Gone To The Spirits

by Norine Braun

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about

Critically acclaimed Vancouver artist, Norine Braun, is set to release her 10th album, Gone To The Spirits on June 4, 2016 via Braun and Brains Music. The concept album is birthed from the Ququnak Paǂkiy Song Collection that Braun wrote from a Canada Council For The Arts Award last year. The songs are based on the engaging and dramatic life story of a Two Spirit, Ktunaxa warrior woman, courier and guide, who lived in the early 19th century. Gone-To-The-Spirits was the gifted oracle and accomplished warrior who appeared in the journals of trappers and explorers and was noted as having transitioned gender and also became a chief. Braun’s irrepressible passion to create music with no imposed boundaries makes this work impossible to categorize. In the beginning, the haunting and ethereal Morning Prayer mesmerizes with ambient ascension toward the heavens. Throughout the album’s rich textures of worldly pop, jazz and blues, the listener is transported among dreamy ice fields, rootsy coyote canyons, thunderous storms toward soulful victory and a sublime rock transformation. One enters a sonic journey in this album that soothes and excites, to another time where Gone To The Spirits story enfolds.

credits

released June 3, 2016

The concept album was recorded and mixed with producer Adam Popowitz at Rear Window Song and Sound. The session players include: the Juno nominated Adam Popowitz on bass and lead guitar, Elliot Polsky on drums, Huggybear Leonard on blues harp, Alice Fraser on keys and accordion, Malcolm Aiken on trumpet and flugelhorn with Norine Braun on rhythm guitar, ukulele, Navajo flute and vocals.

Adam Popowitz Producer.

Recorded. mixed and mastered by Adam Popowitz at Rear Window Song and Sound Coquitlam BC on unneeded Coast Salish Territory.

All songs words and music composed by Norine Braun.

With love and deep gratitude in the making of this album to: Adam Popowitz for materializing the musical vision and the incredibly talented musicians who generously shared their beautiful souls: Adam, Elliot, Huggybear, Alice and Malcolm. You are now forever in the dream and I am forever blessed.

Dr. Eldon C. Yellowhorn who planted the seed long ago and who acted as advisor on this project, Alice Fraser who helped nurture the seed all along, the Canada Council for the Arts for the Professional Musicians grant awarded me to write these songs, Robert Louis Sr., Margaret Teneese, Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre, VPL Archives, Glenbow Museum, David Thompson, B. Bellyea, C. Schaeffer

Special Thanks To: Colleen Pennington, Carol O’Dell. Maja Vanderhorst, Masako and Peter Stillwell, Renee Gauthier and Val Storvold and the fans and friends who supported this album before its release with pre-orders and love.


Gone To The Spirits is based on the engaging and dramatic life story of Ququnak Paǂkiy who was a Two Spirit, Ktunaxa prophet, messenger, chief and guide. Gone-To-The-Spirits lived in the early and mid-19th century in what is now known as southeastern BC, Canada. Gone-To-The-Spirits was the gifted oracle and accomplished warrior who appeared in the journals of trappers and explorers of the time period. Ququnak Paǂkiy: Gone-To-The-Spirits A Short Story I wrote to accompany this album is available at www.norinebraun.com

Cover Artwork by Miriam Sweeney
Photo by Jaunty Media
Graphic Design by Gisele Grignet

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about

Norine Braun Vancouver, British Columbia

Her signature funky folk-blues sound simply cannot be matched. Best listened to as loud as your neighbours will tolerate. Abortmag

Her music sounds like the union of Nick Cave with Patti Smith & City and Colour deep in the Canadian forests.
MTM

An imaginative display of fine musicianship, potent vocals and heartfelt lyrics, talent like hers doesn't exactly come around too often. Music Emission
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Track Name: Morning Prayer
Morning Prayer

Now we leave the darkest night
We give thanks for morning light
Praise of joy, a loving face
How these rays they grow a grace
How these rays they grow a grace

As I soar beneath your wings
Let me fly where heaven sings
Keep me warm when seasons fall
Tender words from a heart that’s full
Making sure there’s enough for all
©Norine Braun 2016 SOCAN All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Rock People (Yaqan Nukiy)
Rock People (Yaqan Nukiy)

We’ve been walking through the marsh all day
On the path to where the rock stands great
Climb aboard into a sturgeon’s nose
In the yaqsuʔmiǂ we’ll float on home

Rock people oh they see
And speak languages three
Legends of kindness told
River being’s skin shed cold

The hills he gifted his shape
His tears filled the blue lakes

We come from an opening in the underground
On the eastern Rocky Mountain range
Told by the keepers of the story line
Circles notched on their elk horn canes

Following Sun Dance we moved on down
Made our lodges for prayers beside camps in the round

Tule covered teepees and the bulrush down
Make a soft pillow for my head
Moss from the treetops, makes a filling bread
Kokanee with duck and the berries red

Rock people oh they see…. Yaqan Nukiy oh they see
©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Coyote (Skinku¢)
Skinku¢ (COYOTE)
Coyote calls
His wildness in dreams
How he dances beside a fast flowing stream
His coat is scruffy
With his ribs showing through
He’s a rogue and a clown
And he’s talking to you

Skinku¢ was going along
Breaking all the rules
And singing his song
Never was his fault and never was he wrong
But then he got caught and now where he belongs
Skinku¢ can be a hero as well
Shows us how to act and picks up where we fell
In darkness he’ll survive
His spirit can revive
We love him all in all despite his slippery wiles
Skinku¢ ‘s tail tucked between his legs
He’s a fool that drowns and a hero who saves
He’s everyone we meet and everyone who braves
Walking in the light or hiding in the caves
©NorineBraun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Star Man (Ode to Koo Koo Sints David Thompson)
Star Man (Ode to Koo Koo Sints David Thompson)
Star Man
He’s the Star Man
Drafting Rupert’s Land
Going to map Columbia’s highway
Via skyway
To the ocean
Over mountain, meadow and ice fields
He’s the Star Man
Sounding sextants
All his surveys
Fervent with dreaming and believing
Going to get there
Going to last forever
The Star Man
Star Man Koo Koo Sints Star Man

A white flower of a blameless life
His beauty Charlotte served as country wife
Ktunaxa met them on a snowy morn
Voyageurs paddling through a windy storm chorus

Tobacco fathoms swirled into the night
Full quiver and bows bathed in firelight
A mild countenance with a manly face
Brown muscled saviors spared them hungry graves

Kootenay stories that Goliath lives
Star Man’s behemoth, found above the cliffs
Unsolved wonders as he travelled on
Furs for muskets ‘til Pacific’s dawn

© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Sometimes The Rain Comes
Sometimes The Rain Comes
One-Standing-Lodge-Pole-Woman was born
Like her name declared
She grew tall and strong
Her arms longed for love
The elusive belong
From the river came
A curious propose

Sometimes the rain comes
The rain washes where we go
Sometimes the rain comes
The rain washes, clean our soul

Her white buckskin gleamed
The white worms they shook
She took his hand
They paddled back
To strangers new
With words unheard
The great unknown
Would guide her home CHORUS

Soft fallen masks
True lovers fought
Betrayal’s bitter taste
Blew out the flames
Winds of rage
Clouds gathered force
Evermore she’d dance her heart’s remorse

©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved
Track Name: Bird With A Song To Sing
BIRD WITH A SONG TO SING
I’m always outside looking in
Perched in the quiet
I see everything
Oh how I love you
I watch all that you do
I’m a little bird
With a song to sing

My constant presence
Often overlooked
I’m never frightened
Fallen once forever hooked
If you should hear me
I’ll lift you up high
I’m a little bird
With a song to sing

Solitary sparrow
Longs to be a pair
Fast agile flier
Wing beats rapid through the air
Oh how my heart pleads
Will you still be there?
I’m a little bird
With a song to sing
I’m a little brown bird
With a little song to sing
I’m a little brown bird
With a little song to sing

© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Gone-To-The-Spirits Blues
GONE TO THE SPIRITS BLUES
Oh he changed me
He took my sex away
Those white devils
Wouldn’t let me play
All their rules and regulations
Tethered emancipations enslaved

I ain’t a woman
I ain’t a woman no more
No I buried her
Below the forest floor
You can call me what you want to
But I ain’t a woman no more

I am Gone-To-The-Spirits now
Oh he made me
Just like him self
But I can see the why’s and how’s
My visions and my boughs brushed down the way

I am Gone-To-The-Spirits now

© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Kocomenepeca
Kocomenepeca
Buffalo phallus and no rule of thumb
Rumours swirled and the campfire hummed
Kocomenepeca was on the way
The manly- hearted woman
Was coming today

Courier guide bringing prophecy
The warrior woman and her devotees

A jealous side sometime arose
If refused vowing death to those
Kocomenepeca saw the error in rows
The brother taunted
And a change avowed

Courier guide bringing prophecy
The warrior woman and her devotees
Who spoke in many tongues
The visions stirred and stung
A hunter who could see
Apostle’s filled with greed

©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: 26 Horses
26 HORSES
26 horses running
26 horses lead the way
26 horses running
26 horses packed with pay

Up went Thompson from Astoria
A noted phantasmagoria
Two Amazons like man and wife
Who carried letters that would save their lives

CHORUS

In the man I saw the woman born
Tall leggings, a long robe adorned
With porcupine quills dyed red and blue
A queer sight we thought a clever ruse

CHORUS

The prophet saw the end was evident
From blankets cloaked with pestilence
The great white chief gives all their heart’s desire
In return they gave the messenger

CHORUS

© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved,
Track Name: Victory
VICTORY

With blade in hand I face my foe
I rush him in then I’ll land the blow
Tilt him back and cut his mane away
A slave is gained for ascendant strength
We have no rulers but we know the length
It takes to tell the stories old one day

We’re going down, down in history
Raise our hand up, up in victory
We’re going down, down in history
Raise our hand up, up in victory
Fight for life
Hear our cries
Sun and cloud collide
We stake our prize
We’re going down, down in history
Raise our hand up, up in victory
We’re going on
Watch us lead the way

Climbed atop the mountain
Because it stood in our way
Bathed with crimson ribbons
Streaked down our face
We had a million reasons
To give and get away
Oh give it to me, give it to me, give it to me now now
With the ancestor’s watching
We’re going to make them all so proud

© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved
Track Name: Evening Song
EVENING SONG
Let evening come
To lift me up and open wide
The starry night

The crescent moon with silver horn
I’ll breathe the air
Release the burn

The wisest ones among us
Holds a child’s heart and laughter
Those who bring the sun cannot
Hide it from themselves

CHORUS

One kind word can warm up
Four winter months for us and
I’ll give thanks for things
I am not yet thankful for

CHORUS


© Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Transform (Take Me Away)
Transform (Take Me Away)

I am ready
To race within
Grip is steady
Strong taut skin

Coup de main
Where did they come?

Panting heavy
Calm cooling night
Feel dripping
Absorbed by light
Did you see the healing glow?

And so the legend goes
They fought all day
Their longtime foes
The Blackfeet came to overthrow
They gathered strength for one more go

Take me away to the land of the other side
Take me away to transform to celestial guide
Take me away transmit ancestral sight
Take me away to become the mythic light

I am floating
Toward the shore
I am fighting
To win the war
Can you see me up high?

If you whisper
Into the wind
I’ll be waiting
To lift you in
Take my heart out set me free

The prophet raised a hand to sky
Taking many times to end the life
When the people came to bury bones
The body remained intact and whole
Take me oh take me away to the land of the other side …

©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved