colibri!

by Stephen Fuller

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about

colibri! is an infusion of folk-ish songwriting, unconventional kora playing and lots of hummingbirds.

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credits

released December 25, 2016

All kora written and performed by Stephen Fuller.

All lyrics written and sung by Stephen Fuller except spoken pieces by Dr. Atigh and Bear and prayer song sung by Dawn Bramadat.

Engineered, mixed & mastered by Jordan Strum in Montréal, QC

Recorded at Studio Catalyse, Montréal.

Front & back cover photos by Martin Moreira.

Watercolour by Stanislas de Saint-Quentin.

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Stephen Fuller Montreal, Québec

Follow the hummingbird!

Suivre le colibri!

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Track Name: dark
English translation of the words of Dr Atigh:

it's important that people know that our well is accessible
because the well, water, in Islam
is one of three things one must not keep to oneself,
that we must give to others;
even if they're not of our tribe, if they're not of our parents,
that we must never refuse to someone:

water, fire and pasture

that's universal, it's the words of the Prophet,
which say that those three things must not be reserved,
must not be enclosed, we must not prevent others from taking them

someone who comes,
for example the nomads who come here with their animals
if they don't have any greenery near home
we can't tell them to leave, it's forbidden for us to tell them to leave

because pasture is for everyone,
water is for everyone
fire is for everyone

it's simple, someone who has no matches to make fire at home
we must give him matches

if he comes to get water,
we must give it to him

these three things, we must never refuse them to others
they are shared by everyone, it's the property of everyone

pasture, water and fire

- Dr Atigh

recorded beside the Ifedaren well, Mauritania, 2012
enregistrer à côté du puit d'Ifedaren, Mauritanie, 2012
Track Name: mother
mama you are
the light of my world
the spark of my heart
the laughter that scares off the dark

mama you are
the song of the morning
the calm flowing river
that washes the worry away

mama you are
all the memories of meaning
if we had nothing else now
at least we'd know who we are

mama you're tired
of carrying all the burdens
i'll keep calling for peace now
so that you can be calm
Track Name: father
what did your father say when the church man came knocking?
what did you mother say when the church man went away?
this world's only as big as the stories that tell it
mine's in the harvest moon - at the fading of the day

always saw the way now,
that the fool took, went astray now,
and came back to you the next day
impatience, futility,
redundance, rapidity
you can't build a world that way
(no you can't build a world that way)

what did the papers say- that the dark days have come?
what did the TV say- that the forest had washed away?
you know i'm well acquainted with forces of destruction
so i can hear the darkness behind those things you say

~

from a tiny round door in a waking imagination
the road goes on and on
and as he's walking
a wise man remembers that all the lessons have already been learned

and so he is always listening to the texture of speech
for the meaning in stories
because a wise man knows that each voice has relevance
that each person remembers
and each place also has a memory

so you get to choose on your own
a carpenter knows wood and stone
and a wise man knows when to let go
Track Name: air
i was born a valley boy
my sister she can tell you
i've cursed and i have fallen down
but i've never fallen so gently

do you love me mountain girl? do you love me?
though i come from the valley low, though my people's surly

what do you see in me mountain girl?
what do you see in me?
i'm a mixed up man with no cause at all
you're eternal, you dance freely

i love you too sweet mountain girl
as your voice, the wind it calls me
high on the hill where you stand so proud
beside you i stand freely

the flowers you picked on that mountain side
the smell it lifts me freely
it carries me to the other side
where i dance forever with thee

what would you do if i were to go?
if the wind she came and took me?
i'd not go to see another now
because i'd not be looking

do you miss me mountain girl do you miss me?
your voice, the wind, it calls me now. your voice that sings so clearly
Track Name: stone
a tinker rides a lonely way
in this world of speed and plenty
his horse he moves so calm and slow
like mist over fields of morning
but he's never far from the stones, no he's never far from the stones

the blacksmith swings a mighty blow
to coax smoothe form from fire
the ring of steel his ritual
for worth he seeks no farther
but he's never far from the stones, no he's never far from the stones

the bard he sings the old songs
for listeners, sometimes wanting
though his stories never lose their soul
some people hear no meaning
and he's never far from the stones, , no he's never far from the stones

and a hunter wears a woolen cloak
nor rain nor cold can pierce it
he feeds his family from the woods
knows hunger's code and obeys it
but he's never far from the stones, no he's never far from the stones

a father shows his children ways
to live with less than plenty
in spite of this, to laugh away
the night with song and friendlies
but he's never far from the stones, no they're never far from the stones

a warrior he must leave the earth
and face the worse for goin'
a druid, yes, he may return
the dust he left awaits him

well the stones they may look old and hard
but as liquid they were flowing
and so are live as anything
that on this earth is growing
and you're never far from the stones, no we're never far from the stones
Track Name: feu
tot le matin
j'ai entendu crier la nouvelle
et que la ca touche mes proches
la tristesse m'a innondé
je me suis senti vulnerable
à cause du feu et son systeme
j'etais loin de mon quotidien
j'avais peur pour ma sante
je ne comprennais rien
je voulais que ca finisse

tot le matin que j'arrivais don-di-don
dans un monde ou le feu est hors de controle

tot le matin
un accident ou une erreur?
qu'on dirait 'inevitable'
ça pourrais revenir
alors les gens sont mal- à -l'aise
est-ce qu'on écoute toutes les voix?
en imaginant la rétablissement
chaque personne à ses besoins
qui necessite d' être écouter

tot le matin que j'arrivais don-di-don
dans un monde ou le feu est hors de controle
Track Name: colibri!
feel the lightness of my body
feel the air that fills my chest
feel the rain that cools my flight
feel myself crossing to the other side

rising up because i know i can
flying over all the people's land
followin' rivers to their sources
in every eye i see eternal resources

dam de dum dum da-dum

i'm filled with hope at the sight of you
billions of people with a common truth
we need clean water, good food
don't seem like much but there's lots to do

i'm rising up 'cuz i've seen that fire
fighting fire only breeds desire
for more than ever unearthly needs
each day feedin' lies and a ruthless greed

not on earth waiting for to die
gotta share every drop of life
fly with the guides that show the way
and walk with the people to a balanced day

won't kill, corrupt or seek with violence
freedom depends on common agreement
peace is the shape of the natural law
whose limits are blessings - not flaws

~

fly little bird
believe the voices that you heard
we've all told you our little truths
hoping what we've learned could be of some use
fly!

vol p'tit oiseau
croire les voix que t'entendue
on t' à tous raconte nos verités
en espérant que ça va t'inspirer à voler
vol!
Track Name: water
l'eau c'est ma droît
it's my being, it's my thoughts
it's the prism of my soul
and the life my clay holds

water is my right
mon être, mes pensées
c'est le prisme de mon âme
et la vie que mon corps tiens

from this overstanding
i share out my truth
(truth can open up curtains
and let the light through)

like you i may come
and will go from this place
slip beneath the surface,
my ripples starting waves

but in each waking moment
i am carried by voices
of a people held by a thirst
for the choice to make choices

about water and food
shelter and fire
are these too simple ambitions
for a culture fueled by desires?

yes, each morning i wake
to a strange way of thinking
that values copies as much
as the essence of living

a culture that builds up
ideas in the mind
that are not stable or worthy
until concretized

but as a water being
i don't look to concrete for growth
my world expands when i listen
when i open my mouth

as a water being i am anchored
in the strength of my roots
dynamic, resilient and ancient -
my heart

my heart which connects me
to all my human body
to all the water of this planet
to the pool of all livity

for strength among people
i seek solidarity
strong roots, grown together
hearts entwined in agreement

for growth between people
i seek fluidarity
the dance of adaptation
the bloodflow of communication

une âme qui voyagait, comme chaqu'un de vous
j'ai trouvé un temple et j'ai apparu

c'est l'eau qui nous tiens ensemble
l'eau c'est nous et nous célébrons

c'est pour l'eau sacré que je m'en viens
c'est le sentiment de mon destin

c'est l'eau qui nous tiens ensemble
l'eau c'est nous et nous célébrons

solidarity - solidarite
fluidarity - fluidarite

~

i wait for the rain
i wait for the rain to come down
Track Name: light
she's waiting for a light that'll shine her all the way
he's waiting for a song that'll make the people radiate
standing beside both of them i wish that i could say
something in this morning air tells me we're not far away

~

we march we walk we wander together
the songs we sing for water are our feathers
our voices fly above the world and fall on us like rain
aquassembly called towards the centre

we march we walk we wander together
parade bands hold the rhythm as we gather
our hearts become the drums which speak our unity
aquassembly called towards the centre

on marche on va on ère ensemble
nos voix sont les plumes de nos ancêtres
volantes elles retombent en pluie sacré
on se rencontre pour être aquassemblé

on marche on va on ère ensemble
la fanfare bat le rhythme de nos coeurs
au son des tambours on sent notre unité
on se rencontre pour être aquassemblé
Track Name: walk
me i'm not afraid
to walk towards a brighter day
through burning fire and pounding rain
for what else am i made?

me i'm not afraid
to live for those we cannot see
on the other side of the curtain sheet
for the humble and the meek

me i'm not afraid
though many others live in constant fear
for life and family and all that's dear
cruelty and violence break their hope each day

me i'm not afraid
deep down, though many days
i find no meaning in this game
little used but plenty waste

me i'm not afraid
to ask forgiveness when i outstep my place
to follow at my brothers pace
human being not human race

me i'm not afraid
to see myself as very small
to see the children as so tall
look to their future, follow that way

me i'm not afraid
to see the wealth that i have
to share when someone asks
to offer when i can

me i'm not afraid
to walk towards a brighter day
through burning fire and pounding rain
for what else am i made?