Breathing Machines: Narwhal Plays The Music Of Ridley Bishop

by Narwhal

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These songs first appeared on solo albums by Ridley Bishop which are also available here on Bandcamp.

All compositions by Ridley Bishop (SOCAN).
All arrangements by Ridley Bishop except Skullshining and Happiness Machine, arranged by Jared Burrows.
Front cover art by Eva Dominelli.
Recorded by Lawrence Wu and Roland Choe in February and March, 2017 at Capilano University.
Mixed by Roland Choe, Jared Burrows, and Ridley Bishop.
Produced and mastered by Jared Burrows.

Narwhal is an ensemble in the Capilano University Jazz studies program. The band is dedicated to new music and collaborations with performers and composers from a wide variety of of musical perspectives.

We acknowledge with respect that Capilano University is located on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Sechelt, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


released October 16, 2018

Voices: Natasha D'Agostino, Tahnee Juryn, Éléa Saunier, Alex Scott, Emma Song-Carillo, Kria Wall, Karen White
Vibraphone: Saul Alviar
Drums: Jameson Ko
Basses: Emilio Suarez
Guitar: Aaron Joyce
Organ: Bobby Seenandan
Piano: Clarence Sinsay
Violins: Clarice Scop, Katie Stewart
Director, bass clarinet, bass guitar: Jared Burrows

Ridley Bishop: voice, bass clarinet, bass guitar


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Ridley Bishop Vancouver, British Columbia

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Track Name: Breathing Machine
We've been together now for a little while
And we have never been apart
People have often confused me with you
It's. . .getting kind of old

I'm gonna sing to you at my funeral
And when you dream that I'm still here
That's just because I am, I am
I am
I am. . .

Breathing machine,
I know it's hard to let go,
But please try

I'm gonna bring myself above the rooftops
And be the bird I used to be
Nothing up here can ever hurt me
This is who I really am

I said to my body,
"Maybe let's just be friends?
I'm not looking for anything too serious
And I'll only end up hurting you in the end"

Breathing machine,
I know you will be just fine
Without me.
Track Name: It's Totally A Thing
They're gonna take us home
And love us, and love us
I've heard that that's a thing
We're pretty in their eyes
All of us, all of us
They're gonna let us in

Where we can sleep so comfortably
Where we won't be confused anymore

Man, everyone deserves
Happiness, happiness
It's totally a thing
And when we've earned the right
Then I guess, then I guess
We'll finally get to live

Where we won't have to eat each other
Where we will finally have our own voice
Where we'll die of old age

They're gonna take us home and love us
They're gonna take us home and love us
They're gonna take us home and love us
We're gonna get what we deserve
They're gonna take us home and love us
We're gonna get what we deserve.
Track Name: Skullshining
There'd be hinges on your skullcap
You'd take out your brain
And let it sit under the cold tap
It'd be easier than paying guys
With paper clothes and fancy knives
To hack away
At the thing

And you can't
Just take all of your skin off
Then jump in the bath
And start washing everything off
Snakes have always laughed at us
As we polish and clean the scuffs
Of everyday

When you were a child
They'd hold you
Squeeze your rubbery bones
And mold you

User's guide
Has some tips on interaction
And maintenance and care
But doesn't promise satisfaction
The craftsmanship is nearly there
But over years the wear and tear
Will need repairs.
Track Name: The Future
Falling backwards
All the air steps out from under you
To make room for the ground rushing up
So excited to meet you too

Why stare into the past when
You can leap into the future?

Why guard your own cell?

Inching forwards above your feet:
Slippery roof, street noise, and clouds below, raining up
Ledge trips over you
City spins around
Then heaves its weight on you

There's nothing left for me to do here
I'm gonna fall into the future.
Track Name: We're Not Alone
There is only one way out:
On the conveyor belt
Of the Mothership
So I've been sorting my affairs
Wrapping up them up so I
May be exclusively theirs

I didn't look, I was shown!
I've got to go home
Now that I've realized
We're not alone

So long, suckers back on Earth
You are a speck of dust
Of negligible girth

I didn't look, I was shown!
I've got to go home
Now that I've realized
We're not alone

I gotta move
I gotta go
Because we're all alone.
Track Name: Happiness Machine
Sai fill in the blanks with
Movies she’s seen, and works of fiction
All words are spoken by
“Characters,” for ease of description
She’s asleep all the time
Sleeps at the bottom of her sadness
Makes lists of cute things to
Self-distract, and tries to be a magnet
For all of the particles of dreams
That make you a happiness machine

Unthinking, space melting
No need for all of these defenses
She’s filled with endlessness
Until she comes back to her senses

Then spends the day trying to ignore
The fact that she’d rather be a corpse
And doesn’t have energy to dream
Of being a happiness machine.
Track Name: Reconstruction
Your nerves are trees
Housing a choir of insects
Who sing in every branch
Eardrums stretched tight
You let the silent minutes
Crawl across their surfaces

10% sensory
90% hallucinations
Reconstructed from memory

Static buildup
As all the ropey worms
Encircle everything
Dilate, discharge, dig deeper
Bury your groundless dreams
The logic of anxiety
That you carry in spades

Self-awareness keeps rewinding
As your body keeps reminding
You of all the lasting events
But in future tense.
Track Name: Notice More
Focus on light and shade
There's got to be some deeper meaning there
Buy a microscope. . .obsess over detail. . .
Memorize the carpet, try to stay

Trilobites and urinals
It's all around us and it's screaming out:
But we're all like, Meh, I'd rather think about

Don't you notice me?

There's a party in your mouth and you're invited
There's a party in your spit and you're invited
There's a party in your mouth and you're invited
There's a party in your spit and you're invited

Don't you notice me?
Track Name: Step Inside
Nothing is new
Mind made of muscle memories, habits formed
I’ve tried, but patterns are just too hard to break

Hands feel like pockets
Eyes look like movies playing on repeat
I want to love myself and be real again

Step inside. . .
Try this body on. . .

Into a dark room
They show me to a seat somewhere on the floor
Then suddenly I’m not in me anymore. . .

Step inside. . .
Step inside. . .
Step inside. . .
Step inside. . .
Try this body on. . .

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