Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Your eyes are the color of amber, lit from within by a thousand suns, kissed by the tears of Apollo. In those eyes I see the dawns first light, gentle upon my face. In those eyes, I see an eternity of time, all caught like some prehistoric being, in the moment when you look at me. Yes, your eyes are dryad eyes, filled with secret knowing, and wild teachings. I tread those paths my love, when I look into your forest eyes…

Heartwood is my heartgift to my husband, Bryan. Heartwood is fundamentally a point of convergence, a moment suspended into time caught in the space of one breath. It is the space that love inhabits, infinity in an instant, as if time stood still and all that was and all that will be is carried within the forest song of the heart. 

Written in Winter of 2008   
Heartwood - Heartwood

Lyrics

I tread the forests of your eyes
Wild paths within
Dappled sunlight moves us in circles
Gravity of a sigh 

Amber lit by a thousand suns
Drops of luminous time
I know why the aspen trembles
The leaves alight to your smile

Heartwood holds
Safe my frailty 
In your forest eyes

I’ve heard the song of the seasons
Each note the lifetime of light
And I live within each gossamer moment
Where silence hums with life

In the still between each beat of my heart
In the still between each breath I take
Heartwood`s the song
Heartwood calls home
Still is the now of always

Amber lit by a thousand suns
Drops of luminous time
I know why the aspen trembles
The leaves alight to your smile

Heartwood holds
Safe my frailty 
In your forest eyes

Heartwood calls home
Still is the now of always
Heartwood calls home
Still is the now of always

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

There is a moment in some relationships when you realize that you are so far apart, a slow drift, as imperceptible as the continents moving until the moment when you are oceans apart. And you wonder; how did we get here? Wanting to breach the gap, to find some common ground, you feel the other on the edges of you, the spaces once inhabited empty as the endless sea. Drift is about the small movements we make within relationships that either move us together or apart.

I had in my mind this idea that relationships were like a vast sea upon which the continents move, and could not get it out of my head. This formed a lot of impetus for Drift. Carried within was also a sorrow over the loss of an animal we had named `NightEyes` (after a character in a Robin Hobb book). I was quite tramatized by his death and the first line of the song was in my head when I thought about NightEyes. It seems a weird and superfluous start to a song fundamentally about a relationship, but I find when writing that thoughts and images are often juxtapositioned on top of each other, often in ways that are not apparently linked, but somehow have made a connection within my mind. 

Written in Autumn 2007 Drift - Heartwood

Lyrics

Your night eyes are so sad my love
Their dark pools my abyss
I heard the dying cry my love
Within the continental drift

Oh our continents have drifted
So far on the molten tides of time
Oh how I wonder when our shores will meet again

Once we were Pangea love, a solid entity
But the wild beauty cultivates
From shifting boundaries

Oh our continents have drifted
And the ground is not stable like it was
Oh I am lost in the shifting faults of love

Though the sea expands between us, shifting constantly
At the edge of my world is carried
Still the shape of we

Oh our continents have drifted
All these techtonic plates within our hearts leaves us divided
We are now worlds apart

Your night eyes are so sad my love
Their dark pools my abyss
I heard the dying cry my love
Within the continental drift

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

“He stretched out to her his despairing arms, eager to rescue her, or feel her form, but could hold nothing save the yielding air. Dying the second time, she could not say a word of censure of her husband`s fault; what had she to complain of -- his great love?” ~Taken from Metamorphosis by Ovid Trans. By Brookes More

I am fascinated by mythology, particularly Greek mythology. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice can bring tears to my eyes, every single time. The futility of his quest to retrieve his dead wife and the overwhelming love that just would not let him accept that she must die has always touched me. Beyond, I think the story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a poignant reminder of the frailty of our humanness and what is beautiful within that. My favorite line from the story is this `While he sang all his heart said to the sound of his sweet lyre, the bloodless ghosts themselves were weeping…`. That love, that grieve, could evoke such empathy is what calls to me when I read this myth.

When writing about myths, I do not like to simply retell the story, for there are far better storytellers than I. What is more interesting to me, is to find what about that particular myth has allowed it to stand the test of time. What is still meaningful about the story, what does it teach about the human condition, that transcends the time of it`s conception? The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has lasted over 2000 years, and it can still touch us. Societies rise and fall, cultures change, stories pass through the sieves of religion, but for a story to remain for so long, through the crumbling towers of power and thought, means it strikes to the very core of what it means to be human. And after all, love and grief is something I think we can all understand, regardless of it`s lyrical and poetic vestaments.

The original lyrics were longer and were pared down by Doug and I as we first started preproduction on the song. The following are the lyrics that didn`t make it into the song. 

This stanza originally appeared after `How can they know pain?`
Strands seep the music weeps
Searching for your ears
It’s always been you love, my muse, you’re my sanity
Crazy

This stanza originally appeared after `I can`t resist looking`.
Wake now in silence
To pain so exquisite
Her voice fades, her perfume is all that remains to me
Now

Truly it is that he looked back, that made Orpheus such a real figure in my mind. Of course, he couldn’t resist looking.

Written in February of 2007 Eurydice - Heartwood

Lyrics

I died a thousand deaths
Tears flood the banks of my eyes
One moment and everything changes
Forever

Chasms of darkness
Where shadows and fear grip my soul
A vast realm of silence, so lost, so cold
Inside

Love has led to this place
In love I will die
Or live once again

Don`t look back now
She`s one breath away
I won`t let go
Can`t accept the fate that`s told

I scream my pain to 
The gods, Queens and weavers
Who carelessly give, take and cut, how can they know
Pain?

Love has led to this place
In love I will die
Or live once again

Don`t look back now
She`s one breath away
Where is my strength?
Where`s the faith to carry on?

Warm breath upon my neck
Sweetly her lips sing my name
A heartbeat, at last love I can`t resist
Looking

Love, I thought I would die
But live on without
I`m broken inside

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Cold is the air today. Winter gasps. And her song is in my head, sad and sweet, full of longings. White are my dreams within her realm, crisp and so cold. 

Winter is a song of longing, of melancholy. There is a shape to the days we share with others. A unique form that makes the delicate intricacies of a relationship. A living crystalline shape, much like a snowflake, completely individual to those creating it, evolving, and sometimes melting away. We form matrices with those around us, and each is unique, a pattern within the universe. 

Winter barely made it onto the CD. The lead vocal was sung exactly 2 days before the mastering sessions. It all came from a beautiful mistake in which a magical string arrangement that wasn`t originally going to be written appeared in my inbox, a surprise from Doug. The strings sound like winter tears falling so softly from the sky as snow. There is a sparseness to this arrangement that haunts me. 

Written in Winter 2008 Winter - Heartwood

Lyrics

Snow is falling
Darkness falling
Winter`s calling tonight

As her sighs drift across the plains
White tears to hide my pain
She says the spring comes again
All I know is how I miss
The sound of my name in your voice
The crystalline shape of our days
Filagreed time

Stars are falling
Soft the falling
Sleep is calling tonight

When your laugh lays my dreams to claim
Bright as the fires of May
Wake to a world painted grey
All thoughts are of how I miss
The sound of my name in your voice
The crystalline shape of our days
Filagreed time

Crimson the dogwood lays
Furrows of memory wane
Bleeding the heart
And I know that you`re gone
The tracks that we`ve laid wisp away

Snow is falling
Darkness falling
Winter`s calling tonight

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Hurricane is a story of possession, the kind of obsessive love that pulls you in with its intensity, knocks the breath right out of your lungs and has you desperately searching for solid ground again. Why stay, except that the air is electric with desire, why stay but for the sweetness of being obsessed over. It is the story of needing to feel loved and then trying to find oneself again after being consumed by it. 

A lot went into the creation of this song. One of the first impetus` was a dream that my husband had. He woke up one morning and said `I had this dream about a song you wrote that was a video and I was watching the video and it went exactly like this`. He proceeded to lay out the video in exquisite detail and ended by saying, `the last notes of the chorus sounded like…la da di da da la di da` ~laugh~. An amazing dream, but not much musically to go on. Hurricane was a painstakingly slow song to write. I wrote and rewrote lyrics, worked for months and months on how to structure the song and had endless conversations with myself about `what was I trying to say`. I drew a lot from experiences I have had with obsessively possessive people, including one romantic relationship I had which left me shell shocked, numb and crying almost every day. I also drew from non-romantic relationships that bordered on possession. It was grueling at times, and though I am generally a positive and upbeat person, Hurricane has been a song that purged a lot of memories, and leftover pain. For anyone who has ever wondered `How did it get to this? How did I get to a point where I allowed myself to be treated like this?`, this song is for you. I have thought those thoughts, and at one particularly low point I wondered if I would ever laugh again.

Written in Spring of 2008 Hurricane - Heartwood

Lyrics

You`re a whirlwind, came in like a summer storm
Temptuous heat, precipitous release
Moving through everything I knew
I`m surrounded by you
Caught in your eyes, their dark restless seas
Take possession of me
Oh love is all I can see

You felt real in my cut-throat world of make belive
Savage ire, insatiable desire
I dance through your moods
Trying to subdue the trust I once knew
I`m sacrificed on the altar of you
Is this what it means to be loved
Loved by you
I can`t stand your lies anymore

In the eye of the storm you were so sweet
Oh so sweet
But you are what you are
And the storm it brews inside
Why, why why oh
Why must you be a hurricane?

Good intentions fill the empty space between
Battered words and never being heard
Crushed by this need that won`t let me breathe
Your storm surge of jealousy
I`m going insane, I`m losing my way
In this deluge of pain
I need some shelter again
I can`t live like this anymore

Ine the eye of the storm
You were so sweet
Oh so sweet
But you are what you are
And the storm it brew inside
Why, why, why oh
Why must you be hurricane?
Why must you be a hurricane?
Why must you be a hurricane?

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Can we forgive the sins of others upon us? Can we find our way from the darkest corners of humanity into light? This is a question I have struggled with, having seen the pain and torment people are capable of inflicting upon each other while working with Child and Family Services. Light was written as a way for me to come to grips with the sadness of all those stories I heard, of all the tears I held in my heart, of such ragged desire to simply be loved. And perhaps it was written as a way to forgive.

Light was resung at the end of a very long day of singing. We decided to just try a new vocal on it and did a couple of takes of it. I am pleased with softness of this version and can envision even a completely different arrangement which includes cello

Written in 2004
Light - Heartwood

Lyrics

In light, forgiveness comes
The shadows fall away
At night, the shadows pray
For just that glimpse of sun

And if I could, I’d melt away
If just to once be free of pain
In light the darkness fades
And memory slips away

In light redemption comes
To wash away the past
At night the thoughts that plague
Are searching for the light

And if I could I’d fly away
On wings of wax, released of chains
In light the shadows fade
And memory slips away

And in my heart, I know the key
The light inside will set me free
The past is done, must let it be
The light inside, will set me free

In light salvation comes
As light and dark are one
At night the shadows play
They’re just one side of light

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Twilight was written as a wedding gift to my brother, Peter and his wife. I have to admit that I am a hopeless romantic, if that isn’t completely evident in the song. The beauty inherent in loving another never grows tired or old to me. To love another, to want to share in their life, to be rooted in their memories and experiences is I think one of the most basic of all human desires.

I looked at my own wedding ceremony for some inspiration within this song, which was very natural and organic. And no, it wasn`t the `to have and to hold`. To write about love always brings up cliches, it`s impossible to not sound sappy at times, so I just went with the sappiness.

This version of twilight includes a violin pad that forms a rich texture underneath the vocals. The vocal performance is different from the one on `Light`, a more dreamy and etheral approach to the song.

Written in February, 2006 Twilight - Heartwood

Lyrics

In the twilight between night and day
I can see in your eyes the newborn stars 
And I know that I`m loved, I know that I`m loved
For your heart beats in time with mine.

Chorus:
And I can see in your eyes, eternal sunrise
Full of hope, full of love for all of my days
As we stand hand in hand to face the winds of time
I can trust in your love for me

In the dark night when the road, it seems so long
And the moon can`t be seen in the inky black sky
I will look to my side, to see your shining light
For I know it will lead my home

Chorus

To have and to hold in sorrow and joy
A ring of the sun and moon
And I vow to be true for all of my days
To drink of life`s cup with you

Chorus

In the still morn, when the day engulfs the night
And the white morning star still burns in the sky
I will rise with you love, to face whatever comes
In my heart we are always one

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Children of Lir comes from a Celtic myth of the same name. From the first moment I read it I was struck, perhaps because it is a story of 3 brothers and a sister, an echo of my own life, or maybe just by the frail beauty of the swans and the lonesome cry of death. How do you cope when paradigms are shifting around you, when all that you know crumbles into a new system of beliefs? Who are you if you have no place of belonging?

Written in Autumn 2007 Children of Lir - Heartwood

Lyrics

When on feathered wings take flight
Oer the hills, beating the time
To the swans final song
Sung so sweet, sung for so long

As they leave rocky shores
Flying west with the sun
And I watch from the land I love
My past come undone

Oh Children of Lir where have you gone?
The hills they are bare but echo your song 
Echo your song
The stones silently fall, and where do I belong?

On the hollow faerie mound
The silence calls, mocking the time
When the swans haunting song
Carried far, resounding strong

As their stories they drift
Upon the stormy seas
Lost in the waves of time
The island, it is me

Oh Children of Lir where have you gone?
The hills they are bare but echo your song
Echo your song
The stones silently fall, and where do I belong?

When the bells so loudly toll
An anthem rung, drowning the sound
Of the swans final song
Silver notes, fading withdrawn

Change swiftly comes 
On the wings of a dove
The voices once heard are gone
Where are they love?

Oh Children of Lir, where have you gone?
The hills they are bare, but echo your song
Echo your song
Oh Children of Lir, where have you gone?
The hills they are bare but echo your song
Echo your song
The stones silently fall, and where do I belong?
Do I belong?

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Winter’s sorrows cast such long shadows, the weariness of a grief that you cannot find your way out of. And yet, within the darkness of the howling night there is a point where you lie exhausted within the depth of your sadness and finally lay the seeds of love lost down within the snow to find their way back to spring.

Originally The Juniper had an extra verse where at this point there is only an instrumental section. When Doug and I were first looking at this song, we both agreed that it needed a little bit of space within without the voice. In between the 3rd chorus and 4th chorus seemed to be the best place. What is ironic is that the lyrics we cut were the most evocative of what I was feeling when I wrote this song. The lyrics are included below

Oh the Juniper she’s rooted strong
Shelters all in dark earth song. 
She holds you tight within her deep, 
So weep, just sleep.

This version of the Juniper is slightly different than the one that appears on the EP `Light`. The vocals are resung and represent a more relaxed approach to the vocal performance. Background vocals were also added at the end of a very long and vocally taxing recording session. I am very pleased with how it all turned out, and feel that this version brings the song to a new hopefulness.

Written in September of 2006 The Juniper - Heartwood

Lyrics

When the west winds blow
You know, you just know
That winters a`coming
And with it snow

Oh the Juniper she stands alone
Through Decembers howling moans
So lay your sorrows down to seed 
And grieve, just breathe

When the trees are bare
And the heart it despairs
As winter, it`s here now
And you’re not prepared

Oh the Juniper she bears the thorn
Gentle `gainst the coming storm
She stands amidst the raging sky
So sigh, just cry

When the darkness comes
You want to succumb
As winters` unending
Sun can’t be found

When the storm is through
What`s left to rue
As winters` releasing
Time to renew

Oh the Juniper she stands so fair
Needled crown within her hair
So, lay your seed, release your pain
Spring comes again

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

`It is said that the faerie queen took pity on Liselle and let her live on as a butterfly, but nobody knows for sure.` said the old poplar, `But what we do know is that before this the birch had pure white bark, and now all birches are covered in little markings, the language of the birch. These markings say, `Liselle, my princess, I miss you, Liselle my love come back.` ~Taken from Liselle and the Birch Prince, a children’s story by Bryan P. Hunt.

This song was inspired by a children`s story my husband wrote called `Liselle and the Birch Prince`. The fairytale-esque story which tells the tale of how the Birch came to be marked, is centered around a cheerful and bright washer girl named Liselle, an evil prince who sets his intent to make her life as miserable as possible and the trees of the grove that come alive at night at dance. In particular, the Birch tree, who falls in love with Liselle and ultimately is saved by her sacrifice. As soon as I read the story, I knew that it was something very special indeed and would make a wonderful song. It took me over a year to write the music though, as the story is quite long and involved and I could not figure out how to condense it all into a song that wasn`t 20 minutes long! I had the chorus written for literally months and months before I was inspired to write the rest of the lyrics. Then one day I realized that I didn`t need to tell the story with all the intricacies of each character, from an objective point of view, that instead I wanted to give the Birch a voice, and tell *HIS* story. At that point, it all fell together in a matter of hours. The story can still make me cry. The last lines of the song are taken directly from the story, the rest is my interpretation. 

As a central theme to this song is the dance that occurs between the Birch and Liselle, not just physically, but the emotional dance that happens in love. To put a string quartet on this song was immensely satisfying, and fits well with the qualtzing quality of the time within this song

Written in October of 2006 The Birch's Lament - Heartwood

Lyrics

How long have I lain in this relative slumber
While the seasons they pass too many to number
Oh the woods they grow thick with their secrets and memories
And the stories are carried in bark, leaf and berry

How long must I wait to hear her voice?
Why must she pay for her selfless choice?
Oh how I long to once again say

Dance my princess
Dance Liselle, my love
Dance, dance with me

I remember the day as the cherry was blooming
And the petals they fell to her beauty alluding
So I asked for her hand which she gladly extended
And we danced in the glade while the soft moon descended

Oh how she laughed, her face aglow
Night after night we danced so
Like whispering leaves, each night I`d say

Dance my princess
Dance Liselle, my love
Dance, dance with me

How I rue the day that he followed her hither
His eyes full of thorns as she visibly withers
Though I bested him then, Liselle she knew different
For as nighttime releases, my power grows distant

Oh how could I know his heartless plan?
Asleep as I lay once day began
If only I`d known the last words I`d say

Dance my princess
Dance Liselle, my love
Dance, dance with me

And that was the last that I saw of my princess
For she led them away, her heart pounding, breathless
To the door in the hill, which is death to all mortals
Her life to save mine as she led through the portal

Come back to me love, I miss you so
I write to you love on bark of snow
The words on the birch forever will say

Liselle, my princess
I miss you Liselle, my love
Come, come back to me
Liselle, my princess
I miss you Liselle, my love
Come, come back to me

Sora
Andrea Hunt

Story

Madron Well is an actual place in Cornwall, England. Enormous trees arising from a sacred spring, and strewn upon the mossy branches are hundreds of colorful wishes, ribbons of belief, prayer and hope, to heal and protect. I took no pictures, it felt too sacred, too intrusive to try and force the awe of Madron into a hard image. It was so alive, so mesmerizing, so moving. I was singing the whole time, if not out loud, in my heart. This song is my image of Madron Well, my offering.

Springs are often dedicated to the gods, all around the world. What was most memorable about this one was that there was both the old and new faith paths co-exising side by side. It is a relatively unknown place, we were taken by a man named John Moon, on a sacred sites tour of Cornwall. We were the only people on the tour, which meant we got to see all the sites that we wanted to and could stay for as long as we liked. Most of these sacred sites would be impossible for a foreigner to find, unmarked, often lying in farmers fields, off the beaten track. Madron Well was no exception. There was nothing to mark the road that pilgrims once took to beg the goddess of the spring to heal their afflictions. Merely a worn path beneath huge arching trees whose presence was felt like a plucked string vibrating. We walked beneath the verdant leaves, whispering their secrets all around, while the sun made crystals through the canopy and the hills sung around in joy. The spring itself was a marvel, a gift of love and light, with massive trees strewn with ribbons, clothies, and everything and anything people could leave as an offering (including bus tickets and socks). And even in the dizzying array of offerings, all seemed meaningful and heartfelt, none diminished by their smallness. Yes the power of the land was strong here, as fresh as the spring morning. Down the way from the trees whose arms stretched like a goddess embracing, was the Christian shrine, laden with candles burned down to the quick in the cracks of the crumbling walls. The two sitting side by side, and all around was peace. I left Madron Well, practically glowing. I will never forget the gift of such beauty, the weightlessness of such joy. 

I wrote this song right after we got back from our trip to England, Spring 2005 Madron Well - Heartwood

Lyrics

Come my pilgrims walk the road, to my shelt`ring arms
Along the trodden forest path,`neath the canopy
Tie a ribbon, say a prayer
Whisper all your dreams
Sing a song of heart-felt praise
I will answer thee

Hear the dryads voices strong amidst the rustling leaves
See the coloured hopes of others dancing bright and free
Tie a ribbon, say a prayer
Whisper all your dreams
Sing a song of heart-felt praise
I will answer thee

Oh come to my spring
Oh come to Madron Well
Let my tears ease your suffering
Let your heart be light

Drink the sacred waters here, bathe away your pain
Then lie upon the grassy hillocks `mid the springtime flowers
Close your eyes and dream a dream
Let the visions come
Move your limbs in reverence
I will dance with thee

Sit in silence hear the songs of those that came before
Gentle murmurs of a stream endless in its course
Close your eyes and dream a dream
Let the visions come
Move your limbs in reverence
I will dance with thee

Oh come to my spring
Oh come to Madron Well
Let my tears ease your suffering
Let your heart be light

Now my pilgrim walk the path to your native land
A song carried in your heart, lightness to your step
Think of me in joy and sorrow, I am always here
Know the wellspring of your heart
For magic lies in thee

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