PhiLiZound Recordings
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Page updated: 18-Nov-2013

A Minor Excursion

A concept album/musical/mystery
A sci-fi tale... on a cosmic scale

They say it's meaningless to ask
what happened before the Big Bang...
But what if?...

Players

Narrator  Archaeologist  Apprentice  Dreamer/dancer  Wise/old/young ones  Guardian  Professor  Girl

Scene/Track list

Intro   Why?   Prologue   Dawn   Omen   Departure   Enlightenment   Birth   Lost   Rebirth   Contact   Contacts   Cruising   D.C.   Epilogue


Intro

Demo mp3
Narrator

A long time ago, and far, far away
Billions of years, about 14 they say
With no air for a bang, but vast energy
A singular point just appeared, silently.

Hard to imagine that such a small place
Contained everything needed for all time and space.
Now if they told their story, what more could we ask?
The ultimate answer? We'd know it at last!


Why?

Demo mp3
Narrator

The cameras were running, he'd drawn quite a crowd
On this warm starlit beach, moon shrouded in cloud.
The washed up old relics, their secrets unfurled
Would finally now be revealed to the world.

Archaeologist

Do you ever wonder
As you gaze up at the sky?
Can't see how we came here
No matter how you try

Those who know the answer
Are convinced it's cut and dry
Still you're none the wiser
They never tell you why

What possible reason would someone intend
To make something from nothing, can you comprehend?
And if that's not enough, why on earth would it end?
D'you know why?

So sit yourself down, and I'll tell you a tale
Of a time long ago, but you really can't tell
They're still around now, we can see them quite well
You and I...

Yes, sit yourself down, and I'll tell how we found
An old shimmering globe with a hypnotic sound
Its twinkling lights dancing round and around
You'll know why...

Why?


Prologue

Demo mp3
Narrator

The tables are cluttered; all manner of vials
Bubbling containers, tubes and strange dials
Tiny flames, flickering, shadows and glare
Scented aromas filling the air.
Shelves bend with the strain of so many flasks.
The apprentice lifts one, then suddenly gasps.

Apprentice

Can't see how it happened
But maybe it's too strong
Test forty-one was perfect
Now this one's gone all wrong

I'm going to be in trouble
I took the utmost care
How could I lose a bubble?
They could be anywhere

They got so agitated
And slipped out through a hole
Whatever I've created
It's out of my control

Oh where.....where are they now?...

Prologue


Dawn

Demo mp3
Narrator

Hustling and bustling, the panicking grows
Young and old shouting, but nobody knows.
Apart from the wise ones, they knew the ropes
Answering questions, raising their hopes.

Wise ones

Step back in line, there is plenty of time
We're all going to leave here together
You already know we're committed to go
It's going to be quite an adventure

The young ones push forwards excitedly, clamouring for attention

Young ones

Will there be danger if we're all outside?
Is there space for a field? Is there somewhere to hide?
Won't you please, please tell us
Please, please tell us

We've hung on for ever but no-one has gone
So we're all up and down as we've waited so long
Won't you please, please tell us
Please, please tell us

Wise ones

There's nothing to fear, so you won't get a fright
In fact, nothing at all if our theories are right
So just string along now as our future looks bright

Narrator

They weren't to know...

Now it was the old ones turn

Old ones

How do we know if it's safer out there?
For as strong as we are, it's a massive affair
So convince us, will you
Convince us, will you

And what of the weakest? If they don't survive
We'll be forced to split up if they never arrive
Please assure us, will you
Assure us, will you

Wise ones

We know that our actions won't please everyone
But the omens have spoken and now we must run
It's the last event left on our bleak horizon

Narrator

They weren't to know...

And then came the time to exchange their goodbyes
But there's someone who's missing, well what a surprise!
She's probably dreaming, her head in the skies
Where is she now?...

Dawn


Omen

Demo mp3
Narrator

She twirls and spirals, young and free
Oblivious to all. If only they'd see.

Dreamer

If I reach up high, I can touch the sky
After all, I'm only a dreamer
They misunderstood, like I knew they would
What if leaving here causes more harm?

I should not have told, they are far too old
They just say I'm only a schemer
Well I'm not so deranged and the visions were strange
Although now they are nothing but charm

She looks up, no longer afraid of the now familiar voices

Someone is calling, why are they calling my name?
How do they know me? Maybe it wasn't a dream

Narrator

Visions so hazy, borderline crazy
Ways to escape if they only had shape; it was daring and bold
But the idea was sold, and a sight to behold

Simple yet clever, folding together
Twist and a tuck, and another for luck; now the structure had form
What a beautiful dawn, as all matter was born

They find her

Narrator

Then finally they all departed
No-one would know what it took
There are some who would say it was many a day to get started
In a relative way, a split-second was quite adequate

Dreamer

How do they know me? Maybe it's more than a dream...

Omen


Departure

Demo mp3
Narrator

Sub-atomic particles combine but rip apart.
Elements just can't exist, the cauldron's far too hot.
It takes a while for things to cool, and atoms start to form.
Hydrogen and helium, the simplest ones, are born.

Narrator

What a feat, reaching the border
Searing heat and much disorder
Those light-hearted, yet so excited pioneers

But the constant inter-reaction
Slowed their journey to a fraction
Give or take, a mere three hundred thousand years!


Enlightenment

Demo mp3
Narrator

As atoms form, resistance falls and light escapes at last.
The searing fog gets darker now, the primal phase had past.
Space & time expanding still, a concept so bizarre
Where all points seem to move away, no matter where you are.

All

Was it right? All this colliding
Splitting up, then re-combining
Not so clever, trapped forever
Would our efforts be undone?

Then at last, able to break free
All the rest, stable and shapely
More united, still excited
A new era had begun

Dreamer

Look at me
Tumbling free
Racing on
Feeling fine

Strange at last
To have a past
Dancing on
The edge of time

All

If only you could have seen us
On our weird expanding surface
So deceptive, most effective
Nothing central anymore

Dreamer

Look at me
Roaming free
Who will play?
Who will guide?

Fields of waves
Or maybe rays
Who can say?
I'll decide

Narrator

What a fight! All that exchanging
Fundamentally so re-arranging
Less chaotic, more exotic
They'd been shaken to the core

But had they known
The seeds were sown
For more...


Birth

Demo mp3

Narrator

Weak it may be, but given time, even atoms succumb to gravity,
forming huge dark clouds,
their insides crushing with rising heat & pressure,
until finally, hydrogen atoms merge to form helium,
releasing heat and light in the process...
... a star!

Narrator

They were free, with no reserves
Careering round the long dark curves
Forging paths along the nerves
Of space and time

What could go wrong? They had the will
The universe was theirs to fill
They'd do it all, with time to kill
They're in their prime

But suddenly, it was too late
As something else controlled their fate
An elementary mistake
As in they drew

Was it a curve or gravity?
That pulled them in relentlessly
Or was it just their destiny?
They never knew

Countless clusters, roaming free
All growing imperceptibly
Through endless, endless centuries
Was there no more?

The pressure vast, they'd die for sure
But one solution, kill or cure
Way deep inside, a mighty roar
As they transformed

A billion years, and they had won
A fusion furnace just begun
And all the stars, one by one
Began to glow

A trillion beacons, what a sight!
Shining proud, they bathed their light
And brightened up the longest night
They'd ever known


Lost

Demo mp3

Narrator

She twirls and spirals, continually losing her way
Maybe a guardian, he'll be ok...

Guardian

She loves me, she loves me not
How could they put me on the spot
Expecting me to keep an eye on her

Round and round my mind again
I'm thinking I might be insane
Her dancing drives me crazy with desire

I don't know where she has gone
Although I've been here all along
I hope they don't check up on her right now

It's unfair to hold her back
Guess I'll just have to take the flack
I think they're looking over here, oh no

They had noticed

Wise ones

Come over here now
Won't you please just explain how
You have let her get away from you again

You should have known she's
In a world of her own, we
Only hope our search for her is not in vain

He confesses

Guardian

Where she goes I don't know
But it's quite all right with me
I'm fascinated by her, though
Our love can never be

Wise ones

Don't get us wrong, but
Is there something going on?
You know we'll do our best to try and understand

But we told you very clearly
To ignore her crazy theory
All this reaching up is getting out of hand

Guardian

Tantalising motion
Which, to her, is just a game
Such a strong emotion
That I'll never be the same

She pirouettes in the distance, taunting

Dreamer

Come and watch me
Try and catch me
See the spiral arms entwining

I'm still reaching
Almost touching
Can't you see the tale unfolding?

They find her


Rebirth

Demo mp3

Narrator

1000's of millions of galaxies, each with 1000ís of millions of stars.
Each one fusing elements into more complex ones
as heat & pressure increases...
Step by step; hydrogen to helium, helium to carbon, to neon, oxygen...
but a stalemate is reached at iron.
To go beyond this, creating all the other elements we see around us,
needs energy on a far different scale...

All

Come on in, beneath the glare
There's something here we'd like to share
Leave the others; way too small
We're the ones, we do it all

Tell us now my complex friend, where do you think you're from?
'Can't be here!' you firmly say. But maybe you are wrong
For millions of your years we beam, un-ending energy
But deep within, a cunning scheme, a secret alchemy

Fuel runs low, you'd think we'd slow, and everything would wane
But twists of fate let us create the next one in the chain
Pressure climbs, we re-combine and round we go again

Supernova, supernova, supernova

What you see around you; more than just a glow
A surreptitious factory for everything you know
'Nothing super, nothing new, you all do this', you jest
'You have only made a few, what about the rest?'

A hush descends upon them, 'You'd better step away'
'There's a catch, you see, my friend; a price we have to pay'

Then suddenly it all collapsed; a monumental crash
And when the core exploded, an overwhelming flash
Brighter than a galaxy, and now the job was done

Expanding clouds of dusty shrouds; the planting had begun

Supernova, supernova, supernova

A faint echo lingers...

Stardust, you're made of stardust...


Contact

Demo mp3

Narrator

Their ancestors' work permeates the universe.

All

Aeons passed, we saw it all
From things so very basic
Grew structures vast, beyond our grasp
A universe majestic!

But nothing would prepare us
For the sight which was to come
As we raced in tight formation
Towards a distant sun

One world encased in crystal rings
Then one with stripes and whirls
Such wondrous sights, but lifeless things
As we moved in closer still

And as its moon obscured our view
With craters grey and frozen
A vibrant orb of green and blue
Rose up from the horizon

Our timelines vastly different here
Around this emerald gem
They barely moved as we drew near
How would we appear to them?

But some of us were careless
Distracted by the view
Our warnings pierced the stillness
There was nothing we could do...

Contact


Contacts!

Demo mp3

Narrator

Marvelling at the wonders has a cost.
Photons from stars travel uneventfully for billions of years,
only to end their journeys as mere specs of light in the eyes of onlookers;
with maybe a last fleeting sensation of resistance before impact.

Unaware of all this, on the orb far below
The professor's impatience is starting to show.

Professor

Step back in line, there is plenty of time
You'll all get to see if you don't push
Climb up the steps, put your eye over this
You just turn the lever to focus

The queue quietens down

Narrator

The cool evening air re-arranges her hair
As she patiently waits, though her thoughts are elsewhere
In a long line
A long line

She'd made her stance sacrificing romance
And now he'll have to wait, she's not missing the chance
Of a lifetime
A lifetime

The scaffolding sways with its lenses of glass
As it magnifies rays from the far distant past
And the boffins were thrilled it was working at last
They weren't to know...

High above, the warnings come too late

Wise ones

Danger, you are in danger

The queue moves slowly forwards

Narrator

She'd look so cool when she got back to school
She'd have such a story to impress
This was the girl whose linguistical skill
Had won her first prize in the contest

The ones who escaped can only watch

Wise ones

Too close, you're drifting too close
Danger, you are in danger
Helpless, we are so helpless
Farewell my old and faithful friends

A fleeting awareness before the end

Air, 5, glass, 4, air, 3, glass, 2, air, 1, contacts

The professor is justly proud of his creation

Narrator

No-one had seen quite so far out as this
All the theories were fine, but they only exist
In a mind game
A mind game

One by one the queue shortens, each visitor left speechless by the experience

For each of the others no words could be found
So all eyes were on her to say something profound
When the time came
The time came

For now it was her turn at taking the stand
So she climbs up the steps, gripping tight with her hand
And then closes one eye, takes a deep breath and cries...

Girl

Oh wooooooow!

Contacts!


Cruising

Demo mp3

Narrator

Some try to keep order, some dart here & there.
She constantly dances, but no-one's to care.


D.C.

Demo mp3

Narrator

Starting to wonder, does eternity end?
Had they made a blunder? Would they comprehend?

Wise ones

Where has she gone to?
Wasn't she with you, dancing?
She must have known
She'd be on her own if she strayed
We should be together
Right till the end, oh where are you?

A distant voice, too faint to be noticed

Dreamer

I reached up high

They console each other

Wise ones

We're at the edge now
What are we all meant to do now?
So far from home
No-one will know how it ends
Maybe the end doesn't matter at all
It's the journey

The voice goes unnoticed again

Dreamer

I've touched the sky

They continue their search, calling out for her, until...

Wise ones

Wait a minute, what's that moving
Right over there?
Can it be? Yes, follow me
She's over here

They piece the clues together

I'm confused, but I can see now
Maybe we were wrong
How could we be so blind? Did she
Know it all along?

She twirls and spirals, young and free, oblivious to all the commotion.
She looks up, no longer startled at the now familiar music.

Dreamer

I hear them calling my name
Maybe it's more than a dream...

The truth dawns; had they been the omen all along?


Epilogue

Demo mp3

Narrator

No longer worried, he turns off the probe
And ever so carefully sets down the globe.

Apprentice

I now see how it happened
We're getting very close
This one could be the answer
If I reduce the dose

My mentor didn't notice
No need for any lies
Good job she's always dreaming
Her head up in the skies

But wait, there's some commotion
A panic has begun
Someone's been hearing voices
They say we have to run...

Epilogue


Notes/progress

30-Jan-2009: Phase 2 complete: lyrics & structure finalised & vocals added (only taken 10 years!). Apologies for using my vocals on these demos but it's all I've got for now; phase 3 is to bribe/find people who really can sing to play the different roles & over-dub.
2-Feb-2009: Full demo uploaded to MySpace; track links & ambience to be added later.
3-Mar-2009: Full demo now playable in one chunk.
10-Aug-2009: Dreamer/dancer tracks updated; vocals kindly added by Mandy Cass.
8-Oct-2009: Lyrics added to Drifting and renamed as Rebirth, swapped order with Cruising.
11-Oct-2009: Vocals added to Rebirth; full demo updated with latest changes.
13-Oct-2009: Latest version uploaded to MySpace.
30-Aug-2012: Added narrator lyrics for track links.
6-Sep-2012: Uploaded full demo incl. narrator parts to Soundcloud
11-Sep-2012: Added abstract video for demo on YouTube
16-Nov-2013: Added more narrator lyrics to Omen.
18-Nov-2013: All tracks updated on Soundcloud; old version still on YouTube.