches
One day I will too
I will be brand new

Voice from heaven
Every day now
The same words for years
It is all I know
Track Name: Holding Pattern
Infinite repeat
Infinitely me—oh
And you appear
I’m in holding here

I am haunted
By—teleprompted sigh
Words in full appear
I am holding here

There is a force
Field at my feet
There is a door
Here and no key

Infinite repeat
Infinitely me—oh
And memory
Images in three

I immobilized
Helicopter sight
Birds in form appear
I in holding here

Infinite repeat
Infinitely me—oh
And you appear
I’m in holding here

I am haunted
By—teleprompted sigh
Words in full appear
I am holding here

There is a force
Field at my feet
There is a door
Here and no key

There is movement
In stillness
Track Name: American Robin
O’ tumbling, gliding, guiding river
O’ Willamette in a heavy fog
In April

O’ tumbling, gliding, guiding river
And I am in a heavy fog
Are you?

The tree breaks the wind.
Waterproof standard IPX4.
The Dawning
The World.
The clouds.
God before the truth rays.

[Jehovah (Into whose ears) they pour hearsay vanities, and most of them are liars.]

Turn and Grow
His work is making watches

[Are they the most appropriate people to receive this information?]

God created the heaven and the earth.
Comes in pair
Nobody to bring her food.
Track Name: Magic Scream
Although alone
I can connect
With

Infinite scroll
Filled with the text
Of

Light life
Right life
Rectangular movement
Time spent above
Circular ruins
I’m a dream of
Dream of

Although I’m known
I am projection

Infinite drone
Mirror and reflection

Light life
Right life
Rectangular movement
Time spent above
Circular ruins
I’m a dream of
Dream of

Something’s wrong
Uh something isn’t right
Someone fix this
Someone make it right

“Hi!” to the hopeful line
Hie to the hopeful line

I’m moving on
I’m moving wrong
I’m moving on
I’m polygone
Track Name: Lincoln's Sparrow
I’m gonna run again, run again, run again!

But we will find (find) a way.
They sat in the shade (shade) of a tree.
Let me count the ways, there's one, two, three (three).

You and me go round and round (and) (round).
Under breath (and round and).
You will find a kettle in the room (room).

Mother's bird is sitting on the nest (nest).
Hatch all three (three) eggs.
My father's birds (birds) fly (fly) (under breath breath).
Track Name: Person Mythology
I almost lost my mind
I was twenty-five

I was afraid of life
So I stayed inside

Curled up in darker time
‘Til I felt alright

Ran hard in total night
Until I knew why

[...]

More silver on my head
Where have I been led?

To an adjoining zone
Should not care to stop

And when the cricket came
Yet that pendulum

Summer and winter blurred
But I’m open now

[...]

“Red Ridge, only
An hour from here.”

“No, I’m not.
It was within our power.”

Review First Half.
He did his best.
Track Name: Three Sisters
Volcano, you know me well
In a moment, I could yell

You’re giving your love
To the lark

To sing it all up
To a crowd
Track Name: Floral Portal
How many times must I
Die before I get right?

If you open up the door
You’re never leaving
Never even

Floral hill and river view
Are where you’ll learn it
Where you’ll learn to

Bloom

Blooming grounded
Toward the light ‘bove
Stems and stamens
Carpel petals

Pollination
Through drones and wind
Orchid violet
I won’t die yet

Though enclosed the
Equinox has
Found me in
Eternal winter

Honeycomb and hexagons
I’m everywhere
I’m everything now
Track Name: Rhododendron
Becoming light
I just might
O’ sunlight
I just fight

When I'm trapped
In tesseract I can
Feel the acreage
Of time beforehand

And present forest
O’ before this I want
To be there—want
To be with there

I was reading ahead
But the waiting is dread
I was reaching what left
But the waiting is death

When I'm trapped
In tesseract I can
Feel the orbital
Sing—but I can’t get

Toward your chamber
And forward anger
Know dimensions
Where she said that you [...]

“From five to seven”
That’s where you live, huh?
Track Name: Steller's Jay
I am becoming alive…

There is some kind of
transcendence.
When birds die, birds fall.
Yes, there is some kind of seal.
Because I have not called like life
The D is silent
Nature is good
Makes one of us.
The earth is one of the planets.
In the past day
There is no shame in it.
- Naturally
As I am in him.
I do not know any of them.
There are people who are
important to me I’m not going to
die!
/further/further (an)/
- We don’t ever speak.
Track Name: Holographic
What is all this racket
Racket in my upper half
Flying automatic
Where I was to where I am

Labyrinth holographic
Telling me what I should do
Little ghosts expanding
They’re not going anywhere

What if I could transcend
Transcend present grief and pain
And if I could pass through
Walls that keep myself from view

Labyrinth holographic
High priest of good things to come
Little hopes expanding
I’m not going anywhere
Track Name: Deseret Telescope
If I talk to the night
I will need some new eyes
If I walk through the night
I will move without sight

You can be that type of night I guess
You can be the something-else-than-quiet
When you move

If I talk to the sky
Will the words cut in line
If I talk to you right
Will the words come in rhyme

You can be that type of night I guess
You can be the something-else-than-quiet
When you move

Solar flare
O’ nightmare
When you go out

Solar glare
So unfair
That you go out
Track Name: Synchronized Swimming
Unknown
I’m at your door

When we moved here
Two years ago
I was young
And full of hope

Now twenty-eight
All I can say is
I don’t feel at home

But can we ever
Know ourselves
Or can we know our road

Or is life just
A winding case of
Spiral, jetty oh’s

Can I take it back ah or I
Can I make it back to Eden?
Can I take it back ah or I
Can I make it back to Even?

Give unto me the breath of life
The universal sigh

So I may leave the garden wall
And find my other side

Oh made-of-earth and marrow love
Where have you gone to hide

Just let me hear some other words
I don’t need much time

Oh known
I’m at your door

Do-ti-mi-re-do-ti-la-so

Will you be there?
Will we meet there?

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