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released September 9, 2009

All songs written by Andrew Hirst

Performed by:

Andrew Hirst
Neal Heppleston
Eddie Venison
Fliss Webb

Reading of "In Broken Morse Code" and flute on Black Room by Robert George Saull

Artwork based on photographs taken by Stew Abel



all rights reserved


The Contortionist Sheffield, UK

The Contortionist is me, Andy Hirst; usually alone, but sometimes with friends. We even had a proper band for a while (The Contortionist and The Wandering Boy Poets).

I've been in a load of bands over the years playing various things: drums in Nixon, The Broken Chairs, and The Purgatory Players, guitar in Situationists, guitar/keys/vocals in Japanese Sleepers and Fall Forwards.
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Track Name: In Broken Morse Code
These bleak soundscapes will never change.

The surrounding abandonment is a single path eroded into the sunset
Isolated by chipped iron walls
Where this language collapsed inwards;
Fell to the matted ground and evaporated
But now: a slow, becoming ascendance
With the first broadcast tearing through summer nights
Careering forwards as a contorted coalesce
Our new satellite, so bold;
Only to disintegrate in these streets
Where the lights flicker in broken morse code.

These bleak soundscapes will never change.
Track Name: Scalded Hands
Scalded hands, clasping branches patiently
From our necks, so wrought down by gravity

As we stared the numbing pain shot up through our tired arms

Carbon air that we inhaled constantly
Rising up from the liquids that gave our lease

To breathe in and to lie about dying leaves
Songs I left,
The songs I left to end so silently

Silence has pulled them in and silence has won
We were just reaching out but our grasp was decayed
Now that silence has won
Track Name: Before The Cavalry
And so I gaze onto frozen roads
With decades of untold coarse images
Preserved as skewing focus

And so I gaze onto frozen roads
And cover my bare hands
Still waiting to erode and disperse through this land

And so I chance into open arms
With feeling still removed
Coarse memories collide with good intentions

And so I chance into open arms
Still feeling so removed
But we'll hold on for dear life
We'll hold on for dear life

Slowly marching to the sound (with charismatic)
Slowly marshalling the sound (with charismatic ease)
Before its absence takes us all
Before the cavalry return us to our empty homes
And feed us to the wolves

With these thoughts reaching out to hold
onto my arms, outstretched
With everyone I've known scattered into the air

Before the images collide into the melting ice
Before the break of dawn enters to remove us all

So with the light they've disappeared
There is no elation
Only the slight ambivalence
And tiredness, tiredness.
Track Name: Blue Button
Silence fills this room;
Unfocused and shrill
Dirty windows obscure the light from industrial homes,
The derisive laughs of decadence
That come from all i can see-
And yet from nothing

And they will bring us prosperity
And they will bring us prosperity and peace

My gaze darts between the places my feet can never touch
And the thoughts i can never have
And i mourn the loss of what could be achieved
And the spaces and directions that we could fill
that remain empty

And they will bring us prosperity
And they will bring us prosperity and peace

On and on
Track Name: Of Faces Proud and Light
Of faces proud and light, uncovered by night
There is little said
They scream without opening their mouths
At lights that blind their eyes
Their sources unimagined.

Steps that never touch the ground
Distracted and removed
Vision coated by dull glass.

I'll never hold them again
In my always moving arms, recovering
Soft, like the rain through their eyes
Moving weakly into lines, stuttering
Drink for the gaps, flooding out from our edges
Pooled in our veins and in our hearts.

The street lamps flickering in broken morse code
But we are waiting for someone to save us,
To reach out and grab us
These unreal ecstatic visions.

And I'll never touch the ground
Distracted and removed
My vision coated by dull glass.
Track Name: Our Own Salted Earth
The terrible sound of the constant alarms that are sounding for the end of our lives.

As I sit in these alleyways
Where the open ends are a cracked dawn chorus
For those who have disappeared
And have left these openings for our returning ways.

Shaped by the winter, as the scales descend from our resplendence
Shaped by our anger, and the broken descent from our dominance
Into our own salted earth.

And I dance to a melody
That has broken, wavered and turned its joy
Into that which is descending
Into every sentence once uttered in duress.
Track Name: Hours of Constant Erosion
(And now we're folding our arms to draw some blood with the sunrise underneath us)

Waiting for words that will hold me up
Over the side, to gaze at the stars
Your fierce glow cuts a hole in our lazy facade
The folds in these arms protect dramatic erosion of the things in which I've never believed

Shield our eyes from the idioms falling
From the fractures so made in confident skies
Shield these claims from the challenge we mounted
With the gesture still passing us by.

Those who will watch and will hold you up
Are blinded by stars, and sheltered by hours
Now glancing into a new sympathy: so gratefully ours
And watching the hours and hours of constant erosion
Of the things in which I've never believed
Track Name: Stumble Down These Corridors
The windowsill; the parapet; the edge of our great hollow world
So beautiful, but my sympathy's pragmatic in its great hollow worth.

Shifts in our culture as seen through this black coloured lens
Scrawled from memory
Become a stunted old revelry
So let us please forget this.

The windowsill; the parapet; the edge of our great hollow world
For decades in these corridors we stumble across this great hollow earth.

A thousand lines decay by the hour
And here I stand, a brash innocent
Waiting for portraits to right themselves
So we can all forget this.

And innocent stood waiting for time
And this will paralyse the passage of time
Paralysed in waiting rooms that blind with their neon lights

Stumble down these corridors.
Track Name: Black Room
Impatient shuffling disappears with silence
Still the melody runs through my head

Summer is fading and mundane is still mundane
Tapping on nihilist shoulders

Inside of a black room I can see you quickly turning the other way
Still the melody runs through my head

These lyrics we used to sing still read the same way to me
And those melodies run through my head

This is not where I want to be
Spinning slowly through halls into the ground
As the rain drips down the walls
Moving softly through cracks into the ground
Track Name: Wandering Isolate
I am but a sound, repeating every hour
Reverberating through these old halls
So familiar; but on this moment I slowly dissipate through the light

(The shattered light
Through the light
The shattered light)

But without a sound, we've stood here for too long
In the candlelight through stained glass
You won't see the words I'm forming on my tongue
Shallow subtleties of our past.

Drifting to the place we called our home
Welcomed as a wandering isolate
Dig our aching legs into the earth
And wait for the crowd to shelter us.

So they'll celebrate for us;
For we are grateful for this grand demise.
Track Name: A New Triumphant Ease
I remember all the small details hidden in grey-scale words
They escape from dying languages spoken only in colour.

Like the texture in your own blue darting eyes
Becoming fixated on the steps I take across the floor
Like the movement of your body as you sleep
Becoming softer and softer with a new triumphant ease.

I remember when I came to you as a soldier primed for war
But instead I crumpled in your arms.

And there will always be a repetition.

And maybe we will stumble in a generations' time
When we are tired of dissidence and our shared relief
But until then I'll dig my hands into this land of clay
But until then I'll shape the ground on which we spend our days.
Track Name: ...To Always Permeate
There is a slight fading memory that sometimes will occupy my dreams
Until the cold morning light does pierce through my sleeping eyes.

I won't forget the scattered impression;
The blissful sketch, the trace of your expression
Echoes of your soft hands and excitement fill your eyes

Our steps; so confident
Our grasp to never weaken
Our silence to always permeate

But now in broken radios
Caught in between the waves and their decompositions
Well this is our broken home
Where the degradation is woven into the pattern of my new gaze.

There is a slight fading memory that sometimes will occupy my dreams
Until the cold morning light does pierce through my sleeping eyes.

(These bleak soundscapes will never change)