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I Dreamed An Island

by Piers Faccini

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about

I’ve always been fascinated by the Mediterranean and its rich cultural traditions, spanning Europe and Africa, as well as the Greek, Latin, and Arab worlds. My own genealogy and story are mirrored in the region’s history as well as in the countless paths that pilgrims, travelers and migrants travelled along for centuries.

Appalled by the increasingly sectarian and divisive politics spreading across the world, I Dreamed an Island was inspired by a unique moment in Mediterranean and European history when 12th century Sicily, was a haven of tolerance and co-habitation between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Making this album was a way for me to converse with my ancestry and to build a bridge between past and present.

credits

released October 24, 2016

Produced by Piers Faccini for Beating Drum Records

All songs by Piers Faccini except*

*To be Sky: music by Bijan Chemirani and Piers Faccini
Bring Down the Wall: lyrics in Salentino by Mauro Durante
The Many Were More: lyrics by Francesca Beard and Piers Faccini, music by Piers Faccini and Simone Prattico, poem My Sicily by Ibn-Hamdis
Judith: lyrics by Francesca Beard and Piers Faccini
Anima: lyrics in Palermitano by Fabrizio Cammarata
Arrangements for drums and percussion by Simone Prattico

Recorded by Piers Faccini at Fire Head Studios, Les Cevennes, France
Drums recorded at NGR, Roma by Francesco de Nigris
Zampogna recorded at Daniele and Mauro Durante’s studio in Lecce, Italy
Baroque guitar and Theorbo recorded by Luca Tarantino in his home studio, Lecce, Italy
Mixed by Francesco de Nigris at NGR, Roma
Mastering by François Fanelli at Sonics Mastering, Marseille
Executive producer: Anais Ledoux
Photos: Piers Faccini
Artwork: Uncle O

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about

Piers Faccini France

If my songs were maps I'd want them to stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the plains of the Mediterranean.

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Track Name: To Be Sky
Found an ocean but it dried away
Found a rock but it crumbled to dust
Found a valley it was cold as ice
Found a mountain couldn't reach the top

To be lost is to be found
To be sky is ever to go down to the
Ground and earth and earth are bound
To be sky is ever to rise up from the ground

Found a fire but it burnt to ash
Found a lover lover gave me up
Found a dream left me for dead
Found a heaven wouldn’t let me in

To be lost is to be found
To be sky is ever to go down to the
Ground and earth and earth are bound
To be sky is ever to rise up from the ground

From the ground
From the ground
From the ground
From the ground

How the arc reared above the mist
At the dawn of the morning bright
To the gates of the temple I rode
Saw the ruins of the kingdom and wept
Track Name: Drone
I saw my town disappear in smoke
Dust and debris on the air we choked
Vengeance comes with a savage fist
Coldest metal in the morning mist

Drone by night
Killer by day
Drone by night
Let the bombs away

Now my brother is lying in rest
Head to the east and his feet to the west
Search for a prayer but the words won't come
Won’t stop trying long as blood still runs

Drone by night
Killer by day
Drone by night
Let the bombs away

Stone by stone and rock by rock
David fought Goliath till Goliath dropped
Arm in arm as the thunder rolls
Hand in hand now the bells will toll
Track Name: Bring Down The Wall
Bring down the wall break it stone by stone
Bring down the wall shake it to the bone

Tear down the rock take it blow by blow
Tear down the rock make the tear go slow

Throw down your arms believers hell fire burn
Throw down your arms believers turn by turn

Put down the book burn it page by page
Put down the book let the fire rage

Bring down the wall break it run aground
Bring down the wall shake it must come down

I’ll keep the flame burning burning bright
I’ll keep the flame burning shine your light

Veni lassa la casa toa
Iessi fore veni cu nui
Ca salimu subbra sta nave
N’autra voce vulimu a quai

Ci uei cangi la vita toa
Nu restare bloccatu a ddhai
Tira ientu pe navigare
Ni nde sciamu de paru moi

Bring down the wall break it stone by stone
Bring down the wall shake it to the bone

Tear down the rock take it blow by blow
Tear down the rock make the tear go slow

I’ll keep the flame burning burning bright
I’ll keep the flame burning shine your light
Track Name: Cloak Of Blue
Fire at the tip of his tongue
With a bow and arrow strung
Running with the wolves by night
He's gone by the morning light

Like a saint or thief
Turning the leaf
Gathering souls like you
Lambs at the slaughter
Barter no quarter
Wear your best cloak of blue

Teardrops from a stone
Over marrow under bone
Words writ on the wall
The higher they climb they fall

At the temple and bell
Bids them farewell
Fishes and men like you
Standing at the altar
Mothers and daughters
Wear your best cloak of blue

He walks he walks I heard he got away
He talks he talks I heard the blind boy say

Wind among the reeds
Like honey from the weed
A horse and cart in tow
Pure like the driven snow

Like a saint or thief
Turning the leaf
Gathering souls like you


Lambs at the slaughter
Barter no quarter
Wear your best cloak of blue

He walks he walks I heard he got away
He talks he talks I heard the soldier say
He walks he walks I heard he got away
He talks he talks I heard the blind boy say
Track Name: The Many Were More
David’s son brought to the threshing floor
Out of Babylon come the rules of law
Carved in stone the word by fire divine
Rock to island came the sacred shrine

 

First up they counted one
Then from the union two
Next up they counted four
A multitude in number
The many were more


Came a night the angel stole his rest
Took him on a journey to the West
Climbed a ladder up to the milky way
Rode on lightning til the break of day


First up they counted one
Then from the union two
Next up they counted four
A multitude in number
The many were more

تـذكـارهـا ومنزلة للصبـا قـد خـلـت = وكان بنو الظرف عمـارهـا
فإن كنت أخرجت مـن جـنة = فإنـي أحـدث أخـبـارهـا
ولولا ملوحة مـاء الـبـكـاء = حسبت دموعي أنـهـارهـا
ضحكت ابن عشرين من صبوة = بكيت ابن سـتـين أوزارهـا
 فلا تعظمن علـيك الـذنـوب = إذا كان ربـك غـفـارهـا


From the Well of Souls the trumpets call
Through full rivers deep the voices fall
In the caves beneath the inner drums
Beating out in time to sacred sums
Track Name: Judith
Sunrise up the muezzin call
Some to prayer and some to toil
Some fight for love and some for gold
In Cordoba our story’s told

Round valley ringed by mountains bare
In fig and lemon scented air
There winds Al Wadi Al Kabir
That now we call Guadalquivir
 
Here’s Judith on the road
With fresh fruit from the groves
Where all prayers are granted under arches
Horseshoe and arabesque
 
She walks along the mountain pass
Where Berber soldiers block the path
They greet Salaam Alaikum
She peels an orange just for him

And in his mouth the nectar sings.
For now this gift her fortune brings
But gone the old ways that she knows
The mournful call of exile blows

Here’s Judith on the road
Her story left untold
Her tender smile was perfume to the sunlight
A ghazal of snow white rose

 Praise be to the sky spread out like a bed
 Blessed all who love and lovers all blessed
 Lapis Indigo and Sapphires blue
 People of the book Al Andaluz
 
So the books decreed
Hope must sow its seed
That saplings and their roots
Grow and bear their fruit of divine sweetness
To feed us in our weakness now

Nine hundred ninety years old
Judith and her orange grove told
 
Track Name: Beloved
Ash in the fire in the heart that’s gone cold
Tiniest spark but the day has grown old
There could be heaven and there could be hell
Watching the sky as the last star beam fell

Gold was the flame of the candle we lit
Light was the dance of the shadows we played
Whisper of words in the amber twilight
Rapture and pearl on the bed where we lay

Closer closer beloved lover
Closer closer beloved lover
Further further beloved lover
Further further beloved lover

Ash in the fire in the heart that’s gone cold
Tiniest spark but the day has grown old
There could be heaven and there could be hell
Watching the sky as the last star beam fell

Moon on the bars of the cell that we kept
Fall of your gaze how your eyes look nowhere
Cry and cry and away desire
Wings of the wind at the edge of your stare

Closer closer beloved lover
Closer closer beloved lover
Further further beloved lover
Further further beloved lover
Track Name: Anima
I keep remembering can't forget
I keep remembering can't forget
Of all the memories I should keep
And with regret I slowly weep

I keep on thinking I can't stop
I keep on thinking I can't stop
December daydreams in the cold
You could have stayed here growing old

Anima anima anima
Chi mi porti ri ddà?
 
Ìsti luntanu p’ammunziddare 
Tutt’i ricordi ca 'un vosi taliare 
Ìsti p’un mari ca 'un fa turnari 
‘Ncap’a na varca ca 'un vosi cchiù stare  

I must remember I can't let go
I must remember I can't let go
And reverie holds me for a while
Brings back the colour of his smile

Anima anima anima
Chi mi porti ri ddà?
 
Anima anima anima
Chi ti porti ri ccà?
 
Ìsti luntanu senz’aspittare
Sulu l’amuri lassasti ca u sientu
L’ossa luntane scrusciu ‘unn’e fannu
Ma si l’ascuti addiventanu cantu

E quannu nni viremu ddà
Nn’avemu cos’i cuntarini
Vìu r’u to viaggio l’anima
Vìu li to occhi e mai n’addio
Track Name: Comets
Silk is the veil and thin
That colours the eye within
Black are the birds that fly
Ink and brush to the sky

Make them raise them
Carry them up from the ground
Take them free them
Gone where they’ll never be found

Pitch is the shade of night
That steals all the day from light
Dying are the stars that shine
Out and beyond they slide

Take them break them
Their time is almost come
Make them wake them
Their dream is almost done

I gaze through bars alone and watch
This light un-form return unturned
This night I leave unknown unbound
Despair despair the shape of love

Here halos glow suns fall moons rise
Where planets die time trips nowhere

Here edges burn reason sleeps
And elsewhere comets collide
Comets collide comets collide
Open your eyes
Track Name: Oiseau
Oiseau ta mélodie est mon réveil
La nuit est de bitume et de terreur
Délivre-moi de ma douleur

Oiseau que ta musique devienne lumière
Eclaire la pénombre je rêve encore
Et promet-moi que tu m'attendras

Oiseau ton chant est pour le coeur miséricorde
Du noir des ténèbres soulève-moi
Tu es mon seul espoir délivre-moi
Tu es mon seul espoir délivre-moi