The Calculated Dream

by Eliot Rose

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about

I began recording The Calculated Dream in fall of 2005, about a year after I decided to quit making music. I had been playing synth-pop in Portland, and the hassle and stress of booking tours got to me, so I decided to take a break, maybe forever. One day I was biking to work and I got hit by a car, and I used the insurance money to buy an electric thumb piano. I holed up in my room, sketching and tinkering around on the thing. It was hard not to play. The next summer I took a trip to Japan, and spent long stretches without anyone to speak English to, during which I started writing songs again.

Then I moved to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and the Eastern European winter provided a good occasion to hole up and learn the art of digital recording. I lived down the next to a conservatory, and when I opened up the windows come spring I heard operatic fragments and overlapping quartets drifting up the street. Someone loaned me a Soviet-era synthesizer and I found a shortwave radio at the flea market. A lot of these sounds ended up filling in the gaps between the plinking of the thumb piano keys, and entirely overwhelmed it on some tracks.

After a year I moved back to Portland into a whole house--hell, a whole town--full of instruments, and a lot of friends helped me to ready the album for release. It took some time, and none of it was spent in the studio, but that's part of the charm.

Download includes my hand-drawn cover art for the album.

credits

released August 8, 2008

additional mixing - Mike Jones
mastering - Nathan Moomaw
thumb piano manufactured by David Bellinger

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all rights reserved

about

Eliot Rose Portland, Oregon

Eliot Rose is the stage name of American musician Eliot Rose. eliotyrose.tumblr.com

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Track Name: No One Whom to Tell My Story
I've been traveling far from home
Searching vainly for some glory
And returning all alone
No one whom to tell my story

Winged shadows fill the air
And secret beasties rule the evening
I've no one to whom to say my prayers
I've no one whom I can believe in

The wind is tugging at my sleeves
And whispering sweetly through the forest
I make my bed among the leaves
No one whom to sing my chorus

(Lalalala la la lalala la la la)

I travel quickly as I can
To stay ahead of the machinery
That's been creeping 'cross the land
And devouring all the scenery

I've a love I lost in time
She may even not yet know me
But when I hold her little hand in mine
She will be my one and only

(Lalalala la la lalala la la la)

I'll be back from far away
To return the things I've borrowed
Though there's no numbering that day
It'll come as surely as tomorrow

When I shine my little light
When I get all up in glory
Before my mind runs out of sight
I'll have someone whom to tell my story
Track Name: Broken Bones
Broken bones
Hairline fractures in your cranial dome
Trickling blood onto the paving stones
You were far from home
And you were all alone
Singing your last song of broken tones

Broken backs
Spinal fluid leaking through those cracks
Vision dimming as your heart attacks
Just a fade to black
Then your jaw goes slack
And when you die you're never coming back

What a shame to crack open your skull when it's so full of song
What a loss to have lived your whole life for these melodies now gone
But when they entered our skulls through our earholes we all sang along

Broken heart
Nested in a ribcage blown apart
Skylight brightening as your ghost departs
It looks back from afar
As your head lies ajar
Pouring out last thoughts like migrant stars

What a shame to crack open your skull when it's so full of song
What a loss to have lived your whole life for these melodies now gone
But when they entered our skulls through our earholes we all sang along

Slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, dying...
Track Name: Brightness and the Blood
Brightness and the blood were swirling sparks around our eyes
And we saw visions in sun-blindness when we stared up at the skies
In secret regions of the summertime where stars were turning pirouettes
We sat on the horizon wearing nothing but our silhouettes
At all
You know that we invented numbers
Just to count up all the wonders
That we saw
So we kept watch and we waited
We sat out on the overpass until the roads returned to grass
And gravel then we travelled
Through continents and centuries until one day eventually
We heard the sweet song of liberty

And with its soft strains
Breezing through our brains
It felt good to be free again
Beneath this vast sky
Just to be alive
Is quite a thing to be my friend

Brightness of the sun was burning holes into our eyelids
And we couldn't sleep 'til twilight when the sky turned dusky violet
In the nighttime stars and constellations crept through our incisions
When we woke we rubbed our eyeballs they were bulging out with visions
From our skulls
Our teardrops glistened like TVs
They flew away like flocks of geese and gulls
So we pondered and cogitated
What began with brainwaves feebly formed
Emerged as babies easily born
And multiplied 'til we realized
We too were born once way back when
It felt so good we can't wait to be born again

And with their refrains
Breezing through our brains
These songs will set us free again
And if you ask why
We are still alive
Well there's nothing else to be my friend
Beneath the bright stars
You will go quite far
If you make believe you can

Brightness and the blood were guiding specters through the skyways
And our ghosts were set migrating when they left our bodies sideways
To secret regions of the summertime where stars were spinning in their graves
When you ain't got any money you've got nothing but your soul to save
At all
You know that we invented numbers
Just to count up all the wonders
That we saw
Some spoke of God up in the blue
But you know what we invented him too
And he's just like me and you
You know the words we spoke were truest
When his light was shining through us
He said it's all right
He'd say it's all right
We say it's all right
Track Name: New Secret Weapon
Seems like
I've been living in a dream-time
Flashing hand signs
Gazing at the passers-by
And dropping my eyes
When theirs meet mine

Eavesdrop
I've been hanging from your rooftop
Shiver and shine
Hair and wires intertwined
In the moonlight
All blue/white

Phone lines
I put a wiretap on your spine
Plug it into mine
Now my body pantomimes
When you move
I move too
As you do

You'll catch me slipping through your dreams when they don't end up as you'd reckoned
As if the sky were a screen on which the beam from your brain was projecting
So put your head between your knees if you feel in the least bit threatened
But if love ain't enough I got the new secret weapon
For you...

You give me eyestrain
I put a microphone in your veins
Shake and convulse
Moving to the beat of your pulse
When you inhale
My limbs flail

My heart flutters
Lighting one fuse with another
Voltage and sparks
Jumping cross the open arcs
Tween my lips
And your lips

(I pulled my hood up
I clutched my drawstrings tight
As if to keep these secrets safe inside my mind

I felt your palms so hot
They burned right through my own
I knew their contours like a bar code etched into my bones)

Satellites dance
When our fingerprints change hands
Time to make plans
Time for you to understand
That it's all right
It's all right
It's all right

I keep my fists in my sleeves but they could come unsheathed at any second
And if you look into the dark you might see a hidden fingertip beckon
So keep your head between my knees if you feel in the least bit threatened
But if love ain't enough I got the new secret weapon
For you...
Track Name: The Calculated Dream
(instrumental)
Track Name: The Infinite Gloom
I've got some things to make believe in
I've got memories dim but vivid in the night
Like distant stars
Hung from such great heights
But they shine so bright

I think of you most every evening
Of our many dreams dispersed and vagabond
As all the stars
In the sky turn on
And I sing my song

Blue, blue, electric blue
That's the color of the infinite gloom
White, white, pearly white
Shining through the holes in the deep dark night
Green, green, opalescent green
That's the color of the moon and its beams
Red, red, cadmium red
Shining through your eyelids and into your head

When I'm lying awake and I'm feeling forsaken
And so all alone in the night
Your features fade a little more each time that I retire
And before these memories expire
I just thought I'd call you up to inquire

Do you remember
Growing old and getting high
In California
Scraping stars out of the sky
With our antennas
And can we save those dreams for the nights after we die
'Cause you told me it'd be forever

Blue, blue, electric blue
That's the color of the infinite gloom
White, white, pearly white
Shining through the holes in the deep dark night
Green, green, in the nebulous green
You could conceive of the infinite dream
Grey, grey, carbon grey
That's the color of the present day

When I'm lying awake and I feel my heart breaking
I'm so all alone in the night
And in the dark I see your face but it's fading fast
Long as these memories still last
I just thought I'd call you on up to ask

Do you remember
When we would sleep through the night
And long into morning
Throwing off sparks and breathing sighs
Straight up to heaven
And can we save those dreams for the long post-mortem nights

(In the moonlight our bodies lay ghostly and godly things
Glowed through our skin in the night
We were lying awake with our hearts gently quaking
Our dream-laden breaths taking flight
When I'm asleep I still hear you whisper every now and then
And if you never call again
All I can do is remember when)

'Cause you told me it'd be forever
Yeah you told me it'd be forever
Yeah you told me it'd be forever
You told me it'd be forever
Track Name: Sweet Heart
Sweetheart, heaven help me
No more shall we part
Silence whispering and weeping
Echoing all through the dark

Sweetheart, bells and birdsong
Contrails hung with charms
Neither waves nor earthquakes
Will take you from my arms

When you lie wide awake in in the deepening evening
With no things to hold and no hopes to believe in
I'll keep my eyes closed 'cause I know you are dreaming through me

Sweetheart, where does time go
When we are apart
Evenings we spend wishing
Upon that same distant star

Sweetheart, is there heaven
Buried up there in the sky
Hidden in secret constellations
Slowly drifting by

When you lie wide awake in the dark deep and hollow
In the cold hidden places where no one can follow
I'm here to remind you tomorrow's not so far away

When we fade from heaven
Our bodies neither flesh nor flame
Shadows like coelacanths drifting
In an ocean that goes by no name
Track Name: Brazil
Brazil...
Something in me wonders where you are
When I'm driving through Sao Paulo in a stolen car
With the radio dial tattooed on my arm

L.A....
Where all my troubles seemed to far away
Where the least of every worry's knowing what to say
Keep my mouth shut, keep my insides safe from harm

Brazil...
Something in me wonders where you are
When I'm trying to catch a tan under depleted stars
Finding every faded sunburn looks the same

Tokyo...
Where the neon never lost its glow
Where the moon's beamed off of satellites to video
And every rocket flying upward sends down flames
Track Name: Gravity and Love
One day electric cityscapes sprang into life
Projecting stars onto the blank sky
Arrays of windows glowing like an insect eye in the night
I met a girl there amid the carnivals and fairs
We rode the ferris wheel through thin air
She scooped me up into the blackness of her pupils and I sighed

What secret lightning bolts could strike me?
What stars descending from above?
What strange designs in the white noise between our lifelines
Spelling out our names in gravity and love?

One year I dwelt in cellars covered with debris
While darkness bleached my body bone white
I trained my telescopes on God, I raised my lightning rod up high
I saw a girl's face arrayed 'cross constellations
Trailing braids beaded with starshine
The emptiness between her lips cast down eclipses on my eyes

What secret lightning bolts could strike me?
What stars descending from above?
What strange designs in the white noise between our lifelines
Spelling out our names in gravity and love?

What secret lightning bolts could strike me
In hidden nerves I knew not of?
What points where ley lines crossed the light years between our star signs
Spelling out our names in gravity and love?

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love, love
Love, love, love
Track Name: Heavy Are Our Heads
Time moves so fast slipping through your synapses
Your reincarnation can feel just like a relapse
When you're dying all the time
Punching holes in the hive mind
You feel like I feel a magnetism maybe something in the air
It's like the gravity is getting heavy everywhere
ahead and behind

Ooh ooh ooh ooh yeah-hah!

I sit and wonder why all the girls just pass me by
And if you ask me if get it yet I'll say "I haven't gotten much lately.
But one day soon I'll meet my lady 'neath the light of the moon
And when she asks 'do I know you?' I'll say 'yes, in fact you're having my baby.'
Oh baby baby baby!"

The girls pass me by skating 'cross my glazed eyes
I feel them swimming 'neath my skin and circulating through my spine
There comes a day when my skull gets too tight for my mind
And my teeth click and chatter while my thoughts bump and grind

Ooh ooh ooh ooh yeah-hah!

But you got down on me just like good lobotomy
I felt all the bad dreams a-draining out of me
Beginning to fade
And in the deep dark within I awoke with a start
And my eyelids fluttered like a hummingbird heart
As if to lift me away
Now my thoughts drift ahead while my body stays behind
You know that heavy are our heads and light are our minds
Heavy are our heads and light are our minds
Track Name: Time and Time Alone
Beneath the stars gently wavering
The satellites relaying
Memories
I see your face slowly float by
Behind my closed eyes
Endlessly

Do you tuck the times beneath your thumbs
Do you still taste them on your tongue
Are they memories you can have but never hold?
Do they trickle up your spine
And percolate into your mind
Or do they have you by the heart and by the soul?

Beneath the clouds aggregating
Evaporating
Everywhere
The sighs we exhale when we're thinking
Are all comingling
In the air

Do you hide your dreams beneath your hair
Or do you send them off like prayers
Are they things that you can hold but never keep?
Are these reveries like ghosts
To which your body just plays host
Or are they with you when you wake and when you sleep?

Beneath the trees gently swaying
Like shadows praying
Over me
I like awake in the moonlight
Wondering where you might
Chance to be

Do you wonder about what might have been
And all that could be yet again
And all the things that you can think but never know?
Do all the words we left unsaid
Reverberate inside your head
Or echo back from times bygone so long ago?

You can think and think again but never know
And only time and time alone can tell you so