Good Friday

 On   By 

Written by Ric Albano Song Length: 7:50
Listen to the Song: Purchase the MP3:
An excrutiating dose of harsh reality
On this dreary, dark, cold March afternoon
A reputed chunk of my personality is ground to dust within this airtight room
I summon the ghost of the Ancient One, her name is on the tip of my tongue
And brace for a sharp ratiocination but unmercifully that blow never comes

So while I’m dancing on the head of a stick
Awaiting your distinction between “Joe Hero” and “Jack Convict”
I’ll fight the urge to quench the thirst
Of our ancestor’s cravings by not behaving so burned and conned

As my illusion of grandeur slowly crashes
One underlying discourse starts within
Will today’s holy palms become the ashes –
That will accompany tomorrow’s changing hymns?
And so that brings us to Good Friday;
“We both knew this day would someday come”
Although fasting from meat may make you hungry
I’d have never believed you’d eat your young

In a room off pothole infested roads we’d play
Those relative games of black & white & shades of gray
While fueling the urge to fill the void
In our ancestor’s yearnings without concerning this new paragon

Forsaken descendants, mechanical offspring
You’ll never have children while the burden consumes you
Forsaken ancestry – tear down the Temple wall, firebomb the pyramids,
Level the twin towers, then run!

But no one reminds me like you do
Of the ideals and ambitions that have been lost
Of all those naïve conclusions where we’d arrive, fooled
That the best things in life must harbor cost
And so we return to Good Friday, a verge that we’ve expected all the while?
Can either of us see beyond today? May Saturday’s dawn yet be compiled?

Harmoniously singing the songs of yesterday
In an attempt to fabricate those verbal games we play
Our aria is composed of tunes of our ancestor’s likeness-
Too polite to seize our day – Carpe diem!
I want it all and I want it right now!

Forsaken opportunity, situation unforeseen
You never did prepare for this day as reality
Forsaken opportunity – tear down the fortress walls, back-fill your foxhole,
Good Friday has come and now has gone!

Composition © 2002 Ric Albano
Publication © 2005, 2009, 2011 Cygnus Wave Music

Song Info
Composed on March 22, 2002
Recorded starting on April 8, 2005
at Saturation Acres, Danville, PA
Produced by Ric Albano
Engineered by Paul Smith
Mixed and Mastered in 2005
at Silver Spring Subterranean
Original Release: October 10, 2005
on Imaginary Lines I

Ric Albano
Piano, Keyboards, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Bret Alexander
Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Ron Simasek
Drums and Percussion
Sinclair Soul
Background Vocals
Listener Guide

Analysis: This was upon its release, and remains to this day, the best Imaginary Lines song. It the longest song in duration and contains the most complex arrangement of instrumentation, yet deceptively sounds so easy going and simple. The lyrical content is complex and hard to decipher as it draws from several sources – poetic, spirtual, and real-life, while the instrumental “coda” section is a deliberate artistic statement on its own.

Song Trivia
Much of the song was written in a writing lab where Ric tutored while he was a senior at Bloomsburg University in 2002. Although it was actually a “dreary, dark, cold March afternoon” which happened to be a Friday, it was not Good Friday, as that was observered a week later.
The “coda” section was recorded separately from the song proper and it builds to included three piano tracks, three lead synthesizers, three guitars, and two full drum perfomances, along with the one simple, repeating bass line.

Please offer your own analysis of Good Friday by leaving a comment in the box below.

Imaginary Lines 33

Imaginary Lines 33Released on September 9, 2009

Imaginary Lines 33 is a compilation album which is actually three albums in one. It includes the entirity of two previous releases, Imaginary Lines I in 2005 and Imaginary Lines II in 2007, plus several new and previously unreleased tracks. In all, its 33 songs have a combined running time of nearly two and a half hours.

This album came together when the project’s producer, Ric Albano, decided to abandon the originally-planned “trilogy” of albums because he did not feel there was enough quality material to make an adeguate Imaginary Lines III. Instead the focus shifted to enhancing previously released material and developing the better songs of the unreleased music.

 Disc One Writer(s) Previously
 1. Crimson, White, & Indigo     Ric Albano Unreleased
 2. Sister Josephine Ric Albano Unreleased
 3. Rubicon Ric Albano Unreleased
 4. Princess of Pearl Avenue Ric Albano Unreleased
 5. 999 Escape Ric Albano Unreleased
 6. Tommy’s Got a Gun Ric Albano /
Hunter S. Thompson    
 7. Can’t Get My Mojo Risin’ Ric Albano Unreleased
 8. Ashes Ric Albano Unreleased*
 9. The Phoenix Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I    
10. Good Friday Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
11. Perfect Light Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
12. Lorelei Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
13. 33 Flames for Mary Ric Albano /
Ron Simasek
Imaginary Lines I
14. Anthem Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
15. Donovan’s Dread Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
16. Peace Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
17. One Ric Albano Imaginary Lines I
 Disc Two Writer(s) Previously
 1. The Fool’s Overture     Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 2. She Said Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 3. Keep Doing What You Do Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 4. The Last Man to Walk Alone     Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 5. You Sure Were Fun Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 6. 33 Shots at Louis Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 7. Believe Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 8. A New Religion Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
 9. The Cup Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II    
10. The Old Man In the Sea Sue Kovaleski /
Ric Albano
11. Twilight of Innocence Ric Albano Unreleased
12. Here On the Beach Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
13. Naked Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II
14. Deuce Ric Albano Unreleased
15. Half Hearted Ric Albano Unreleased
16. Long Way Home Ric Albano Imaginary Lines II

Imaginary Lines I

Imaginary Lines IOriginal Release: October 10, 2005

Side One
The Phoenix
Good Friday
Perfect Light

Side Two
33 Flames for Mary
Donovan’s Dread

All songs later included on Imaginary Lines 33

Imaginary Lines Songs

   Song  Year Length Track
 33 Flames for Mary 2003  5:57   13
 33 Shots at Louis 2006  3:07   23
 999 Escape 2008  3:20    5
 A New Religion 2006  4:11   25
 Anthem 2003  4:39   14
 Ashes 2008  1:16    8
 Believe 2006  4:19   24
 Can’t Get My Mojo Risin’ 2009  2:14    7
 Crimson, White, & Indigo 2006  4:13    1
 The Cup 2006  4:18   26
 Dawning of Decadence 1998  2:18  Bonus
 Deuce 2006  5:29   31
 Donovan’s Dread 2005  3:16   15
 Donovan’s Dread (Live) 2005  2:09  Bonus
   Song  Year Length Track
 Elitist Lament 2000  6:41  Bonus
 The Fool’s Overture 2007  4:12   18
 Good Friday 2002  7:50   10
 Half Hearted 2007  4:52   32
 Here On the Beach 2006  3:00   29
 I Don’t Want to Live Without It 2004  3:13  Bonus
 Keep Doing What You Do 2006  5:04   20
 The Last Man to Walk Alone 2006  3:49   21
 Long Way Home 2007  6:03   33
 Long Way Home (Original Version) 2007  6:14  Bonus
 Lorelei 2004  6:30   12
 Naked 2006  4:35   30
 The Old Man In the Sea 2006  3:54   27
 One 2004  5:47   17
   Song  Year Length Track
 Paradise 2004  3:20  Bonus
 Peace 2005  4:45   16
 Perfect Light 2004  4:26   11
 The Phoenix 2004  3:56    9
 Princess of Pearl Avenue 2006  4:22    4
 Rubicon 2009  2:33    3
 Rubicon (Live) 2009  2:42  Bonus
 She Said 2006  3:09   19
 Sister Josephine 2008  4:32    2
 Song For Diane (Don’t Give Up) 2008  3:28  Bonus
 Speak No Evil 2004  2:45  Bonus
 Tommy’s Got a Gun 2008  3:09    6
 Twilight Of Innocence 1997  7:02   28
 Welcome Home 1998  3:17  Bonus
 You Sure Were Fun 2005  4:16   22


Imaginary Lines 33 Album       More on Imaginary Lines

Imaginary Lines

List of all Imaginary Lines Songs       Imaginary Lines 33 Album

Erik Trabert, Bret Alexander, Ric Albano, and Ron SimasekImaginary Lines is a studio project produced by songwriter and musician Ric Albano. It was initiated in 2004 and has yielded two full-length albums; Imaginary Lines I (2005) and Imaginary Lines II (2007), and will culminate with the triple-length compilation Imaginary Lines 33 in 2009, the final Imaginary Lines product. Ric Albano had been an active songwriter, producer, and performer in the Hazleton, Pa. area for over a decade starting in 1985. Educated as an audio engineer, he wrote and recorded several semi-professional albums under the pseudonym RAREx, later renamed Wahray and Soul. Many of these recordings have recently been remastered and released by Cygnus Wave as a 72-song collection called The Evolution of Noise, 1987-1995.

From 1996, Albano entered into an undeclared era of retirement from songwriting that would last for the better part of a decade. In those subsequent years he developed several extended piano instrumentals that were worked and reworked until finally being forged into the songs that would become some of the earliest Imaginary Lines tracks (“the original six”). These included “Twilight of Innocence“, “Dawning of Decadence”, “Welcome Home”, “Episode IV” (a Star Wars tribute which was later re-written as “Lorelei“), “Imaginary Lines”, and a couple of instrumental pieces that would later be combined to form “Good Friday“. In 2003, a couple of more songs – “Anthem” and “33 Flames For Mary” – were written and added to the mix.

Originally, Imaginary Lines was to be a “concept album” with several songs that focused on the chasms between perception and reality. Some of the songs that fit well into this concept were “Lorelei” and the title song (“Imaginary Lines” which later became “Soliloquy” and then ultimately “One“). Several other songs that appear only on the 2004 demo were written in this fashion such as “Speak No Evil”, “Paradise”, “Elitist Lament”, and “I Don’t Want to Live Without It”. Over time however, better, more traditional songs were developed to replace the “concept” songs, including “Good Friday“, the 2 written in ’03, and newcomers “Perfect Light” and “The Phoenix“.

The demo was completed in December, 2004 and Albano spent the early months of 2005 shopping for a recording studio in the Harrisburg area. After meeting with Bret Alexander at Saturation Acres in Danville, Albano decided that was the place for him and recordings on Imaginary Lines I began on April 7, 2005.

Taking advantage of the “house band” feature of Saturation Acres, Albano brought on Cellarbirds Bret Alexander on guitars and Ron Simasek on drums. He originally envisioned using several more session players and singers for this album but found that to be over ambitious and costly. Nevertheless, he was determined to make Imaginary Lines I a richly produced album and did so by layering the songs with digital effects, orchestration, and counter-melody. After drums, guitars, and bass were recorded at Saturation Acres, Albano added keyboards and vocals at home studio along with all initial mixing and mastering.

Ultimately, the album contained nine tracks; seven (or half) from the 2004 demo along with two tracks written in early 2005 – “Peace” and “Donovan’s Dread“. There were also two tracks recorded at Saturation Acres that were excluded from the album – “Welcome Home”, which would not appear until Imaginary Lines 33 and a version of “Lorelei” that was determined to be too slow and was chucked in favor of overdubbing and remixing the original, demo version of the song. Over half the songs on the album were longer than five minutes in length and all were constructed with unique arrangements, chord patterns, and instrumentation. The ultimate goal being to compose something of longevity, with new discoveries on every listen, and which might still sound fresh five or ten or twenty years down the line.

Imaginary Lines IAs the first album neared completion, Albano decided that Imaginary Lines would be a 3-album “trilogy” with a definite end, presumably in 2007, no matter how successful the project would be with the public. This plan would lated be adjusted. Imaginary Lines I was released on October 24, 2005 to moderate reviews that ranged from positive comparisons to Genesis, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd to negative comparisons to “show tunes” or over-indulgent prog rock or worse. Ironically, it was Albano’s primary goal of producing a richly-layered album that also may have caused Imaginary Lines I to lack accessibility to the casual listener. While unapologetic about this initial project, Albano was receptive of honest critique and decided early on that the next album, Imaginary Lines II, would consist of more traditional, shorter, and simpler rock songs.

Production for Imaginary Lines II was set to begin in April, 2006, with a timeline similar to that of the previous year and album. The intention was to combine several songs written in late ’05 and early ’06 with a few of the original demo songs left off of the first album. However, these plans got delayed and production on this album did not begin for over a year.

Albano decided to use this time to write in volume, and 2006 became his most prolific songwriting year of the era. “Crimson, White & Indigo“, “The Last Man to Walk Alone“, “The Cup“, “Keep Doing What You Do“, “She Said“, and “Believe” were just some of the songs conceived during the year. A song called “Deuce” was written to end the album with a link to another song “The Last Day of February”, which was set to kick off the album Imaginary Lines III, but neither this song nor album ever materialized. The earliest version of a song called “Trinity”, which was intended be the final song in the collection (last song on Imaginary Lines III), was also composed, cleverly making the final songs in each album to read: “One”, “Deuce”, “Trinity”. A couple of upbeat instrumentals were also written; one called “Can’t Get My Mojo Risen’” and another called “I Kicked a Dog”.

Recording for Imaginary Lines II finally got underway on April 13, 2007 at Saturation Acres. Ron Simasek was again enlisted for drumming duties, but no immediate plans were made for guitar tracks, as Albano tried to stick to the simplicity principle of just piano/bass/drums/vocals of each song with each song being either three or four minutes in length and with a “traditional” arrangement. One planned deviation was to be the 16-minute-plus, four-part “Ocean Suite”, which concatenated two of the “original six” – “Twilight of Innocence” and “Dawning of Decadence”, with the new songs “The Old Man In the Sea” and “Here On the Beach“.

A couple of the later songs written for Imaginary Lines II were the near-comical “Naked“, probably the closest to 1970’s pop that Albano would come, and the driving rocker “The Fool’s Overture“, which picked up the “dangling string” from “One” and kicked off the album.

Imaginary Lines IIAs production progressed on Imaginary Lines II and projection on Imaginary Lines III was assessed, Albano determined to change the overall arch of the project. First, as the deadline of the end of ’07 rapidly approached, Imaginary Lines II was trimmed to 12 tracks by excluding the song “Half Hearted” and including only “Here On the Beach” from the extended “Ocean Suite”. Also, the song “Trinity” had morphed into “Long Way Home” and would conclude this album instead of Imaginary Lines III, which was scrapped altogether due to lack of focus and/or strength of the projected material for that album. Instead, initial plans were made for a large compilation that would include both Imaginary Lines I and Imaginary Lines II in total, along with some of the better songs either excluded from those first two albums, or slated for the now-defunct Imaginary Lines III. So it was that an intentionally under-produced version (or “Naked” version as it was sometimes called) of Imaginary Lines II was released on December 27, 2007, with the promise and understanding that the full version would be featured in the upcoming “33” compilation.

The significance of the number 33 has a bit of history, as Albano considered that as an artist title when he was actually aged 33 (2001-2002). It was later in the title “33 Flames for Mary“, although that was more coincidental than by design. During the later phases of Imaginary Lines II, Albano wrote a light-hearted reciprocal to that song, from the instrumental that was “I Kicked a Dog” and renamed it “33 Shots at Louis“. He also considered a third “33” song (“33 Visions of Time” from the unpublished song “Only a Matter of Time”), but that never materialized. Nevertheless, “33” was a real number to be met by total track numbers and several decisions needed to be made to reach it. Even though far more songs than that sum had already been written (in whole or in part) by the end of 2007, some judicious editing needed to be made to optimize the remaining selections. Ultimately, Imaginary Lines 33 would be made up of 3 distinct sections (spread over 2 discs in hard copy).

Imaginary Lines 33The first section of the compilation (tracks 1-8 of disc 1) is made of previously unreleased material, save that which was omitted from Imaginary Lines II due to time constraints. These include the songs “Crimson, White, & Indigo“, “Tommy’s Got a Gun” “Deuce“, “Princess of Pearl Avenue“, and newcomers “Sister Josephine“, “999 Escape“, and an instrumental titled “Rubicon“. Also included is “Ashes“, which appeared as the prefix link in the Imaginary Lines I version of “The Phoenix“.

This leads into the second section of Imaginary Lines 33 (tracks 9-17 of disc 1), which is the whole of Imaginary Lines I – nearly verbatim. Aside from the re-mastering, the only significant changes to the original are the omission of the “Ashes” intro into “The Phoenix” (the new “Ashes” immediately preceeds “The Phoenix” anyway) and the editing out of about 36 seconds of ad-lib during the coda of “Perfect Light“. Also the faint lyrics (…where is the buzz when you need it the most/drowned in black coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast…) were re-instated into “Lorelei” shortly after the organ solo in the mid section. The first disk ends much the same as Imaginary Lines I, with “One” and the fading of the “dangling string”.

The second disk (and third section of the compilation) is made wholly of the full, complete version of Imaginary Lines II. Starting with the introductory “dangling string” during “The Fool’s Overture“, it is immediately apparent that this is updated from Imaginary Lines II, as Bret Alexander’s droning guitar (originally recorded along with “One“) joins in. All of these songs on disk 2 were remixed and re-mastered, with many having guitar parts added by Erik Trabert as well as further arrangement and production enhancements (albeit not quite to the level of Imaginary Lines I). The sequence of songs follows the same pattern as the original Imaginary Lines II up to track 9 (“The Cup“), with tracks 10-13 being the separately listed tracks of “Ocean Suite”, followed by “Naked“, the previously omitted “Deuce and “Half Hearted“, and finishing with “Long Way Home“.

With the release of Imaginary Lines 33, the project has come to it’s completion. Being that there are no immediate plans to perform live shows, the name “Imaginary Lines” is effectively retired.