mantra songs

by jordaan mason

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the mantra songs were written between one autumn and another (2005-2006) and they were recorded by lowell sostomi, mat vuksinich, and myself been april 2006 - may 2007 in various bedrooms, basements, and sun-rooms in southern ontario and northern california. i was travelling a lot during the year that these songs were written / recorded and found myself very estranged from the idea of having a "home." being confronted with performing on a regular basis for the first time, i found myself wanting to return to a simpler kind of language, to express myself more directly, to be open about feeling incredibly inarticulate and unstable. i was on and off medication a lot, in and out of hospitals; there was a lot of loss, a lot of change, and a lot of beds shared. these songs kept me safe when nothing else felt safe - i made my home in them for then, for now.


released May 15, 2007

jordaan mason: vox / illiteracy, guitar, piano, glock, percussion
eric padget: trumpet on 'stranger' and 'hospital song'
shelby sifers: vox on 'liturgy'
lowell sostomi: banjo, harmonica, chimes, drums
mat vuksinich: vox on 'liturgy'

all tracks written by j. mason except "remember: only you" written by k. born (words) and j. mason (music)



all rights reserved


jordaan mason Toronto, Ontario

a confused human being singing songs about being a confused human being.

*** if you would like a digital download but cannot afford it (for whatever reason, you don't need to tell me), just get in touch at the contact link below & i will get you a code. i sometimes take a minute to reply but if you like the music i want you to have it, so please get in touch. xo! *** ... more

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Track Name: stranger
last night i slept with a strange man. he was older than me. he had thick busy hands. we crawled inside his bed and we took off our clothes. we said nothing to each other. this house is our house, too. this is our house, too.
Track Name: two open arms
what did i learn when i burned down the house. who am i now that i am just myself. no more black heirlooms brickwork blankets or yards. just bones hair skin teethmarks and two open arms. where are we wild when we slept on the shore. who are you now and who were you before. our bodies lose language and we try to change. withdraw from our habits but we stay the same. warm the stove put the knives away. we don't need words if we know what to say.
Track Name: will you come back to ontario tonight?
we crawl across the landscape and we don't make a sound. slowly drawing birds into our wide open mouths. and with my naked arguments we dance around the room. painting silhouettes of noise that splinter out and bloom. i am the same. i am the same. i am the same. i have changed. the dictionary song we sing to dull our empty heads. pulling off our overclothes and getting into bed. and as we harmonize our haptic melody, we'll reach in each other's mouths and pull out all our teeth.
Track Name: his hands
you covered your face with black coal. you stripped away all your clothes. did you think i wouldn't recognize you that way. he wanted to put his hands on me. i let him put his hands on me. get your fucking hands off me. put your pants back on. pretend that you did nothing wrong. don't worry, mom.
Track Name: remember: only you (can prevent forest fires)
we know fire. we read our newspapers in ponds. drown reds. take cautions out on dates and never fuck too worried about friction.
Track Name: housewife, part one
we paint our houses at night. colours never match up right. we'd never give a lock our of hair. we fuck too much we don't care. too many picture frames on your wall. christmas sparks in my head like all those nights you were in my bed. like all those secret holes we shared. quilts out of skin bones left bare. and too many picture frames on your wall. can i be your housewife. don't be late for dinner.
Track Name: invite
i will invite, again. i will make this my anthem, if it fits the pattern, if i say it over and over. i will invite, again. i don't want to set fires anymore, i just want to be wild. so let's be wild. let's make noise all night. let's invite strangers into the house. let's be wild.
Track Name: housewife, part two
and i will hunt you down. and i will build you a big big house. and we could sleep in the same bed. no one would have to know. you say what if people start talking. well you could blame the mess on me. say: you don't know who you are. you say someday you're gonna settle down. you're not gonna live your whole life this way. because i have nothing to offer, except folded shirts. i can't litter your yard with baby's teeth. our mattress is just a place to fuck and sleep. it's so easy.
Track Name: river is
insert thesis here. catch the last bit of water on the edge of my chin. try to keep tempo. try to not corner it is your river is. this river is. your river is.
Track Name: hospital song
he's always writing hospital songs. why can't i write hospital songs. why can't i do something with my head or my hands. i've only thread and bones and endless demands. let's stop talking. let's start harvesting. let's start cutting the grass. our yards are full.
Track Name: he died
grandfather clock got thinner each day and they cut him up starting with his leg. he died. he died before i could understand that his blood was not my blood. i sat with my family cutting up old christmas cards because i wanted to forget so much. i wanted a town with more or less lights. your name on a wall or mine on a gravestone. i wanted him to be you. i wanted him to be you. so all of us could die together that night. so we don't have to have separate hospital beds. no we don't have to have separate hospital beds.
Track Name: liturgy
you blunt horses. you casper ghosts. your dust jackets, creased sheets cold. auburn wool pockets carve blossomed boats. simple sandpaper. cobblered coats. and you became bones. and my brothers will burst into baskets of orange fruit; my sister will tame all the beasts she holds high; my mother will break bricks to weather her windows; my father will worry until he goes blind; and we all will sleep at the bottom of the river. i’ll sing sonata, bring the frost-bite, bury bones, i’ll call niagara, down the house lights, and stay home. stop your novels: catch a cold, dig your gold.