Little Canyons

by Timmy Vilgiate

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about

I started work on Little Canyons in January of 2013, though I had previously planned it out many times before then under different names. A great deal of the songs deal with my own depression, with loss, and with the trauma suffered by my community of Woodland Park during the Waldo Canyon Fire and the other tragedies of that summer. Almost 50 songs were recorded or drafted for Little Canyons, with some of them appearing on, "Through Cardboard Walls". The writing of the album came about very gradually, as did the recording, with the first recording of Rose starting in February and finishing in May of 2013, and the last recording on the album happening on that very song in February 2015 while mastering the album. (new bass guitar part added) I hope you'll download and listen to the entire thing, there is a wide variety of things on this album, and you'll probably find at least one song you like.

credits

released 14 March 2015

Writing and Production.

Timothy Vilgiate: Mandolin, Mandola, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Orchestral drums, Drum set, Buffalo Drum, Ukulele, Sample manipulation, programming, recording, vocals, keyboard, piano, banjo, Upright bass.
Elijah Petty: Production, Mixing, Mastering, Recording on Van Gogh, Vocoding in Patron Saints, Bagpipe manipulation in Even Summer's Cold, Removal of the Mamba in Conditional Dance.

Vocal Features and Sample Acknowledgements.

Hannah Lara: Voice on Function, Also credited with watching that one movie about Satan in the elevator with me, and attempting to drive with me to Glenwood Springs in the snow storm from hell.

Marriage of Figaro by Mozart sampled in Just Words, performed by Solveig Olsen and accidentally picked up on recorder. Asked her if I could use it. Added something from a HUM 3990 class on the renaissance, a choir, do not recall the origin.

Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega sampled in Patron Saints, rearranged into 4/4 and performed by myself while softly crying in the dark, appropriate to the song.

Kyla Valenti: Voice on Little Canyons. Putting up with me. Listening to crappy rough drafts of the songs on this album.

Sarabande by a Roomful of Teeth sampled in Parchment, composed by Caroline Shaw. Very beautiful contemporary classical music.

Micaela Davidson: Voice on New Grace, recorded in between the outbursts of noise from the boiler in her house. First person to hear the song when it was written in 2012, as well as Cadence. Made the valuable suggestion to not perform these in a falsetto.

Other Instrumentalists

Stephanie Harris: Violin on Through the Night. So much better than using a keyboard.
Lily Oram: Cello on Through the Night. My cousin, what a champ.
Joseph Irvin: Analog Synthesizer on Through the Night. Randomly invited to my house on night, next thing you know, he was on the track.
Ashley Vrtis: Alto Saxophone on Through the Night. Tolerating my awkward and miserably unpracticed "conducting"
Rachel Marolf: Trumpet on Through the Night. Hit note so high Elijah mistook it for a whistle. It took a very long time.


OH! And the cover art is by Ashleigh Hollowell. It inspired the lyrics to Little Canyons.

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Track Name: Shine Your Eyes
Shine Your Eyes
Verse.
Db Db9/13 Ebm Db Gb Fm Db C/Ab Bbm Ebm Gb Db Ab (two measures) Db (two measures.

Say something to me
Please just anything
Tell me you hate me
Or tell me you'll stay
But please just say something

Chorus no lyrics: Gb Ab Bbm Fm Gb Ab Db

Write something to me
Please just anything
Tell me you're sorry
Or say that you're afraid
But please just say something

Chorus
You don't have to know
But you don't have to go
You don't have to know
But please just say something

Bridge Bbm Gb Ebm Ab
Hide with me
Shine your eyes to me
To hear your soul more than your voice
Cry to me
Just don't lie to me
But in the end it's still your choice

Verse
Sing something to me
I don't need a symphony
I just want the words
That I haven't heard
So please just say something
Track Name: Function feat. Hannah Lara
Function
Bb Fm Ab Eb
Just because you're okay,
Doesn't mean you're doing well
Just cause you can function
Doesn't mean that much at all

Things aren't only when they fall
And you say it's nothing at all
Would you run instead of crawl
Instead of saying it's nothing
You say it's nothing at all

Just because you're alright
Doesn't mean I'm not afraid
Just because it's nighttime
Doesn't mean I'm not awake
Track Name: Rose
Rose
Bb Gm Dm C
Eyes on fire
She is staring at the brink
Throw her to the pyre
She is ready don't you think?
Light her heart into a bonfire
Pour her life into a sink
Prick a million points of light
She is ready don't you think

Oh Rose
Why do you stroke your father's whip?
Oh Rose
Don't let them bring you down to this

But their words are always
Written in ink
Can't erase the night
You just throw it to the brink
Now we wear crowns of fire
We are ready don't you think?
All hearts into the bonfire
Oh now, do you hear us scream?

Chorus, x2
Bridge: Bb F
But even through these hours
You are stronger than you could think
In your heart there's so much power
You may not but I believe
Track Name: Heart Still Beating
Chords: Bb Gm X2 Bb F Bb Eb

Hold my hand so I know your heart's still beating
Dear so young how is your life this fleeting
Sips of sacred poison and I fall crumpled to the floor
Come a little closer, I wish that I could give you more

Hold my hand so I know your heart's still beating
Hold my hand so I can feel your heart still beating next to me
Please cause I don't want to lose you now
Please cause I don't want to lose you

Why can't we make it work?
Why can't we make it easy?
In the night, you cry, sighed
No one's gonna hear me here
I'm not gonna fight you
I know I can't make you move
But I'm here and I'm not leaving
This is all that I can do.
Track Name: Just Words
All of my alibis like specks on the pavement
Deep in the nighttime like something engrained in
Time and Space, all over my head
The story slipped, written in red
Preparing to lie with the cross still left hanging
You look in my eye and you see I'm still naked
And shameless, hated, all over again
Make up my mind to forget you instead

And now we're just words
Now we're just words
We're just words
Just words

Out, out of my head
Sweep up your skeleton
And get out of my bed
Stop, paint the town red
When you dye me your colors
And I want you again

And the night sky looks like a place that we've been
Lightless and empty and over our heads
Engrained in the colors, I can't seem to forget
This motionless poetry, crying out from the dead
Excuses so useless in the circuits I've tread
Truth slips from my tongue and I can't make you forget
The way that you saw me like you tore through my heart
Saw all of my memories and saw back to the start

And now we're just words
Now we're just words
We're just words
Just words
Track Name: Patron Saints
In his image
She is blown away
A thousand folded letters like flickering flames
Over the fences and down the valley
In the harsh and open cold
All her posters, all her journals
Torn apart and flung along
And in a trillion pieces,
She can feel a trillion parts
A trillion cells and spirits
Crumpled and swirling as they land
All around beside and apart from each other
And all at once cry out like the rocks of the earth
We are legion
Until the wind dies
And she waits intently for a kind anyone to pick up the surviving remnant
Famine takes its own way until you crumble from the top in his image.

In his image.

In his image,
Patron saint of petrol turned water into gasoline
And doused the earth
And now she passes hours
Dancing in Greenland on the North Pole
Turning money into time that she can spend
In her ocean full of gasoline
Looking for a matchbox to be martyred in his image

Where the paint is fading
Frame cracks, in place
I have cradled in my bedsheets
Images of lightning smothered in a cake-pan
Great is the echo, weak is the strong man
In his image she falls to her knees
Is pierced by an arrow that slips through her teeth
Like a river, like an unsung song,
Mouthing the words the crowd sings along
They will bow to his image
Justified by his salvation

Her domination, the knee struck nation
Who will imagine this image from his perspective in a dimlit room
See the patron saints, broken bodies of our patron saints
Who have been martyred so we could watch them burn
In his image
The patron saint of magnesium lights up his eyes bright white
And burns under water
They are martyred together
We cheer from behind silent screens
The confession booth
And she in her ocean of gasoline will now be saint
In his image
She reconsiders
Breathing gethsemanee
Cross hearts, ex'd o's she accepts it all dreadfully
In his image
Now bow to his image

To his image.
Track Name: Little Canyons feat. Kyla Valenti
A///G/::C////::A///G/::C///

Am C F Am

Alternately, if you'd like to cover the song, it sounds very good in F#m, though it's a little harder to sing.

Dove, I see your anchor in the wind
Saw you tried to fly away again
And there is a nightmare in your head
Cedar houses painted red
Little Canyons in your bed
Little Canyons in your bed

I want you back
With all the things you lack
I see you move,
You move too fast.
I want you back,
Is that too much to ask
I see you move,
You move too fast.

Fallen child's picture in the din
And you went and let the sickness in
Oh, but it's a lie that you can't win
It's a lie that it's a sin
Little Canyons in your skin
Little Canyons in your skin
Track Name: Even Summer's Cold
Gm Bb Cm Bb

There's a secret that I wish you knew
I'd cross my heart, I'd swear it's true
In the rush I lost the best of you
And now there's nothing we can do
In the dark outside a windowpane
The nighttime leaves me with these wounds
In the quiet I can feel your violence
And it's tearing through the blue

Now even summer's cold when you're not around
Even summer's cold, even summer's cold

When they built it it was all just stone
And now it's quaking into life
A thousand houses scattered by the road
And when it rains, they're still left dry
It's coming in a flood
And it will wash us all away
All the things that the desert's grown
Down the river, laid to waste

Faces singing but their mouths don't move
They're only waiting for their time
When the shadow crosses out the sun
And the rivers turn to ice
I feel it in my blood
The chill inside my veins
All the things that the summer was
Now lives in Letters, empty space.
Track Name: Annabel Lee
Annabel Lee I love you
But we are distant stars
And nothing can bridge this void
Not planes not trains not cars
Annabel Lee I need you
Can I tell you how I feel?
You've not spoke but I keep speaking
Did you know across the brink?
Across the brink.

The lines we've drawn
And the wars we've fought
Disappear, rain down, let me see
Bear me in chains down to your sepulcher
I will be buried but I don't want to leave
And honestly, honestly it's hard to breath
When you're suffocating me
But I just wanna hold on
Even if we cannot breath
So now breath

Annabel Lee I see you
You are living in my dreams
Inside burnt out cities
And spaces in between
Annabel Lee I can touch you
But you're still so far away
With my eyes into your eyes
Something seperates, it seperates

These skeletons, these paper lungs
Water, locks and blood
Spark a shudder, kill the moon
Make ashes of the sun, and I'll come
Chasing jet black silhouettes
Writing complaints all day long
And truthfully, truthfully
It's mud, slipping through cracks in rocks
And blocks, a house slipping down down down down
down down down down down down down down down. (In the original draft, I did write all of those out. #toomuchtimeonmyhands)

And somewhere far away from here
Someone is wondering about me
But for my designs I'll think on him
Give him something, an inversion of me
He sleeps while I am walking
And I walk while he's asleep
I will breath while he is bending
But I'll pretend that he is free
I'll remind myself it's possible
While I try not to see
While I try not, I try not, I try not to see

That I've built the chains that break me
Built from memories
I could throw them to the ocean
But then I would lose Annabel Lee
Track Name: Van Gogh
Chords (It'd be cool if someone made this work on guitar, it'd be hard. It's fairly ergonomic on my instrument however)

F/Bbadd9/13 E/Am7 Eb/Abm F/Bbm

They say that Van Gogh
Died cold and alone
Maybe I've heard wrong
That's not unlikely I suppose
Cause it's the same with many
It's the lucky that we know
Life is hard but the pavement's harder
The waters warm but the asphalt's hotter

C# D# Bbm Bbm

And we live between the lines
In different shades of white
All our thoughts
All our lives
And I've sewn up my own eyes
That's the only way to hide
From these plots
From these designs

I'm wearing someone else's shoes
I'm inside someone else's skin
Living in their photographs
I am tallied in their ends
We have no names and only numbers
And we're never adding up
Potato eaters in our fields
And they'll never find the gun

We're cold and alone
But we're never going home
Someone said we're Van Gogh
But I don't think I'm Van Gogh
Staring at the night sky
The sky looks like it's froze
Someone said we're Van Gogh
But I don't think I'm Van Gogh, no.
Track Name: Conditional Dance
Chords: A////A////D////C//G//
Actual guitar part somewhat more complicated, involves a funky c shape thrown in on the three and four of the A's, only in the verse, if you cover this, you'll either figure it out or just decide not to do it.

Well it's nothing dreadful serious
Just a common cold I'm sure
But oh I'll take my medicine
Oh I'll take your word
I will see a doctor
I will try to calm your nerves
Not a cause to cause alarm
But I'll double cross my t's
And double cross the yard

Dance dance dance like you got a condition
I wanna see you move, I wanna see you
Give no thought to your inhibition
I wanna see you move, I wanna see you move

Interlude: A////A////D////F#//F//x2
back to normal

I've got a picture of my head
And a picture of my heart
Marked it up the color red
We marked it in the car
Flip a coin to tell the kids
We've got another set of chores
But I'll do them on my own
Yes I'll do them all alone

EVERYBODY NOW!
Chorus
Interlude
Solo
Chorus, chorus, play out.
Track Name: Parchment (Samp. Roomful of Teeth)
Like parchment stretched on a frame
The plains go on and on and on and stop
Where the mountains, swallowed in sun
Dig in their teeth
In between this is all that is my city
Like the water in the center of a sheet
Slipping through, it's dripping down,
And we are spills of ink on its surface
Being bled together losing purpose
Stories fading, until all we are
Is a faded blur of grey

On down the runway are these voices
But we don't hear them, only flying
Where we're bound already made our choices
We don't fear them, only blindly
I'm still flying
I'm still flying
I'm still up and all the world is some big microchip
Then a blip
A pale grey stone
The little side of a broken wishbone
In distant space there are no echoes
Only mouths that move in high pitched poems
The shape of fear is one great wide O
Oh my God where am I going?

My skin is desert dipped in lime
Scraped clean and stretched bare
Perfect squares, perfect sliced
Bring me your worries if nothing more
Spill blood as ink onto my thin scraped chest
Hesitance is as unused vellum
Now the aborted is our poem
And the cut lines are our road onto bound codex
I am a slave to written word
Through narrow slits
No questions just pressed pen
Dictate from grey, I am rendered open
Copied day and night verbatim
All unknown letters from my skin
Cast aside, Left to dry
Letters to myself unread
Unread.
Track Name: Elephant Parts/Elephant Party
Eleven eleven
One moment in heaven
The ecstatic promise
Rises up like the leaven
I wish, echoed in through the woods
I wish to be a bird
I wish to be a tree
I wish to crawl upon my knees
Or to learn something fantastic
Like a giraffe begun to macrame
In a wax museum incarnate
But I sincerely wish
Above anything sweet
On earth as far
As this life that I see
To be married and live by a lake
Where the children learn to ice skate
And ride on boats when the ponds not froze
And we read our bibles by the rocks
And cherish silent little talks
And someday, much older wiser and grey
Die swiftly just before I wake
They speak of travel
And learning to skate
And the birds sing,
A pleasant refrain
Something wordless that sticks in your brain.

All is grace when we are 80 surely
And we no longer have the strength
To lift guns for war
And we no longer have the strength
To tell a lie
We are beautifully weak
Before the face of time
Brittle like children, slowly grown blind
Tracing braille poems in the hospital walls
Like the sound of silence
In a tenement hall
I wish to be this kind of ship sometime
Voyaged and done
Dipped in the blood
Stained with the sea
Our water wings gone
No longer reak of chlorine
But we all stink when we're learning
Studying Elephant Parts
In the dark heart of our dreaming
Knowing that someday
The earth will devour all the secrets we're keeping.

The song is so chipper it's a wonder I didn't play ukulele through the whole thing, I mean, seriously.
Track Name: New Grace feat. Micaela Davidson
This place was where we stood
Some years ago today
Maybe not our feet
But I would like to stay
You slip on your winter coat
The fire begs you to remain
The snow fell just like ashes
You said you couldn't stay

Old friend, you seem a soldier now
Old shadows, they still cast from here and out

We're tired of funerals,
But there's something beautiful
It's grown within your soul
It's deep within the fold
And they're repaving all the roads
And all our stories left untold
There's nothing left to know
All our journals seem so old

New grace, I hope you've come to stay
Old world, as we've sailed away
Track Name: Cadence
Drone C or C5, playing: C5-A6-E6-F6
When the river rose so high (She loves, she loves the desert)
I knew it'd take us away tonight (She loves, she loves the desert)
I could not look you in the eye (She loves, she loves the desert)
Or force words from deep inside (She loves, she loves the desert)
Adonai, adonai, adonai, I have tried (She loves, she loves the desert)
Reaching out for cadence, as the piano goes to flame

G C F G C G C Bb
We all fall to pieces
Leave notes hanging in the air
Fly away like butterflies
Seeking endings as we dissipate
Resolution in a sea of pain
A sea of pain, a sea of pain

And you took it by the hand (She loves, she loves the desert)
You said you'd taken a final stand (She loves, she loves the desert)
But last notes never serve a righteous end (She loves, she loves the desert)
And the symphony plays alive to dead (She loves, she loves the desert)
In my mind, in my eyes, and in my head (She loves, she loves the desert)
Players fade as notes bleed into next (She loves, she loves the desert)

(Chorus)

Ends on C-Bb-C-Bb-C-Bb-F
Then it does this thing where I slide from the E6 (Cmajor shape), up to the octave, and then slide all the way back down. Basically just smash something.
Track Name: Through the Night feat. Ashley Vrtis, Joseph Irvin, Lily Oram, Rachel Marolf, Stephanie Harris
Chords: Eb Cm Eb Bb

I can't say that this will ever be easy
I can't say that we will ever be right
But sister if you are breaking
Call and I'll come running through the night

Through the night

I can't take the weight off of your shoulders
I can't make it seem right
But sister, if they shake you down
Call and I'll come running through the night

Through the night

Eb Gm Cm Bb

And all that I can say
All that I can do
I can't write the words
To tell you that it's true
That all that you can say
All that you, you can do
Can't stop all of us
From loving you

Back to normal

The monsters come to life in unseen shadows
Cast inside the cracks inside your hand
But sister, even if you're screaming
Call and I'll come running through the night