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by Clara Engel

Fallen Nest 02:00
Gone to Seed 05:16
Smooth Stone 05:56
Mayn Rue Platz by Morris Rosenfeld Nit zukh mikh vu die mirten grinen, Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. Vu lebns velkn bay mashinen, Dortn iz mayn rue plats. Nit zukh mikh vu die feygl zingen, Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. A shklaf bin ikh, vu keytn klingen, Dortn iz mayn rue plats. Nit zukh mikh vu fontanen shpritsn, Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats. Vu trern rinen, tseyner kritsn, Dortn iz mayn rue plats. Un libstu mikh mit varer libe, To kum tzu mir, mayn guter shats. Un hayter oyf mayn harts, dos tribe, Un makh mir zis mayn rue plats. Translation: My Resting Place Don’t look for me where myrtles are green. You will not find me there, my beloved. Where lives wither at the machines, There is my resting place. Don’t look for me where birds sing. You will not find me there, my beloved. I am a slave where chains ring, There is my resting place. Don’t look for me where fountains spray. You will not find me there, my beloved. Where tears flow and teeth gnash, There is my resting place. And if you love me with true love, So come to me, my good beloved, And cheer my gloomy heart And make sweet my resting place.
Take Me Home 01:45



In September of 2022 I was finishing up a new album, slated for release in 2023, when I hit an impasse and decided to temporarily give up. This album is what happened after I "gave up." I recorded it over the span of about a week, and let myself play around with no goal or concept. My conclusion is that it is a good idea to give up now and then; messing around with these sounds rekindled my sense of possibility. Most of the pieces are based around spontaneous melodies and improvised musical meditations played on talharpa, cigar box guitar, melodica, and percussion. At the time that I was working on this I was listening mostly to an album by Burning Spear on repeat, a fact which is not reflected in the sound of this album, but I find it interesting so I thought I'd mention it.

"Mayn Rue Plats" by Morris Rosenfeld is the only vocal piece on the album. Rosenfeld wrote this poem/song in response to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, but it speaks more timelessly to the plight of workers whose lives are largely spent in toil, often removed from daylight, struggling to get by. There is something that made sense to me about including this particular song of lament and protest alongside these improvisations/musical mantras, which, (even though they are dark in tone), for me evoke forests, skies, stony riverbeds, spiderwebs, and the elemental sense of being a living creature immersed with other living (or once living) creatures. The juxtaposition of these pieces with that song calls up the vast, mute, and unnameable feeling I get when I see photographs of abandoned factories and ghost towns overgrown with greenery, of saplings bursting through concrete.

I'd been attempting to cover "Mayn Rue Plats" for a while, but was never satisfied with the result. I began with a faithful approach, note for note, chord for chord, but it sounded stilted. I returned to the song years later, and this time sang it over a cyclical and ponderous churning refrain on my four-string cigar box guitar. I recorded it in one take on a dark rainy day with the window open, so you can hear the ambience of a downpour in the background. I don't speak Yiddish, but it was my father's first language. He died in 2017, and I've found myself seeking out Jewish music since then; it feels like a form of connection to him and to that side of my family, which I know little about.

This is my second recording featuring the talharpa (aka bowed lyre), and I'm getting more skilled at coaxing a melody out of it. The final song is the refrain of a country folk hit that I'm sure most people will recognize. At first I played it as a joke, and then I thought: how many bowed lyre covers of Country Roads are there out there? Maybe I ought to fill the void.

The cover image is a drawing I made of a frond or a seahorse, or some chimeric hybrid. Whatever it is, it's alive. Ferns are ancient silent witnesses to so many other life-forms that have emerged and vanished. Seahorses have translucent otherworldly bodies, and it is the male who gives birth. Both of these living beings remind me of how rich and strange life is, and that there is so much more on earth beyond the fabric of the human world.

I think of this EP as a soundtrack to a short film that doesn't exist, an interlude between my albums, and a wild ravine right beside a busy highway intersection.



released October 14, 2022

All pieces improvised and written by Clara Engel except for "Mayn Rue Platz" which was written by Morris Rosenfeld, and Take Me Home, which is the chorus melody line of John Denver's "Country Roads"

Clara Engel: cigar box guitar, talharpa, voice, melodica, percussion, cover artwork

Recorded and mixed at home in 2022 by Clara Engel

Mastered by Krzysztof Sujata

A big thank you to patrons and all who made this recording possible:
Kathleen Adamson, Attila, William Bennett, David Buchta, Joel Cuthbert, Jay Dee, Konstantinos Diamantis, Chris D'Iorio, Andrew Erlich, Nicholas Field, Lys Guillorn, Hannah Heath-Engel, Jane Heath, Marc Hosemann, Brian King, Larry Lamb, Jeff McGivney, Taylor McLaren, Stephanie Merrin, Daniel Murphy, Jefferson Ogata, Karol Orzechowski, Emmett Pearce, Rob Raymond, Karl Rebsamen, Marley M. Rosen, Jarret Ruminski, Michael Lawrence Senchuk, Oliver Strahl, Astor Wolfe, Barrett Wolski


all rights reserved



Clara Engel Toronto, Ontario


I'm not writing the same song over and over so much as writing one long continuous song that will end when I die.

receive all forthcoming music in digital form: www.patreon.com/claraengel
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