Songs from the Rainshadow's Edge

by Arkora

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Arkora's debut album features Benton Roark's Songs from the Rainshadow's Edge. Described as "a dark and interior vision” (Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight), this five-part work is a lush and hauntingly poetic journey across the threshold of psychic rupture and back again, incorporating existentialist, Buddhist, and Jungian philosophies. Scored for soprano, flute, viola, bass, electric guitar, percussion and narrator.


released March 24, 2015

Songs from the Rainshadow's Edge
A song cycle in five parts by Benton Roark
Performed by Arkora

Kathleen Allan, soprano
Amelia Lukas, flutes
Brendon Randall-Myers, electric guitar
Jonathan Allen, percussion
Anne Lanzilotti, viola
Samuel Suggs, double bass
Mary Barry, narration
Maya Levy, narration

Recorded by William Gardiner, assisted by Koh Kazama, Sprague Hall, New Haven, CT
Additional recording by
Jim Stafford at Eclipse Recording, St. Augustine, FL
Charlie Barfoot at Topsail Tracks Music Studio, St. John's, NL
Maya Levy and The Music Room, Walthamstow, London, England
Mixed by Benton Roark at Valentine Studio, Banff, AB
Mastered by Guillermo Subauste at Pacha Sound, Toronto, ON
Artwork by Jeanne Stern

Poetry by Benton Roark
Additional spoken text drawn from various sources

Frédéric Amiel, Journal Intime
Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Meister Eckhart, Sermons
Léon Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys, Les rêves et les moyens de les diriger
Aldous Huxley, "Man and Reality"*
Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
Suzanne Segal, Collision with the Infinite

*"Man and Reality" by Aldous Huxley. Copyright 1942 by Aldous Huxley. Originally published in Vedanta for the West.
Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. for the Estate of Aldous Huxley.

Released March 2015, Redshift Records (TK444)
Phonographic copyright 2015, Arkora Music
Copyright 2014, T. Benton Roark


all rights reserved



Redshift Music Vancouver, British Columbia

Redshift was founded in Vancouver, Canada with a focus on championing the music of contemporary composers.

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Track Name: Shift
I. Shift

One Wednesday long ago,
I fell into a dream
And ever since don’t know
If things are what they seem.

‘T was at that old café
Over on the east end –
In the park children played
As the trees in the wind,

And on the sidewalk there –
In shadow, then in sun –
I saw two eyes that stared
Into mine, like had none.

The world then shifted to
The left, as I recall.
I swear I had no clue
How near the brink, the fall.

One glance – that’s all it took,
And life detached from self,
The former now a book
The latter pulls from shelf

To read now and again,
To laugh, to wonder what
Predicament it’s in
Before bedtime, then shut…
Track Name: Our Woes, Our Days
II. Our Woes, Our Days

rain spattered in the city by the sea,
spittle on my window and salt in my tea,
morning sands have long since slipped underneath
the lapping tongues of day’s tide, and woe’s me
on the porch now sunk and sloped off with the weather,
striking soggy matches under umbrellas
broken springs past, and while the cigarette
lasts, the woe’s a little bit better
stories down by the basement suite below
lie the wet remains of one such sweet woe’s
release, brown paper guts all expanding slow
in puddle rain on the patio
and in garden drain, whose water by muddy rivulet winds
its way to alley and is hard to find
in the tangle of shed roofs, powerlines –
a damp web plastering the gray paper sky
bloated with the dead dreams of yesterdays
past, let loose like prayers by porch-treading gazers
like me when we snuff out smokes in trays
and head back in to face our woes, our days
Track Name: Heart’s Veil
III. Heart’s Veil

Upon my heart there fell a veil
Spun of silk and rain
And long departed dreams as pale
Ghosts returned again.

Within these chambered walls I feign
Not lift veil nor eye,
Content to watch through foggy pane
Desires drifting by.

They mourn my quiet shape, but why?
For pain holds no lease
Upon my heart, now alone I
Dream, at last in peace.
Track Name: On Mirror Pond
IV. On Mirror Pond

Let me take you child anon,
Down, down to mirror pond.
You’ll see what lies beneath
The water.

I have been there all the while,
Watched your slowly fading smile.
It’s time you grow, it’s time to throw
You under.

I was there by cradle bed,
By you when love turned and fled,
Or was it you? It’s time you knew
The answer.

Down, down, up to waxen curls,
The dream skin of youth unfurls
And comes undone, all things now one in
The mirror.

So take my hand, we’ll fly anon,
O’er the vault of sky, beyond
To starry airs, three silver hairs for to
Track Name: The Other Side of Rainshadow’s Edge
V. The Other Side of Rainshadow’s Edge

…but what dreams in slumber
My dreaming self does dredge
Up still recall the other
Side of rainshadow’s edge,

Where thunder clouds roll off,
And life’s film, scarce begun,
Is skimmed to ‘morrow’s trough,
Revealing us as one,

Where sunshine on the skin
Is felt deep in the heart,
But who says where or when
Our present moments start?

At times I think I’m there,
When a familiar trace
Graces afternoon’s air
And brings me to the place

I remember – a bit
To the right, I recall,
But can’t be sure for it’s
Long ago, after all.

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