Public Works — Substance

Please Applaud with Hands Only

I have often held in my hand a black walnut. It has a shell like stone. It has many internal stony reinforcements. But in between is an unimpressive, unimportant-looking meaty substance that has a mysterious and tremendous power. If you plant this seed under certain circumstances, heat is produced inside.

Now, whether it is a seed, or a teacher, or a businessman, or a student, when we begin to heat inside, something begins to happen. Your leaders may put a lot of heat on you from the outside, but that doesn’t always do much good. The heat that does the greatest good is the heat that is generated on the inside. Success, like failure, is an “inside” job.

When this walnut begins to heat inside, it produces a mysterious power that breaks that stony shell as though it were paper, and a little shoot works its way up through the soil to become a great walnut tree. That is, there is some mysterious power inside of a walnut shell that has the ability to attract out of the soil and the air and the water all of the elements necessary to become a great walnut tree—including wood, and foliage, and blossoms, and fragrance, and fruit.

From The Miracle of Personality, by Elder Sterling W. Sill


It has haunted me— so every few years I make another attempt to find out what the lyrics are to Centuries, from the Orb album Cydonia. In 2004 I even wrote to Aki Omori through the Freaky Realistic website but never got a response. Last night I tried again and actually found one discussion with a very good attempts at decipherment… and a review with what could be the correct lyrics which I should have found so many years ago. I cannot believe how much time has passed.

Re: Music: Cutting Edge and What You Are Listening To?

THIS WEEK’s CHALLENGE… what are the correct lyrics????

Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup

I would like to share a fantastic piece of art with all of you. This is the song where the singers voice is a sort of a musical instrument. The voice and the music are so adjusted as the listener while following the singer is picked up by the instrumental flow and washed away to the sea of emotional music.
“Centuries” by “The orb” from the “Cydonia” album of 2001. The brilliant vocal is by Aki Omori.

I was surfing the web for the lyrics but have not found it. I can clearly hear the word “centuries” but all the others are the mystery. If somebody can, please post the lyrics!

I realize we NEVER got back to this mystery of the lyrics for this song! Shame on us!!! I surfed the Web and could not locate them even on the band’s Web site. So, I started to listen to the song carefully and realized, CoffeeCup is correct, saying the Diva is difficult to understand is an understatement

I have uploaded a clean copy of the song for anyone who wants to take a stab at this or thinks the version out on YouTube is not clear enough.

Here are the lyrics as I have been able to get them:

1 So, if (long ago and??)…somewhere
2 Every moment we shake as we (can/kiss?)
3 …for a century my memory should be
4 Moments created un…
5 As … my eyes can…you
6 Then forever I shall live
7 In a memories old friends
8 For it’s only a century away
9 If my life turns a pass (path) of pain
10 Then my love may cry out loud
11 so to take a (chance?)…in blood
12 shows life has just begun
13 For it’s only a century away
14 So, if (long ago and??)…somewhere
15 Every moment we shake as we (can/kiss?)
16 …for a century my memory should be
17 For it’s only a century away
18 For it’s only a century away
19 We interrupt this program to bring you a bulletin from the Mutual news room
20 According to an announcement from Moscow Radio
21 John Dennison of 643 Water Street had his house made upside down.


The following Centuries is the first of five new tracks in a row that were specifically written for the final release of Cydonia, i.e. the version I am reviewing. Aki Omori goes back to the studio with The Orb and delivers a Björk-like performance on a gorgeous pop song. I’m not kidding, the song is hugely positive and the lyrics about the possibility of deleting horrific memories in the near future and the bonds of friendship are quite deep. A sample of a hectically ticking clock is repeated endlessly, and the warm synth pads and gleaming mellifluence of the backing bits point to the clear trademark sound of Thomas Fehlmann.

Centuries (Lyrics: Paterson/Omori)

So if nowhere was somewhere
And every moment we share 'cos we care
Then and only for a century
My memories shall be
Moments create and undo
As our minds can renew
Then forever I shall live
In the memories of friends

For it's only a century away---

If my mind turns a path of pain
Then my love may cry and die
So to take a chance in love
Shows life has just begun.

For it's only a century away--

Unfortunately I still have no idea what this actually is


(Hi Shinsuke. Will this image and song sound like the music in the video? Thank you, you are a genius!)

Kris Weston asked me to design some vinyl art for a very interesting record etching process he wanted to use for some fund-raising dub plates, as outlined in these links (1, 2, 3). I some some old, amazing christian eschatological insanity I found while cleaning up my Grandmother’s attic early last year, then Kris sent off some music files and the visual design to Shinsuke and Koji, who then etched some records and sent them to me. So I suppose these are one-of-a-kind “Thrash” demo LPs (milled into some heavy, very thick material that I don’t think is vinyl), one side of which plays music, the other plays intermittent sine wave beeps and glitches, as informed by the etched artwork.

The question remains: does the etching process allow for the music to be encoded in the grooves or not? Because after many, many language translation and email correspondence travails, Shinsuke himself said that the art side will sound like beeps when played, even though the articles made it seem that the etching is a non destructive process, i.e., that the result is playable art. Shinsuke wrote:

絵が描かれるための音の変化は音楽としての変化にくらべより大きな変化です。スクラッチの時のフェーダーの激しい動き以 上の音のオンオフが必要です。


However! After running the app, I feel like there is still some misunderstanding… there is clearly an option to use an audio file instead of a sine wave, and the app asks to save a file when it has been run… AND the audio file is slightly corrupted from the version that was input, meaning that at least something is happening  (Unfortunately, even if this redeeming fact turned out to be true, any audible corruption is a deal killer for Kris). So which is it… can the artwork side of the vinyl play music or not? We may not ever find out, because Shinsuke has already been so extremely generous with his time and resources, and since we got to be cringing every time we had another untranslatable question for him… we just don’t want to bother him anymore about it.


Dale Cooper & Dictaphones LP arrived today!

P10201801 P10201811

Very privileged to have my art used as the cover for a brilliant album by Dale Cooper and the Dictophones.

Mary Tapogna sold the original of this painting years ago to someone she hasn’t seen since; the subject is very long-time close friend ‘Vati. Out of all the pieces I’ve ever painted, only twice have I ever used a source photo that I myself didn’t take… and this happens to be one of them– so I really feel like I can’t take too much credit for it since it’s essentially a dead copy of an amazing photo by Vati’s brother Kris Locke.