Paper Earth Concert Film Release / by Chris Baum

Bent Knee’s ethos has always revolved heavily around collaboration, so when Judd Greenstein asked if we’d like to write new work for the band and a contemporary chamber ensemble - jointly commissioned by NYC’s Ecstatic Music Festival and the Celebrity Series of Boston's Stave Sessions - it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. After months of brainstorming and workshopping ideas with Samuel Solomon and the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, the final result is Paper Earth, a thirty-minute, six-movement song cycle who's thematic crux revolves around how memory continuously alters our present. We’re extraordinarily grateful to the musicians, to Sam, to Judd, and the commissioning festivals for bringing this music into the world. Paper Earth marks a new artistic direction for the band, and it’s a project we’re all immensely proud of. [PREMIERE LINK]

Viciously talented... teemed with color and creativity.
— The Boston Globe

I. Paper Earth

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
I'll feed off your lovely
Your fine tooth get greedy 'til I need it

One foot in a ghost town
One foot in paradise
One eye on my companion
eye raising mice

We dance while the sun and moon take turns to light my face
My skin is like the funny papers
Also good to taste so taste and take me

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
A charm we glom on to
A dream an unending stream
And I need it

II. Slideshow

The oldest sound I’ve ever known
Is the beating of my mother’s pulse
It’s so loud

We walk in lines we walk in rows
The beating stops the baby goes
So long

Forward to the stretch of road the
Your car pulled over mother’s ghost
It’s true love

I’ve been growing up through a slideshow I forgot
Stealthy Photoshop fits the story in a box
The further I move on, the more I want to stop
Just to notice what I’ve got

The only vow I ever broke
Was summer in the campfire smoke
No clothes

My deepest fear runs out my ears
Drops down my neck
it's sneering in the
Fresh snow

Watch their faces suffer
As my kids emmet their mother and we
Hold hope
Don’t go

III. Wasn’t Even There

I know I know I know I know your weight
And your taste
I know I know I know I know your hair
On my face

I know your speak through clenched teeth
I know you want me
Though I'm asleep

Beneath beneath beneath beneath the trees
You take me
Unwrap unwrap unwrap unwrap the seems
And forsake me

So bright
So clean
How did pine needles get inside of me

My thought
In a white gown
What happened
What went down

I know I know I know I know you're shocked
To be chased
Because because
because because
Whatever you want
Whatever you want you take

IV. Interlude


V.  Tone My Crazy

We are a dream hot for other dreams
Folding our cells to recall a scene
seen by all from the outside in
Scenes from inside don’t break past the skin
You told me in time I won’t feel the sting
I heard you just fine didn’t learn a thing
If you felt what I felt you feeling for
You’d lock me up
baby and never look back so

You tell me I should tone my crazy oh
You tell me I go too far maybe though
It’s easier to see me broken no
No way we lack the words or forgot the ways to show

What’s fast but still slow
What’s dark and still glows
What’s burning and cold

You saw a river and I saw a stream
Rainbow of red in the forest leaves
Too many neurons to stay in sync
We are both places that we'll never be
You told me it's fine if we hand in hand
My palms slip on small talk and secret gaffes
If I felt what you felt me feeling for
We'd fairy tale merry go never look back no

VI. Acceleration

Paper Earth
I'll fall for your curse
I'll feed off your lovely
Your fine tooth get greedy 'til I need it

The further I move on
The more I want to stop
Just to notice what I’ve got

All photos © Ryan Jackson