Ars Moriendi

by the Collection

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credits

released 15 July 2014

Written, Arranged, and Performed by David Wimbish and the Collection, and Edd Kerr.

Engineering by: Edd Kerr
Assistant Engineering by Brooke Jenkins, David Wimbish, and Hayden Cooke
Produced by David Wimbish, Edd Kerr, and Hayden Cooke
Mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman
Mastered by Dave Mcnair
Front and Back Cover art by Griffin Hart Davis
Inside Art and text by C A N O P Y
Face Painting by Jessica Pennell
Modeling by Doris Kroiss
Recorded in Lake Junaluska, Waxhaw, Greensboro, and Durham NC in fall 2013.
In Memory of Greg Young, Joel Carson, and David Kimzey

the Collection is
David Wimbish - Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Pipa, Violin, Cello, Horns, Vocals
Mira-joy Wimbish - Accordion, Glockenspiel, Aux Percussion, Vocals
Hayden Cooke - Bass Guitar, Doublebass
Christina Goss - Piano, Glockenspiel, Aux Percussion
Whitney Keller - Organ, Autoharp, Glockenspiel, Aux Percussion, Vocals
Philip Keller - Baritone Horn
Sandra Wimbish - Trumpet
Steve Rozema - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Graham Dickey - Trombone
Chase Salmons - Drums, Chains, Weights, Keys, Shakers, Tambourines
Tom Troyer - Electric Guitar, Phin, Charango, Flute, Didjeridoo
Maria Yandell - Violin
Josh Weesner - Violin
Christina Brooke - Cello
Jennifer Millis - Cello
Hope Baker - Clarinet, Aux Percussion

Additional Musicians -
Elisa Cox - Violin
Clay White - Saw, Trumpet
Ivy White - French Horn
Jeff Stuart Saltzman - Marxophone
Edd Kerr - Electric Guitar, Banjo
Group Vocals: Kevan Chandler, Caleb and Meagan Hunter, Kim Bazel, Anna Bosovich, Luke Carson

Title of track 12 from Andrew Smith’s “Beat is Beatitude”

Special Thanks: White Flint Farms, Reginald Cooke, The Wimbish Sr’s, SGCC, Joanna Hampton, Stacie Cummings, The Chesebros, Zach Martin, The Addington Family, Kevan Chandler, Lowland Hum, the Monday Night Potluck Community, The Dickeys, Janie Kimmel, All Our Kickstarter Donors that Made This Album Possible, Luke Thompson, Father Christopher Foley, The Turntable, Sinai Vessel, Daniel Faust, Sunset Farms, Jess Pennell, Lucas Farrow, Xavier Hobbs, Doris Kroiss

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the Collection Greensboro, North Carolina

The banjo-keys-glock-strings-brass-woodwinds-timpani-boy/girl-vocals-etc. of David Wimbish’s Greensboro collective may at first recall the figurine-songs of Sufjan Stevens – but only until one of the 12-member band’s delirious crescendos erupts. Wimbish employs as many as 20 instruments per track, yet the arrangements are judicious when they need to be- Shuffle Magazine ... more

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Track Name: Scala Naturae
I was born and then orphaned by parents of sin
and the preachers and pastors were listening in
I was baptized with water the day it happened
now I’m leaving my chains all behind

so they called up the neighbors to tell them the news
a young baby child that the world can abuse
I cried and I cried, but they called it a ruse
now I’m leaving my chains all behind

I had realized the night of the day I turned seven
that even if acting nice could get you to heaven
the world that you live in will treat you like hell
so I’m leaving my chains all behind

now, I remember sadly the youth of my day
the minute they found out young jacob was gay
they stoned him with words and they stuck him with trees
now I’m leaving my chains all behind

Then I got to the age when I thought I was a man
and I wondered when we’d learn the grand master plan
but what if the plan is just to live till you die?
well then I’m leaving my chains behind

and you brought me a woman right into my life
and we found out that love is full of heartache and strife
but the jagged edges wear down the more that they grind
so we’re leaving our chains all behind

“But I don’t believe all the things that I did when me and mine lived all the places we live”

It’s ok, baby, to change what you think
change can be good, no, it don’t make you weak.
someday you’ll grow to a beautiful tree:
how I want to sing under your leaves

Now I’m in my twenties and finding my way
you pay for your work, and you work for your pay
if I live, or if I die, at least there’s love either way
now I’m leaving my chains all behind

so bring all your lepers and blind men to see
there’s a love in our bodies, and it won’t let you be
if you open your hands, it’ll set us all free
now I’m leaving my chains all behind
and if he comes through the clouds, it could set us all free
now I’m leaving my chains all behind.
Track Name: The Borrowers
I woke up this morning, the pale light warming
my songs were all broken from trying to move mountains
and I couldn’t seem to piece them back together with heart
but great heron landed where all light was absent
where hares burrow, birds borrow twigs for their nests
and the trees open branches to greet the great morning sky
they asked me:

“Son of man, where is your rib?
and son of man, where are your clothes?
son of man, where is that fruit?
ah, no one knows!”

We planted our fields in hopes of return
but our tales got tied and the fields were all burned
and momma fox caught us and scolded us all for our pride
she said “He took your chains, and he left them behind
with no more attached to keep you by his side
didn’t you think that maybe you were already free?”

Son of man, when have you lived?
Son of man, when will you go?
son of man, is it your choice?
Oh, I don’t know anything at all - What a relief
Track Name: The Gown of Green
I am an anchor at the bottom of a lake longing for the ship from which I break
I won’t let nobody down, no, I won’t keep nobody grounded
You walked around and you planted seeds,
your kingdom came up from among the weeds
and the men all cried while staring at the trees
saying, “what are we supposed to see?”

Well, I say you’ll see freedom.
Stop looking at the ground, start looking at the leaves
up among the dirt and rust is where the kingdom breathes
you’ll see freedom

When we finally left that town, we had put all our stones down and you drew lines in the middle of the street (redefined the place we meet)
if they come to meet us there, we’ll turn all of their swords to plowshares and sow the earth with diligence and love (must’ve come from heaven above)

We will sow the earth with diligence and love
it won’t matter anymore where you came from!
Track Name: The Younger One
As soon as their words all came out
it felt just like the walls that you’d spent so long tearing down
so you hid inside a closet made of gowns
walking on that line makes you feel stuck
its so hard when you grow pretty before you grow up
because you never quite have time to find out what you want

but there is love in your hands, you only have to take out them
and never use them as a shield again

a cross hangs around your neck so loose
and though it brings you life, sometimes it feels just like a noose
but god is not disappointed in you
but love and beauty haunt you in your dreams
and fish turn into whales in front of me
as we try to find the depth of this whole sea

heaven comes in waves, some days you’re drowning
some days you’re saved
but it always feels like swimming either way.
Track Name: Garden
I planted a garden full of things that turned out rotten
fruits and greens for miles and miles that even insects thought were bad
so I thought I’d sing about it - try and make my friends all like them
maybe everyone would love me more if I sounded really sad

So I shot a man in afghanistan, he was bleeding on me
then he said his name was jesus and he never had an army
as he took his dying breath, the last thing that he thought he’d tell me is
“Its better to die for nothing than to kill just for your country”

and my heart wept as the church slept
they were dreaming of parades and politicians
and a savior who allowed to rewrite his words until it matched the war inside their hearts

so I act like I have a right to sing about the things that aren’t right
from the comfort of my couch I pretend I’ve done nothing wrong
as I hoard my money closely, bury coins for all my groceries
and I haven’t met my neighbors yet, but I promise I will someday soon

cause its only been two years since I moved here inside this neighborhood
how much longer could it be till we are family, we are blood?
so I’ll just play my songs and hope that they come swooning to my door
the only thing to life worth doing is that one thing that you’re made for
well, am I made for myself anymore?

I found out I am nothing at all!
Track Name: The Middle One
Walking down the road to damascus, I call my home
I distract myself with skin and bone when the spirit is alone
you have bought me with a currency that exchanges for the death of me
and I would ever readily go blind again so I can see

the light that shines from your body is not at all too bright for me,
but not so dull that I sit in the dark
my sins have come to reconcile, my darkness lays within a pile
you burn it all again with holy water

you change my name to abraham, the syllables are symbols
that I may never own this land, but I still have a home
and love and joy aren’t far away and though their arrows ruined me
a fall could help me land softly into a bed of grace

where I return back to the piles of dirt that I came from before it hurt
and wonder how my rib could make her walk
but you have led me through the sea and closed it on my enemies
yet somehow I can’t find the words to talk

and as I walk, I will see that I was never wandering
my steps will fall in line with something bigger than me
as I grow taller, I grow weaker
the rain will beat my pedals down until I’m stronger
Track Name: The Doubtful One
Brother thomas, did you walk away from Jesus wondering if it was all a dream?
did all your doubts creep back and tell you that your fingers hadn’t ever touched a single thing?
Cause I have read that story so many times where you healed that man and he could see perfectly again
but in between it reads that all he saw were men as trees, and that’s all that seems to cloud my vision

cause all the friends I know have never ever met you,
does that mean that they deserve to die?
But I heard once that you came here as love for all of us,
and not to pull the wood from out of our eyes

My mother, she was always working in the yard growing life from your sun and from her dirt
so I would read those words but nothing ever seemed to grow except my lonely brother’s hurt
Oh holy preacher, did you ever think that maybe there was more to life than dying in a pew?
isn’t this whole world just hell enough for all of us, do you have to murder them for all the things they do

cause all the friends I know have never ever heard you speak and I know when you speak it brings up life
so would you, pretty please, come speak to all of them and me, growing us collectively into your wife
lead me to the mountain, right it out on those stone tablets what it is that you decide’s the truth
but I think I want my hands to bleed from loving, not from condeming
isn’t love what he would have us do?

All my friends and I, we have stolen, we have lied, and we have looked upon each other full of lust
but you carried your cross when you know that I was lost, so I know that you could carry all of us
Track Name: The Art of Dying
Death sits inside his office as we wait for the verdict
he speaks our fate with a nervous tick; do we get the cure or the sickness?
and when we die, what will it be - a graveyard grave, or a golden fleece?
And will we fight or will we flee?
Will you still have faith in me?

I walk down the golden stairs and pray, again, the skeptics prayer
my grandpa is still sitting there asleep with a book in his red chair
I’m a father, and I’m a son, and I do not own any guns
I hope death don’t come from my hands so I can die a peaceful man

Can’t we say that we won’t know a single thing until the day that death itself is cast away
and I believe there’s nothing left to mar,
I don’t know where I stand, but when I fall, its not too far

I hope you’re running down the road with a golden ring and a purple coat
to meet me when I pass through death with my brother and the fattened calf

I can’t see what it will be until my real name comes to me
I can’t see what it will be, so dance with me until I sleep.
Track Name: Broken Tether
All of my days, they are coming to an end - I am counting down the seconds
and I can no longer pretend that I am completely content with where I’m at

If I met you, I would burn my magazines, erase all my history, and say I’m sorry
and like a tree, I’d burn my leaves, and bare myself for all to see, and you’d call it beauty

I am hoping that you’re running down the road to me without your shoes on

I am binding every part that is left of me to a tiny mustard seed, and it is growing
so if my hands should start to bleed, it means loves flowing out of me: lets start rejoicing!

I am roaming, and you are calling me back home. I have never felt that call so strong before
and though my feet walk very slow, and there is death between my bones, I’ll make it home!

‘cause there are days, sometimes even weeks when I can say I don’t believe
but the days are getting longer in between
maybe it would help me if we’d meet
Track Name: Capernaum
Oh, your songs are sad and filled with praises
and they make the walls of this jail collapse around us
but I still can’t leave - my chains are caught around me!
So I will try to look off in the distance, but the tunnel is dark - there’s no light at the end of it
I’ve never been a desperate man, yet here I am!

So lower me down through the roof
‘cause I can’t walk to you

Oh my god, have you named me isaac and led me along,
up onto the mountaintop so I can see if you think I’m worth a single thing?
Is there a ram that has come to take my place for me?
Or, will I see the wrath I dream so frequently?
I’ve always been the lesser man, so here I am!

Lower me down into the pool
cause I can’t walk to you
no, I can’t walk at all
Track Name: Some Days I Don't Want to Sing (O' Death, Where Is Thy Sting?)
Is this the end? Are we in?
Do I watch all my friends just take dives off of cliffs ‘cause their heads are full of questions they can’t know now?
And the weight of the world does not rest on your shoulders.
No, it strains and it bends on the same arms that hope sends
So don’t carry it now! Lower it down!
When faith dies and hope flies, then love must prevail or else this all means nothing.

So carry my heart home, or just leave me alone
but don’t be in between reality and me

If you calm all the waves, and my friends rise from graves
do they still have to die again a second time?
Or will we rejoice when they rise?
Now I must crucify all my truth and all my lies
I’ve believed so many things just because someone told me
When given choice of grace or abandonment, would anyone just walk away?
I’m not sure if I know today...
Track Name: To Dust
Teacher, you had mentioned me on the way to the dead sea
you said that you’d make the blind to see after three days
so I saw what I’d gotten into, and fell into a lions den
you could close every single mouth that they raise

I remember when you’d dance with me in the mud so ever frequently
I didn’t wash my feet for weeks for fear that the muddy healing would rub off

If you’d heal my brother, will we know if he’s supposed to live, or die, or both?
and will he come home after three days?
I used to not love you, but I changed my mind
but if that happened once, it could happen twice
how many times can I “still have faith”?

but you are forever, and when we brave this weather
you go and walk across the water to keep me from drowning to the bottom
where he was laid beneath the falls and waves

I was staring, looking back, out the keyhole of my door
you saw that I had seen you, and I fell to the floor
you were dancing with the children and loving all the broken
and I was too scared to come out
and then you busted through my doorway and it seemed so very violent
but peaceful words came out and silenced all my silence
and I realized that the knowledge that I thought that I had known
was nothing compared to you coming to my home
so maybe when I’m dead, you will answer all the questions
that all of us explained though we knew we didn’t know them
and wonder why true love would demand that death must be the cure?
So even if my anger and my pain have all continued
it could quickly fade if I’d receive a touch from you
and I would be content to forget everything I’ve known
to fall asleep right now, for good before your throne