All songs and lyrics written and performed by Laylage Courie
with (in order of appearance):
19th Century Travel Guide
Sir William Johnson (the Explorer)
Ladyies there and here
Alexandra Augustine, Marian Courie, Deanna Kennett, Joy Sanzone
Cover Image & Design: Marian Courie
Mixed & Mastered by Eric Gorman. Recorded in the cosmic dream radio studio.
The text includes excerpts of the travel guide, Saratoga and How to See It, published in 1865, and Reverend Reuben Hyde Sears' 1819 poem about New York’s springs which is engraved, verse by verse, in the pediments of Saratoga's historic Roosevelt Baths.
Some things I'd like to say
I was sick for three years. When I finally felt better I wasn’t young anymore and that’s scary for a woman here and now.
This project began then.
these fountains rare here is a coming-of-age fairy tale.
In this tale I say:
Come on lonely here I am. Silver-grey. A she-wolf in winter.
Hungry and cold. But skillful.
Most importantly I say:
INHABIT THE DECREPIT ILLUSTRIOUS BODY.
One day I'll be hauled from muddy water gasping for breath into the clear clear air. Now, I’m the big fish that gets to escape. I’m the big one that got away.
It's November, off-season in an old resort town. I'm ill and feel old. With a civil-war era travel guide for amusement, I'm heading into the old-world spa to chill out. The book calls it "taking the waters".
I enter the spa. It's strange, i.e.: "high and poetic". The receptionist sends me down an elevator shaft into the parlor where I await the headmistress who gives me 19th century sanatorium rules for ladies. Uh-oh. Then I'm sent to the doctor to undress. Lunch is a feast! There are simple things to do. They require only effort. But I'm too tired. My birthright? I'm wedded to mortality.
I'm sweating in the steam room when poof through a steam cloud the white man who "discovered" the springs in the 1600's appears. He tells me how he was healed by a natural peculiar spring that was deep enough to bathe in. He intimates that this place might be inhabited by nymphs.
Feverish, I get into a porcelain tub. Down the drain I'm sucked to surface in a canoe on Moon's Lake.
Deer nymphs sing to me: "Frail and mortal man, whitened now". They, sing of waters that contain cure.
I follow the voices onto the shore. I hunt the peculiar springs, deep enough for me to bathe.
Instead I stumble upon ladyies feasting outside Moon's Lake House.
Inside I meet the deer nymphs and the moon. We play a game with bones. My heart is stopped. The deer want me to become like them. They are the deer who discovered the springs and who will bury the springs, deep deep down. I don't want to be lonely. The moon says that I will like the she-wolf in winter, hungry, cold but skillful. I run away.
At the crossroads, I meet the devil. She blows out my only light and advises me to follow her dogs who know "other paths not mapped by sight".
I do. It’s night. The constellation Orion rises. Come on Lonely.
I become a wolf and
Break out of the undergrowth at the peculiar springs.
I dive in. The deer nymphs herald my immersion with trumpets. The moon approves.
I surface in the bathtub, get dressed, open the door, to hear my friends.
One day I'll be hauled from muddy waters, gasping for breath into the clear clear air.
But this time, I got away.
With a narrative synopsis for each one. .