Present Tense

by Zhao

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1.
2.
3min 03:04
you’ve got three minutes to make sense three minutes for context three minutes to make it right as we run out the time you’ve got three minutes to open up three minutes to say enough three minutes to make a change or just make it the same you’ve got three minutes to ask a question three minutes to make suggestions three minutes and as the pieces fall into place I don’t know what I was trying to say at all still - I’ve got three minutes to make sense to justify the time spent to put words in a sequence til we run out of time I’ve got three minutes to pull you in three minutes to take a chance hoping I’ll make a difference but in what way, I don’t know following all the signals I can make my own choice for me wouldn’t it be so cruel to take you away from all your precious things so make a choice, if you’d like following all the signals you may find yourself here, with me why don’t we spend three minutes here together it could be worse, it could be better It could be worse It could be better...
3.
Can you feel this? Can you? Could you feel this? Could you? sensing seeking reaching grasping holding onto something lasting chasing ever after in the past no complaints when we're together only wish it'd be forever make another memory make it last sensitive minds would like to know what turns you on? reaching new heights with every goal or making love? what's the smallest thing that gives you a rush You couldn’t have said it before but you feel it now Can you feel this? can you? Could you feel this? could you? all that falls between the cracks eventually comes floating backwards underneath the current of events what was once a passing matter passes on in clouds that gather pouring down like teardrops in the end curious eyes meet furrowed brows, to take a shot- where is the switch and where's the keyhole to unlock? What’s the smallest thing that gives you a rush it’s not always easy to find can you feel it… …now? what do you intend, when you bend towards me from a wayward breeze, or the weigh-ed down bough of a tree do you try to deify things outside that would make you a king or at least the keeper of your own destiny
4.
Presto 02:56
presto, change, concentrate on the bulb light, animal, wake up, sit still, rousing thunder, anchor, say the word, wave *** presto, change, concentrate on the bulb light, wake up, sit still, animal, rousing thunder, say the word, wave presto, wake up, animal, concentrate on the bulb, sit still light thunder anchor say the word *** presto, change, concentrate on the bulb light- wake up sit still thunder say the word presto, change, concentrate on the bulb light- animal wake up sit still presto thunder, anchor, say the word, presto thunder, anchor, say the word, presto
5.
We're all familiar with the concept of time warps. One moment, everything seems perfectly normal. The next- a surprise. You glance at the clock and are shocked to find that the time has moved either faster or slower than expected. How in the world did this happen? How could it be that I feel - behind - the present? So before we all go checking our watches again, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the nature of these timelines today. How they stretch, and shrink, and grow how they overlap, and bend, and break. how they can vanish in some instances and reappear elsewhere. How the ones you thought you could outrun, in reality await. in the time that it takes to hear these words, one could say echoes of the past get in the way for as I try, to be clear simple sounds, drawing near your attention starts to slip away not for long do we have one another where lines are drawn we will meet between them time marches on but with your powers and mine we can escape their draw every now and then - and then - and then Time is passing time is plastic time is passing time is plastic the time is passing Time is passing time is plastic time is passing time is plastic the time is passing (Are we synchronized?) (Are we synchronized?) (Are we synchronized?) in these words, you may find my attempts, to comply keeping time takes all the time you've got vain attempts, to control still we know, in our soul living things do not obey the clock though the past, is behind still it haunts in the mind
6.
7.
Collapse 03:24
say- have you heard we're living in a living nightmare chase- all you want you can't catch up you're not going anywhere heaven knows we could do so much more if we ever had a chance but heaven knows these are the times we’ve got to get with the program I can't deny I'm struggling to find an answer that fits within this life I could try to make a statement lift it up high as it all comes down or we could just collapse we could just collapse change happens all the time, just not the kind we're looking for I can't keep up with the so-called normal life they're asking for I'd rather stay at home speak my mind to no one in particular choose my words with care make them stare when I speak truth to power ask yourself- beyond your own life do you really know what's wrong or right? you could try to make a statement fist to the sky as it all comes down... or we could just collapse we could just collapse we could just collapse we could just collapse we could just…
8.
Birdsong 08:45
9.
Waking Life 03:09
when do I get to wake up once again opening my eyes to each living moment holding on to a strand of yesterday if I had my way, I’d be there still but the present keeps marching on and no sacrifice will do yes- each moment demands a decision hesitate and one will be made for you it’s a part of the deal in this waking life so let’s go together… passing by blurs of color from the train who could blame you not looking in my direction? wandering eyes- wander over for a while perhaps just a moment, I could sit here with you as the present keeps marching on it’s enough to make you want to close the door but- each moment demands a decision hesitate and one will be made for you make a choice here and now, in this waking life let these words ripple out from my waking life

about

In the psychedelia of COVID quarantine, I dreamt that time had lost its relevance. In its place was an array of overlapping urges - pleasure and pain, love and loss, hopes and fears. My sense of time shifted in shape and size as easily as a daydream.

In this mode, distance became a matter of perspective - an optical illusion. Memories that seemed far away were actually still right here with me.

The tapestry of my thoughts formed a magic eye, and I screwed my eyes in concentration, attempting to make out the 3-D objects hidden in the pattern. Eventually they found their way into these songs...artifacts from an untimely zone.

credits

released October 14, 2022

Written and recorded by Kenny Zhao
Featuring guest vocals from Annabelle Maginnis and Jess Joy
Mastering by Matthew McQueen

Photography by Kristin Cofer

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about

Zhao Los Angeles, California

Kenny Zhao is a composer, artist, and digital tinkerer who is exploring the relationship between compost and creative practice.

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