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Know
Orchestra

Know
Orchestra

Know
Orchestra

this is it
this bit
this instant
brightly lit
but sight unseen
not has been
or will be
but right in between

now, now, now, now, now,
now, now, now, now, now,
Here we are!

this is it
this bit
this instant
brightly lit
but sight unseen
not has been
or will be
but right in between

now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now,
Here we are!

Know
Know

Graphic image of Know Orchestra, Todd, Dan, Val, and Ima are all screaming, while Gary's face is serious.

 

Shut up
Shut up
But don’t shut down
Shut up
Shut up
What a glut of sound

That floods the market
Floods the square
Floods the basement
Floods the air
It floods my head
And fills me whole
I hear it’s drowning out my soul

And shut up
Shut up
Chorus in my brain
In every key
You raise the strain

You raise the kids
You raise the dead
You raise a million ways to dread
the haze of trying to make choices
Which is mine in all these voices?

I’m here
I’m here
I’m here
I’m here

I can hear
I can hear
I can hear
I can hear

I’m a satellite dish
I’m an empty cup
I’m a wide receiver
With both hands up

I’m a bow and a quiver
and a bud in the spring
a long hollow tube
and an unplayed string

From my heart to my hands
From my lungs to my limbs From my nerves to my knees
From my tonsils to my toenails
From my bald head to my bunions

I’m all ears
I’m all ears
I’m all ears
We’re all ears

So
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Hit it!
Then shut up!

 

Overwhelmed and lost,
exhausted,
frosted,
tossed about
gave in,
sold out,
slave to the weather
within and without;
No intent or purpose –
on the surface, just surviving –
Don’t think! Don’t sink!
Sing a song and float along,
is it so wrong to not look down?
I’m not alone, I’ll say the word:
a name you’ve heard,
not plane or bird, it’s…

Super Fish, Super Fish
Flying through the shallow waters
Super Fish, Super Fish
Save us from the deep

I’m concerned you’ve learned
to turn your yearning off
and not feel
Wake up, just deal –
Shake off complacency,
take on what’s real
Underneath is wonder,
teach the fundamental stories;
Doorways, vistas;
History, the human race,
why can’t you see past your own face?
Elitist maybe
but at least I’m not defeatist,
listen – don’t be…

Super Fish, Super Fish
Flying through the shallow waters
Super Fish, Super Fish
Frightened of the deep

Splash of faces,
grace,
a place,
a taste,
sensations of mind;
Flashing,
passing,
washing away
in the ocean of time
Love of life,
the laugh,
the lift,
the light,
the lullaby of color; Lover, mother;
Borne by water to a world of want
where we would wish that we could
have our fill and never suffer
but instead
we’re had for supper…
we all are…

Super Fish, Super Fish
Flying through the shallow waters
Super Fish, Super Fish
Eaten by the deep

 

Grieving and restless
I leave before breakfast
and recklessly cross
the new eight-lane highway

By way of the old house
unsettled by sold ghosts
I turn where the freight trains
once rattled and rolled

Wild overgrown woods,
my soul leaps for childhood,
and jumps the tracks back
to those warm leafy days

The trees and your face
and the safety and sunlight,
a longing as long
as my arms can embrace

I enter the clearing
and sense I am nearing
the center, the core,
the wound from the first war:

Will you be under the tree, rooting for me?

Child of my own
he is far from all grown
with his limbs like the limbs
of this young apple tree

He climbs up it slowly
my worry his gravity
eyes where the jet planes
make trails in the sky

Don’t fly yet! Pain’s threat
has me fearful and petty,
not ready to join
in your wild cheerful fun

You reach for life’s fruit
while I stand stooped and stunted,
and haunted by death
though your life’s just begun

You look down at me
from your place in the tree
and ask where I will be
so I tell you what’s true:

I’ll be underneath the tree, rooting for you.

Their lives were like leaves,
on a branch in the trees,
each with only a season
to dance on the breeze

But they spread out in families,
we’re under their canopy –
from Maine to the Great Plains
they scattered their seed

Their story’s the source
of our brains and our bodies
The course of their lives
courses live in our veins

They speak in our dreams
and peer out from our mirrors
Our features are teachers
that something remains

I kneel by the tree
and in tears I will trust
that the world needs the seed
and the leaf and the dust –

And they’ll be underneath the tree, rooting for us.

 

Take in this summer’s day
The hum of life at play
The same sweet wind
Outside and in
And all is easy…
Except me –
I can only see the ground
Because even Eden harbors evil
And there’s a new snake in town:

Tick tick
it’s no picnic when you picnic on us
you hide inside our paradise
to all that pleases you bring diseases
Tick tick
I’m too chicken I’ll get sick and so
I don’t set foot where you reside
I just stay put and sit inside
I’m not wild I’ve been exiled
from the garden

Tick tick
You can’t pick
When you get sick
The clock
Ticks and tocks
And talks to me
Of aging and infirmity
All nature’s got it in for me!
It’s targeting my skin and brain
I’m wrong inside
I just feel pain
My ache and shame
The mark of Cain
Is a bull’s eye!

Tick tick
We’re more alike than you might think
But you’re more a mite
So you don’t think
And you’d sure like a mighty drink
Of our blood –
But we have a thirst too,
But we’ll do you one worse, we’ll
Suck the whole earth dry
So we can grow and thrive
And spew exhaust and fumes
To show who’s boss of whom
You insects and your germs
We’ll disinfectant and learn to
Cloud the sky with spray so we can wash away this
Silt of guilt and filth and illness until at last we can…

Take in this summer’s day
The hum of life at play
The same sweet wind
Outside and in
And all is easy…
Except us –
We can only see the ground
And things don’t look better for after the fall:
It’s the same snake after all.

 

In between the scenes
I sit off screen
Unknown, unseen
Uneasy alone

Caught within
This case of thin skin
Face to face with my
Thoughts, mistakes, and sins
Get me out of this place!

Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now,
Get me out of here.

In between the good songs
Are wrong ones:
Flat pancakes of tunes
That can’t be over too soon

Words inert
Like dead birds in dirt
Insightless, flightless dreck
Respect!
I just want to connect…

Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now,
I am likable.

In between what’s here
And dreams
I veer
So far, so near…
The story’s unclear

I’d prefer a sure ride to high ground
Not this slide down
To stuck in muck town out of luck but
It’s where I’ll be found

Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now,
Here I am.

In between my breaths
I catch the whiff of death
What’s come,
What’s left,
The gift of regret…

This is it!
This bit
This instant
Brightly lit
But sight unseen
Not has been or will be but
Right in between

Now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now,
Here we are.

 

Slow dough rises with me in the morning
Slow dough keeps me up in the night
I don’t know where it thinks it is going
I’ve been slow for all of my life

I know bread can be made from poetry
Sustenance you can get for a song
But it can take more than a lifetime to make it
The universe’s verses are long

What do I have to offer the world now?
Half baked and dense, potential unmet
I have yeast in me yet I will reach you!
Or I’ll get wherever I get

Now the world showers dough all around us
it lies here like the dew upon the grass
We gather it up, while praising the weather
though we know that this too shall pass

So take and eat – let’s have our communion
You can have me all for yourself
Hurry up while I still can sustain you
Before I get stale and expire on a shelf

 

I lose a word sometimes
I know that I should know
The syllables just go
Without reason or rhyme

I lost a face last year
I used to know so well
The stories I can’t tell
Gone without a tear

I lost a thought last week
I think showed me a way
To get me through the day
What was it that I seek?

I lost a dream last night
It fell out of my head
I fell out of my bed
I try to hold on tight

I lost a word today
Now everything’s a thing
And if you’re still listening
There’s not much left to say

I found a word just now
It’s been here all along
I’ll put it in this song
And then I’ll take a bow

 

Knock, knock
Nocturne
Turn who?
Return to
Your locked room
And turn the key
The key to keep
The song in

Knock, knock
Knock on wood
The hollow wood
Of Hollywood
Would you know?
Would you go?
If folly stood
Outside your door?

Turn, turn
To salt and spice
Each season of the year
Is nice
Let day spring
And night fall
Death comes
For great and small

Your shadow which had known dawn and noon
now will linger long to meet the moon
with weakened source it thins and ends
And bends towards where it begins again

Knock, knock
Then fling the door wide
Music rings
From inside
Your turn
A nocturne
A song
to sing the night in

Graphic image of Know Orchestra, Todd, Dan, Val, and Ima are all screaming, while Gary's face is serious.

Web Design by Doodles&Code

© 2022 Know Orchestra
Dan Shaud

Piano, voice, french horn, composer, arranger

Sentient Beings In Outer Space

Yes, probably, but so weird we can’t begin to imagine what they’re like.

Secret Talent

Playing melodies by knocking on my head with my mouth open.

Weirdest Hobby Or Interest

I really like tree swings.

A Vista That Made Me Gasp

The view from Chickatawbut Hill at the Blue Hills Reservation (in Milton, MA) in the fall.

Favorite Juicy Creature

Maggie the wonder dog, who drools a lot.

Gary Fieldman

Percussion

Sentient Beings In Outer Space

No.

Secret Talent

Double parking.

Weirdest Hobby Or Interest

Sitting in cafes scheming what I’ll be when I grow up.

A Vista That Made Me Gasp

View from bridge into Turners Falls Mass.

Favorite Juicy Creature

?

Valerie Thompson

Cello & vocals

Sentient Beings In Outer Space

Yes!

Secret Talent

I can lose anything in my room if you give me a chance.  If you need anything disappeared, I’m your gal!

Weirdest Hobby Or Interest

I really like gambling only I don’t ever do it and mostly I just like to bet on random things that could occur on a given day.

A Vista That Made Me Gasp

Looking into the Cliff Palace Canyon Dwelling at Mesa Verde.  10/10!

Favorite Juicy Creature

I guess that little wasp that dies inside of figs…  not that it is juicy but you know, it helps produce an awfully juice fruit!

Todd Brunel

B-flat & bass clarinet

Sentient Beings In Outer Space

I have to look up that word…do you mean space aliens?

Secret Talent

I don’t have a secret talent.

Weirdest Hobby Or Interest

I want to learn how to tap dance.

A Vista That Made Me Gasp

When I hiked up the side of a mountain in the middle of the Swiss Alps. Another one was when we were in the Carpathian.

Favorite Juicy Creature

The gummy bears my kids give me.

Know History

Since 2001

Know Orchestra is a quintet of violin, cello, clarinet, piano, percussion, and voice.  We first formed as a trio in 2001, growing out of the free improv and third stream scene in the Boston area. Our projects have ranged from in-the-moment settings of Kerouac texts to microtonal music to interactive children’s concerts.

Our latest project is a set of songs by Dan Shaud. The lyrics are webs of rhymes, puns, and word play in the spirit of rap and Dr. Seuss. The music blends the colors and nuances of chamber music with the energy and spontaneity of experimental jazz and free improv.

The members of Know Orchestra have individually worked with artists such as Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, Bill Frisell, Björk, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, George Garzone, The Irish Tenors, The Mountain Goats, Andromeda4, and the Mingus Orchestra, to name a few.

Íma Jonsdottir

Violin & Vocals

Sentient Beings In Outer Space

I plan to find out when I am 90 years old and have my last wish fulfilled, to be shot into space!

Secret Talent

Braiding hair and playing Tetris in my grocery cart.

Weirdest Hobby Or Interest

Dragon Boating!

A Vista That Made Me Gasp

Every sunset in my native Iceland, especially the ones behind mountains.

Favorite Juicy Creature

My son Oskar … nutritious, and VERY juicy.

Stay tuned for new releases and live performances

Know Orchestra e-mails will be few and far between.  That’s a promise!