Patchwork Life

by Janice Whaley

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about

After doing 71 covers on The Smiths Project last year, I was ready to work on original music. These songs were created in a similar recording style to The Smiths Project, with layers of vocals making up all instrumentation including drum beats, strings, synths, choirs, etc. but this time, with the addition of piano samples on a few songs and, in one case, a drum machine and bells. That's it. These layered-vocal tracks take months to piece together and edit into arrangements. The album represents a solid year of singing and editing.


Album Title
I called the album Patchwork Life because of the many distinct elements of my life that have come together to make up who I am- and make the music what it is. Growing up, I had a quilt on my bed that my grandmother made from my mother's old 70s clothes. Each square was so completely different, bold, and colorful. Nothing matched, yet the over all effect was cohesive and deeply personal. The quilt mirrors my musical attempt to honor the many aspects and extreme differences of my life- real vs.online, acoustic voice vs. digital editing, motherhood vs. music dreams, sleep vs. finishing an album... to take all these elements and use what ever is around me to create something new.

Artwork
The artwork represents what I see when working on music every day: waveforms. Since my music is made up of acoustic voices stitched together digitally, I spoke each song title into ProTools, took snapshots of the waveforms and then embroidered them onto fabric using ProTools track colors as my palette The album art consists of an embroidered physical representation of my voice for each of the 11 original song titles as well as the album cover.



Thank you for supporting the music that I have worked all year to create! XO Janice

credits

released 22 May 2012

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about

Janice Whaley

Awarded San Francisco Bay Guardian's 'Best of the Bay 2011' and SF Weekly's 'Best of San Francisco 2011,' Janice Whaley covered every song by The Smiths in one year, using only voice as her sound source. Each song has between 30-50 layers of voice and took more than 1300 hours to complete.

New album, plus collaboration with Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) coming this winter

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Track Name: Megalodon
All sounds created by Janice’s voice except for drum sticks & piano samples

MEGALODON

I am invisible and you can only see
With your eyes
But deep down, you know it’s me

It is on the tip of the iceberg
That’s stuck to my tongue
With every passing phrase

I’m here. I’m right here.

The words I left unsaid
Are thrashing violently now
Like a megalodon in the room
Please tell me you know I’m here

If only I were a ghost.
Brave and sure
You’d feel my words on your lips
The rush of an embrace

The words I left unsaid
Are thrashing violently now
Oh the megalodon in the room
Please tell me you know I’m here.

I’m here.

Here me now
See me now
Know me now
You know how
Track Name: Built My World
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

BUILT MY WORLD

Fearless house in the void
Floats through the universe
I planted trees, gardens
A porch light you can see for miles.

It can’t reach me here

Ooh….
I built my world

I left behind familiar walls
And a soul with knives for words
A door bricked shut, a smiling hook
Fear of fresh air

Ooh….
I built my world

I wish you’d join me if just for a while
I’m easy to fine, only house for miles
The only house for miles.
Come over. Come over.

In this new place of mine
No sunrise or sunset
But even still, I sent you
The address, just in case...
Track Name: Buried
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

BURIED

Working hard in the afternoon
Slave away and rhyme
My body will feel it soon
But that’s just fine by me

I see the purpose
I know the “why”
It all comes down to this
Long awaited night

Watch and wait
He’s getting closer now
All this work…
I hate and I know how to cope.

Long live me
I am victorious
She is free now
Today is glorious

All my life is hinged on this night
A bullet glitters on the highway
But did he know, did he understand
I had the last word to say?

Watch and wait
He’s getting closer now
All this work…
I hate and I know how to cope.

Long live me
I am victorious
She is free now
Today is glorious

If you’re wondering why….

I did it all for her.
You know why.
I did it all for her.
You know I
I did it all for her.
Track Name: It's Not You
All sounds created by Janice’s voice
except for electric piano & bells



IT’S NOT YOU

Went down to the wreckage
To survey what was done
Crash landing, apparent
But I know it was me

I tried to convey what was wrong
Through my eyes
But my lips were frozen
From the start

It’s not you, it’s not you…
It’s me. It always was.

Oh, what have you done?
Grabbed the fruit of knowledge to
Take a bite, take a bite of life
I took the bait of lies instead.

I said them, I said them,
I lied them
Chewed on these words, mouthing
Lip-syncing to all other souls

I tried to fit in, oh I tried to sit still
But my legs stuck out so far
And tripped them all by accident
Well, mostly by accident.

It’s not you, it’s not you…
It’s me.
It always was.
It always was about me
Not believing
Track Name: Tunnel Vision
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

TUNNEL VISION

Leave me alone in my dark tunnel
of vision for you
Echoes of laughter ricochet
off the wall and fade too soon.

You watched me build the tunnel wall
Never looked in at me
From the other side at all

I’ve got eyes for you
I close my eyes when you leave me alone

Tunnel vision love for you
Tunnel vision love for you

So narrow the tunnel that I made
You had to leave me, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid.
Track Name: Collapse And Dissolve
All sounds created by Janice’s voice
except for piano & electric piano


COLLAPSE AND DISSOLVE

I asked if you’re ok
What did they tell you?
What did they say?
Weak knees on shaking ground
Trade places with me
I’ll drive you home

Don’t think, don’t breathe, don’t let it in
There’s plenty of time once you get home
Don’t speak, just speed, you gotta floor it now
Five more minutes to race the tears home

then…
Collapse and dissolve

Frozen at the shoulder
Cars rush by and
Headlights blind.
It can’t be, it can’t be
It can’t be happening
I’ve got to put my blinker on
Gotta get us home.

Through sharp pain and
Blurry eyes.
I focus on the road.
Turn left, we’re almost home
And then we step out into a
Brave, new world.
A world he’ll never know.

Don’t think, don’t breathe, don’t let it in
There’s plenty of time once you get home
Don’t speak, just speed, you gotta floor it now
Five more minutes to race the tears home then…
Collapse and dissolve
Track Name: Integratron
**All instrument sounds (organs, strings, background voices) were created by Janice's voice except for drum machine and bass line. Additional low voice by Josh Cadwising.**


INTEGRATRON

You set up the pinwheels
And prayed for gale forces
As heat from his anger
Still lingers and courses

I sat in my armchair
Eyes shut to the dust storms
As earthquakes and bombs
Share acceptance as part of the norm

You sang us a song
Of right and of wrong
Of this goes there
That should be

Always fearful
When others sing discordant song
'Cause you know
You don't know how to sing along

You don't know how to sing along

Integratron
Integratron
Integratron
Integratron and on and on


Climb to the top of Big Rock
Wait for news while they're
Gazing at stars
(they've got none on thars)

The aperture spins
Slowly round and round
As positive ions
Build up, reclaim this chance as found


Integratron
Integratron
Integratron
Integratron and on and on


Vibrations of my voice
Bounce off the walls and funnel
Down through my core
Inform blood and bone of what's in store


Integratron
Integratron
Integratron
Integratron and on and on


Knocked my tears loose
From a twenty-year stall
Track Name: Sugar And Fire Ants
All sounds created by Janice’s voice


SUGAR AND FIRE ANTS

We reached the top of a steep hill
Up to a rickety old house
And asked to see the Blind Seer
The only one who can help us now

She said, “open your hand, love.
You must take it all.”
One dose of sugar and fire ants
To set the wrongs right

Just a hand full
Of sugar and fire ants
Makes the medicine go down

I did as she said
I put my hand to my mouth
Swallowed all, washed it down with some moonshine
As strong as sunshine

Oh, it’s like I’m drinking fire
And everything went numb
Save for one burning question
How long does it take to work?

Just a hand full
Of sugar and fire ants
Makes the medicine go down

I hope this works
Track Name: According To A Liar
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

ACCORDING TO A LIAR

According to a liar
All his life was grand
He told me of a wire
He walked across on his hands

Maybe it’s true
Maybe I see
I’m not like you
My life’s not free

According to a mother
All her dreams complete
Inside there was another
Part of her asleep

Maybe it’s true
Maybe I see
I’m not like you
My life’s not free

According to a lover
Never thoughts of you
But smiles can never cover
Desire burning through

Maybe it’s true
Maybe I see
I’m not like you
My life’s not free

Oh, so long...
Good bye, dreamer
So long...
Good bye, dreamer

Think it over
Before it’s all over.

So long
Good bye
Track Name: Haunt Me
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

HAUNT ME

Walking through the city
My mouth full of fog
Heart full of anvils
Oh where have you gone?
I need to know

Boarding L Taraval
Passing by your street
I clicked my heels three times
Oh, but nothing’s changed
Where have you gone?

Haunt me please, any time
Haunt me please, any time you want
I’ll be right here

I asked Portola’s Dancing Man
(He’s working on his moves)
He says that he hasn’t seen you for a while
(And he would know)

Checked the cave at low tide
Skimmed Sutro’s pools
Lemon for my tea, the rest for my eye
Like old times

Haunt me please

Haunt me please, any time
Haunt me please, any time you want
I’ll be right here

Oh I want to hear
I want to see
Books fly off the self
And heaters turn on by themselves

Haunt me
Once in a while please
Haunt me
Every so often
Track Name: The Unusuals
All sounds created by Janice’s voice

THE UNUSUALS

Gather ‘round now, friends of old
You’re safe in the arms of Battered Souls
We understand. No need to explain
How to maneuver a derailed train.

We are The Unusuals
Not usual
Misusuable
Unuseable

Candy-coated shell
A magician without his spell
A man who swallows knives for fun
It’s so easy to dismiss
What we have done

We are The Unusuals
Not usual
Misusuable
Unuseable

And we can’t feel a thing
Sorrow without its sting
Our laughter is wearing thin
But we are proud to wear our painted grin

Lights down, enjoy the show
They’ll watch for an hour
And then they’ll go
But keep juggling wolves and playing with fire
For nothing will come from the uninspired

We are The Unusuals!
Not usual!
Misusuable!
Unuseable!
Track Name: Janice Whaley and James Roday - Ideas as Opiates
All sounds were made by my voice and edited in ProTools. No instruments were played on this song.