The Space Between (Audio Play) (2017)

by Shannon Curtis

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1.
9:37pm 03:47
2.
stamp my feet into the dirt a feeble mark on the earth cast my voice into the air i am here; is anyone? scratch with nails into trees it’s my name, it is not me i am here. i am; is anyone? now wait for the sound to return a witness the sound can be heard is anyone listening? is anyone with me? slap the water, unshackled rage all these hands make are tiny waves but i am here. i am! is anyone? across a canyon – between tall buildings down a well – in this empty room slap off the faces – streets of cement walls of stone tell me i am now wait for the sound to return wait for the sound
3.
Memorial Day 05:13
4.
a flutter in my belly, knew right away that it had changed me never mind i was only thirteen the thrill and devastation, what would i do for this elation what sacrifice, to be swept off my feet she felt it, too; he felt it, too you felt it, too – didn’t you? don’t we all stand and look up when the moon crosses the sun every one of us, taken by wonder don’t we all lay down and cry when the night swallows the sky you and i are made from the same light a jolt, a snap, i stumbled the stone foundation shook and crumbled everything i had trusted was dust a hole opened inside me, i fell and fell and grabbed at nothing did not believe i would ever get up he felt it, too; she felt it, too you felt it, too – didn’t you? you and i are made from the same light the same love – the same pain – the same dream the same light
5.
Circle 02:58
6.
Fake Divide 03:51
my heart beats; breath steady this peace is deadly walled in by the comfort walled out, i can’t hear who suffers a vain lie allures me says i’m deserving the veiled wage for trusting it i make way for another’s suffering it’s not enough to say i’m grateful our fates are bound with chains lulled to sleep by a siren song of peace drowning out the stolen dreams of those who won’t make it as long as there’s a fake divide i’m not running from scorched earth not raising my arms for mercy get my hands and feet to work if some of us can’t make it none of us will make it out alive our house tilts, the foundation was built on broken bones if it falls while we’re sleeping we’re all going down it’s not enough to say “what a blessing” we’re going to share a last breath i’m not running from my own country no i am not running now to save my life i am not raising my hands up in a plea for mercy not raising my hands up to break the strike i’m not running to escape the famine no i am not running now in search of life i am not raising my hands up in a plea for mercy not raising my hands up to break the strike lulled to sleep by a siren song of peace drowning out the stolen dreams get my hands and feet to work if some of us can’t make it none of us will make it out alive
7.
Angels 02:54
8.
her face was in the news today, a window on a world away from me sipping coffee at home torn and tired, she risked her flight; in the cover of the night i slept tucked in from the cold don’t believe me when i say i love you if today i say nothing at all no one thought to ask his name; ‘cause don’t all those boys act the same just one, two, and out goes a light the sirens blend into the noise but listening’s a privileged choice, for ears paired with faces like mine don’t believe me when i say i love you if today i have nothing to say i’m warning you: my words cannot be trusted if my lips are silent at this rage i am just a clanging cymbal i am just a noisy gong if today i say nothing i may sing in tongues of angels but don’t mistake the song for love if today i say nothing at all
9.
Take Away 04:11
take away your house take away the curtains, lamps, and doors your table, your couch take away the rooms, the walls, the floor take away your city take away your street, your neighborhood your flag and its country take away the earth where it all stood who are you now? who are you? take away your dress shirt take away your lipstick and your beard your ms and your mister take away your plans, your past, your years take away your skin take away your color, shape, and frame your money, your myths take away your place, your time, your name who are you now? who are you? i love who you are now look around, we’re all emptied out i love who you are now only love we’re all emptied out
10.
Couch 03:01
11.
Hello Dawn 04:34
how easy it was to believe everything was fine how easily sleep came to me, just had to close my eyes some things, once you see them, can never be unseen now they haunt my sleep how simple the world spun around, squarely east to west a man puts a seed in the ground deserves what he gets some things, once you learn them, cannot be unlearned even though it hurts hello dawn, chase out the night the darkest dark: meet first light morning comes to the horizon on cracks of light when we open our eyes how certain the story i heard, rehearsed in black and white the comfort in staying so sure comes with a price some things, once you know them, can never be unknown and what you do, once you know, is forever yours to own it’s yours to own it was never easy, and certainty’s a lie some children learn to sleep with wide open eyes
12.
Dear Ones 03:08
13.
i’m sorry i don’t have anything helpful to say i only slept a couple hours, too afraid to awake in a place i don’t know a mistaken home something was uncovered here something we thought we buried now the landscape’s unfamiliar i won’t lie, sometimes it scares me i’m sorry that the tears come unannounced like a flood when re-remembering feels like a sucker punch to the gut is it weird the fleeting moments i feel sort of alright are when i recognize the helplessness in some stranger’s eyes in this place we don’t know our mistaken home maybe you could hold me and we could sleep a while while the storm’s unfolding we could stay inside in this place we don’t know our mistaken home
14.
say it isn’t so i could feel the ledge crack with every word you spoke to, above all, you i held out my hope like unraveling rope it did not take hold still, held out my hope a soundproof pane of glass separates your world from the one i understand where do i belong? a catechistic orphan, seeking her homeland please say it’s not so my home is not my home say it’s not so i saw them falling one by one disappearing off the edge had myself convinced that you would not be tricked and follow them and when you spoke, i watched you go my heart sank down, its anchor lost was it you who walked away or was it i who wandered off? i saw them falling one by one jumping, gleeful, to the end could not bear the thought of you disappearing off the edge everyone sets out to find and to be found, everyone’s lost was it you who walked away or was it i who wandered off? say it’s not so please say it’s not so i held out my hope like unraveling rope
15.
16.
At Morning 03:11
night has fallen here we who are awake in the darkness feel for a hand to take like an anchor in rough seas, we are holding for the tide to turn at morning while it’s night we dream speaking them out loud against the waking fear raining missiles down circled ‘round the fire we keep embers burning till the light returns at morning let us see the earth from a higher place gaze at how it curves spinning slow in space ever toward justice and light, it is bending faithfully it turns to morning night has fallen here we who are awake cry our sister’s tears bind the stranger’s pain like an anchor in rough seas, we are holding for the tide to turn at morning
17.
She Woke Up 04:12
18.
tell me how to keep moving keep moving i’ve seen you do it teach me: where do i find joy after the breaking point i’ve seen you do it; i need to do it keep moving eyes to see the patch of green scratching up from concrete defying the hostile earth ears to hear melody answering shouts and screams undying, eternal mirth open mouth to taste the rain, washing all we’ve built away a torrent, still sweet on the tongue open heart, holding light for those with fists raised up to strike a force yet to be undone tell me how to keep moving teach me: where do i find joy after the breaking point i’ve seen you do it i need to do it keep moving

about

First: what on earth is an "audio play?" Glad you asked. It's something new that we invented for this album! It's all the songs from the album version of "The Space Between," interconnected seamlessly with sound design and score and scripted storytelling and environmental textures, into an uninterrupted 66-minute-long movie for your mind. This audio play version of the album takes you on a journey of personal discovery, that hopefully will leave you with a lot to reckon with at the end. We hope you love it.

About the album:

Do you remember how your stomach fluttered when you felt your first crush?
Can you conjure how your tummy hurt when you laughed yourself silly with your childhood friends?
Do you recall the bottomless pit that opened in your gut when you lost a person you loved?
Can you summon up the fire you felt in your belly as you strived for a dream?

Love, loss, laughter, pain, fear, guilt, jealousy, embarrassment, anxiety, hunger, anger, joy, amazement, hope — every one of us who has been given the gift of breath in our lungs has had every one of these experiences, no matter what continent we were born on, how much money we make, whether we pray, or to whom those prayers are offered.

I’ve had all of these experiences,
and so has every person on the planet who has different hair, eyes, and skin than mine.

I’ve felt all of these things,
and every person alive whose worldview looks nothing like mine has felt them, too, in colors every bit as brilliant as mine.

And yet … we find ourselves in an era where divisions between us are painted in bright red, carved into deep canyons by torrential rivers of fear, anger, and pain. Some of us are just now seeing those walls for the first time. Some of us have been living in their shadow since the day we were born. If we have so much in common, how can it be that we make aliens of our neighbors, enemies of our brothers, and “others” of people who — at their core — are just like us?

And how can we not understand that the division we’ve created is the chasm into which all humanity could fall?

However stark reality has had to become to jolt us awake,
however difficult it is to internalize truths of the existences of others we may not have been aware of before now,
however painful it is to realize that our own comfort may have contributed to the perpetual suffering of people we’ve never met — I believe that this harsh light is the actually beginning of hope for the healing of that divide.

Writer James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

This album is an exploration of the experience of:
waking up in an unrecognizable world,
grieving the loss of an illusory version of reality,
internalizing the truth of the experience of others,
transforming personal complicity into personal responsibility,
and embracing our common humanity with the conviction that we will sink or swim together.

credits

released June 16, 2017

produced by jamie hill

written by shannon curtis
published by shannon k (ascap)

made by shannon & jamie
engineered and mixed by jamie
additional recording and production by shannon

license

all rights reserved

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about

Shannon Curtis Tacoma, Washington

"And Her Whisper Becomes a Storm," Shannon's eighth full-length studio album in eight years, was released on June 20, 2020.

Shannon lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband, producer / mixer Jamie Hill.

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