Moon Songs. Coyote Moon

 

There are so many gorgeous moon songs. One of them is Coyote Moon, which has haunted me for a long time now. Before the pandemic hit, I often played it at concerts, always feeling a deep musical and spiritual connection to the song. And indeed, others have felt similarly touched by it, as the following passage shows:

“’Coyote Moon’ captures an ethereal yet pastoral beauty best likened to extra-terrestrial country music.” – Jason Ankeny

Don’t you love the phrase “extra-terrestrial country music”? This year, during an especially golden October, I felt inspired to finally record and release an intimate acoustic version of the song. I’ve been playing it on the piano a lot but similar to its original by the American singer-songwriter Terry Callier, I chose to keep it simple with just voice, guitar, and upright bass, enveloped in a warm tone, synonymous with the golden hues of autumn and the song’s first lines:

“Summer’s finally over, autumn’s in the air…”

The American singer-songwriter Terry Callier (1945–2012) was a self-proclaimed “folk-jazz mystic” with a “small but fierce cult following”, performing mainly in his birth city Chicago and in New York. Callier recorded the original version for his album Timepeace, which was released by the UK label Verve in 1998. Stylistically, it is typical for the genre Americana, an amalgam of folk, jazz, and blues, which makes up the musical ethos of the United States.

My rendition is – similar to its original – arranged in an understated acoustic way: The guitar has a transparent tone with silvery highs; the double bass supplies low realms of warmth and depth, and although the voice is embedded in a soft, golden space, giving it presence. I consciously recorded and released the song in the autumn, swapping out the line, “when the fog rolls down the mountains” with “when the fall grows down the mountain” – alluding to the sight of the slow, beautiful change of green foliage to vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and purples.

This mood is also reflected in the sparse cover design, depicting the softness of the golden tones of the fall and the expansive landscape, so longed for in the song and so often sung about and rejoiced in the tradition of Americana. This is exactly where I see myself situated and my rendition of this song is a tribute to the spirituality of both the moon and nature.

Moreover, Coyote Moon mirrors the styles that are also such a formative element of my very own musical journey as a singer and songwriter. It is forever accompanied by my personal spiritual aspirations, which I often perceive as embodied in the moon – as you can also read in this blog post here.

I will be releasing Coyote Moon on my own indie label Moontraxx on November 18, 2022!

 

P.S. Thank you for helping me choose the cover design on Facebook!

 

Eating the Darkness

 

 

Eating The Darkness                                  Words & music by Frances Livings © 2013

I turn the key and stare into a
long, dark corridor I see the
furniture – untouched and cold
the emptiness starts to unfold

Dust has settled with no delay
upon my absence, during the day
while everything’s just frozen in its place
from when I left at twenty past eight

I’m always on time, never too late
but what difference does it really make?

And I sit here eating the darkness
and the darkness eats at me
I’m fading into the wallpaper
on the second floor
apartment number two-o-three

This is no chosen solitude
no PMS or a crappy attitude
a cheery bumper sticker,
a slogan of the day
can’t make this loneliness go away

Wandering rooms like in quarantine
I’m starring at the clock,
on elasticated time
brain waves flickering, mercury mind
like a black’n white TV in 1969

Losing my mind, losing my mind?
Just starring at the clock
on elasticated time –

And I sit here eating the darkness
and the darkness eats at me
I am fading into the wallpaper
on the second floor
apartment number two-o-three

Am I just another Eleanor,
my face in a jar, stuck by the door?
my feelings, bits of cargo
on a long conveyor belt
just carried away while I evaporate

Sit here and wait, sit here and wait
But what difference does it really make?

And I sit here eating the darkness
and the darkness eats at me
I am fading into the wallpaper
on the second floor,
apartment number two-o-three
Apartment number two-o-three…

 

Additional info:
Read about the creative process of writing this song: Eating the Darkness. Francesca Woodman’s Wallpaper

Recording Credits:
Artist: Frances Livings
Album: The World I Am Livings In
Label: Moontraxx Records, 2013

Frances Livings ~ vocal
Jeff Colella ~ electric piano
Trey Henry ~ double bass
Joey Heredia ~ drums

Eating the Darkness illustration song porcelaine doll's head under glass bell jar

Lissy-Elle-Laricchia_The-Things-We-Miss
© Lissy Elle Laricchia, The Things We Miss