All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), and produced by Esbe.

Trumpet on (5), (7) - Nick Thompson.

Recorded and engineered by Esbe

except Someone, Somewhere, engineered by Gary Stout at MasterRock Studios, London.

Mastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road Studios.

Artwork and album cover design by Esbe.

Mystras, in the Peloponnese, is one of the most romantic places I've ever visited, with its ancient churches and monasteries nestling on a lush, steep, sleepy hillside. Once inside the monumental stone structures, your eyes become accustomed to the dark as the walls reveal their sumptuous frescoes and gilded icons. These are some of what's left of the magnificent Byzantine Empire which reigned for 1500 years.

I felt a sadness for Constantine, the last Emperor, when Constantinople fell in 1453 - he had presided over a region stretching from Bulgaria to Greece and Turkey. Byzantium was a continuation of the Roman Empire, which, having fragmented and fallen in the West in the C5th, continued in the East for another thousand years. The city of Constantinople, now Istanbul, is connected by a slither of land beside the shimmering Bosphorus.

This second album doesn't tell a story, but it does reflect some. I see Medieval knights peering through the slits in their walled citadels, olives being picked in the fields below, and pigments newly mixed in little bowls waiting to bring to life some of those gorgeous paintings. Thinking about how I write, I now realise that I have a visual image for almost every song. But, as well as enjoying the geography and history, it's the melodic writing and lyrics that drive my creativity.


I also work as an artist and the front cover is 'Delicate' from a triptych, 'The Three Muses'.


MYSTRA

Discrete language.
Why have you forsaken me now?

INVOCATION

Discrete language.

RUN WITH ME

Hear me, like a whispering leaf by night,

Hold me, as the hills call again for life,

And how the trees call, “Run with me”.

Touch me with the magical mist-like waves,

Cool me, like the spray of the words they crave,

Only when the sea cries, “Run with me”.

Fill me with the heat of the chase of fear,

Hungry, I’ll be waiting to snare your tears,

Birds cry as they soar above, “Run with me”.

SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE

Biri, biri birshey, birshey. Bir yerde, bir yerde, bir yerde. Biri, birsini.
(Something, somewhere, someone.) Turkish

LIVING DEATH

I am thin, I am delicate within,

I am wan, I am frail, so anaemic and so pale,

I am cool, I am cold, and I need someone to hold.

I am skin, I am bone, and my heart is slowly turning to stone.

But I believe in love, all night long.

I am white ‘cause I only sleep at night,

When I creep from my crypt when the moon is fully lit.

Living death with this curse and an overwhelming thirst,

As I drain to sustain, feel the ecstasy beyond the pain.

‘Cause I believe in love, all night long.

You are strong, you are warm, you are braver than the storm,

I am weak, I deceive to fulfil primeval greed,

I am tied to my fate – you alone can drive the stake in my heart.

But I believe in love, all night long.

I will kill for the thrill, I’ll manipulate your will,

I will tease and enchant ‘til your senses are enhanced,

As these lips, fully red, like a vein that’s newly bled,

Grant your need to be free, as you come to immortality.

‘Cause I believe in love, all night long.

ARCANUM

After the rain, after the storm,

My love will find me purer than Spring.

Cloud upon shadow, shadow is lifting,

Lighten like sun, clearer than lies.

Arcanum

Breath of a whisper, whisper is calling,

Grow to your cries, surer than death.

After the rain, after the dawn,

My love will now seem clearer than lies.

Arcanum

WHEN THE LOVE HAS GONE

Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu.

Hope will be lost in the wind,

Peace will be torn from within,

Words that once glistened with jade, fade,

When the love has gone.

Pride will be sliced to the bone,

Dreams will mean nothing alone,

This is despair, now you’re not there,

Vows that are searching for shade,

Now the love has gone.

Time, time is my only friend,

Time, stay by my side

Now the love has gone.

Grief sinking deep in the sea,

Rage yearning just to be free,

Only your name fills me with shame,

Open my eyes, let me see,

Now the love has gone.


DREAM OF CONSTANTINE

Discrete language
All you want and all you need Is there before you,

All you can be, all you’ll find Is what you yearn for.

VOYAGE OF BYZAS
Discrete language

WHISPER

Why does truth ignore the proof

When it’s whispered in your ear?

Why do lies seem twice their size

When they’re whispered in your ear?

Why are dreams not what they seem

When they’re whispered in your ear?

You’re forever in my mind.

Do you hear the voice of fear

Like a whisper in your ear?

Does it say you have to stay,

With a whisper in your ear?

So why am I a distant cry

When I whisper in your ear?

You’re forever in my mind.

See the dawn spring like a fawn,

With a whisper in your ear.

Hold me near, don’t let the fear

Be a whisper in your ear,

Are you true, as I to you,

When I whisper in your ear?
You’re forever in my mind.

WILL YOU STILL BE WAITING?

Will you still be waiting for me

‘Til the end of time.

Will you still be waiting for me,

Will you still be mine?

Though the days are never ending

While I’m far from home,

And the nights are even longer

As we sleep alone.

Keep the dream alive, love, Keep the dream alive.

Will you still be waiting for me

When the cold wind blows,

And will you still be waiting

Even when your spirit’s low?

I had to seek the far horizon

And the land beyond,

To watch the mountains rise before me

Like they’ve just been born.
Keep the dream alive, love, Keep the dream alive.


Will you still be waiting for me

As the sky turns grey,

And will you still be waiting

Even when I’ve lost my way?

Though the path is long and winding

And the stars are few,

And the ocean, brimming fiercely

Tries to drown my view,
I’ll keep the dream alive, love, I’ll keep the dream alive.

Will you still be waiting for me

When the sun has cooled,

And when the moon is veiled in darkness

Will you still recall

How the precious moments sparkled

Like a jewel of light,

And the flame of memory burning

Long into the night,
To keep the dream alive, love, Keep the dream alive?

I wished that you’d be waiting for me,

More than love would know.

The longing and the endless yearning

Only seemed to grow.

And has the dream forever faded

Like the distant shore,

And will the mountain’s shadow haunt me,

Like your love before?
I kept the dream alive, love, I kept the dream alive.

HE’S MY SAVIOUR

In the distance, he rides a stallion bold,

Like the Prince of Darkness, freeing my soul.

Desert nights only dream what we see,

Lonely nights, soon I’ll be free,
‘Cause he’s my saviour, he’s my love.
With his sword of freedom and clarion call,

He’ll avenge the shadows of whispering walls.

Desert sands only burn by day,

Fearless hands now guide my way,
‘Cause he’s my saviour, he’s my love.