Rosko's Book of Songs and Visions: Butterflies / by Sam Abelow

"Butterflies," completed March, 2016 in Gouache, Acrylic paint and ink on paper

These high-resolution close-ups reveal the details of the painting. Click to expand.

How could it be that I felt trapped and yet in love? If love is openness and fearlessness, then that was not love; it was the restlessness of infatuation, of desire and longing to be known and to know some one.

I will quote an excerpt from my journal, written in the summer of 2012, when these emotions stirred and were crystallized in little songs:

You were born yesterday, still in love. I sit on a throne in my mind. Know this: I miss your touch, although I've never felt it. I miss your eyes, which I've never gazed upon and the smells I don't remember.
What is a memory, but a dream? Life seems to go slow for me at this age. I live days in solitude and self reflections, murmuring to myself ideas: She is a beloved new concept in my mind. I can't seem to get a hold of her in my dreams. My selfish wants bid her to dream of me.
In that dream is sentiment, as all the projections I see hold sentiment. I was always an admirer of strangers -- mainly to better judge myself. And I was always a harsh critic.
Oh god, how I wish all the girls and friends could know these nostalgic dark spots; I would feel they recognized a new me. Who I am inside; she'll find that too.
Humility is the nature of the kind soul's thoughts. Always, the tongue reflects the true intention or perception. Don't desire to believe what only the surface displays: We are much deeper creatures. When you are in a room with me I feel your entire body; your whole presence encapsulates mine. It is as if I were a child; I emulate gestures and affectations…
Blinded by the sin of man; all we seek is "pleasure." Enjoy yours darling. I can't escape, but will let you know at this moment, "I Love you."

I know it is nonsense: it is intuitive garble, wandering and abstracted. Still, it fascinates me to see the documents of that state of mind -- the state of mind, which produced the song "Butterflies."

I captured the in studio, live performance on video, which made the album. Watch me sing and improvise a guitar solo:

The song "Butterflies," along with much of the "Birth Certificate" album, was originally written and recorded in the summer of 2012. The material from this burst of creativity remained with me over the years as I refined my approach to singing and playing guitar.

In 2015 I began playing live shows in Brooklyn and Manhattan, this recording is from the rehearsals leading up to that show. My intention with the "Birth Certificate" project, also known as "The Basement Tapes," was to capture the best songs from over the years, in a raw and immediate way. 

Download the album free in MP3:

The album is also available to stream on Bandcamp, Spotify, Tidal and on iTunes for purchase.