Tales of Subliming – Information and Lyrics

Tales of Subliming

(released March 27, 2010)

Tales of Subliming, the long-awaited follow up to 2007’s runaway success 3 Nights, signals somewhat of a departure from Zulya’s previous albums. In crafting the lyrical themes of the songs for her new album Zulya revisits the fairytales of her childhood, creating her most adventurous work to date. She explains, “Subliming has two meanings; turning from a solid into a gas instantaneously – like dry ice, or becoming finer, purer. There’s often a transformation in fairy stories. They are about our journeys to achieve individuality in a symbolic form. Some say each of us identifies with our own fairy story or with a character from one. Tales of Subliming is a collection of vignettes from these characters’ lives, little scenes from their journeys.”

Musically, Zulya’s internationally acclaimed vocals float effortlessly above an daring musical backdrop that features brass arrangements (courtesy of newest band member Eamon McNelis for the most part); Tom Waits inspired tuned and mallet percussion; plus newer sounds courtesy of percussion loops, manipulated piano tones and hurdy-gurdy. The end result sees Zulya breaking new sonic ground on an album that is nothing short of an artistic triumph.

As with 3 Nights, the new album is a collection of songs written in all 3 of her spoken languages (Russian, Tatar, and English) – her ease with English now apparent with 7 of the 12 tracks in her adopted tongue.

Zulya Kamalova – vocals
Justin Marshall – marimba, vibraphone, drums, percussion, piano ( 1, 9), organ (3)
Andrew Tanner – double bass, Jew’s harp, electric guitar on 2, piano and organ on 11
Lucas Michailidis – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Eamon McNelis – trumpet, cornet
Don Stewart – trombone
James Wilkinson – trombone
Nathan Ford– euphonium, tuba on 8
Pip Avent – tuba on 1, 8, 10
Phillip McLeod – cello
Erkki Veltheim – violin and viola
Anthony Schulz – piano accordion, piano on
Michael den Elzen – acoustic guitar on 2, additional guitar on 2, 8, 12
Barb Dwyer – hurdy gurdy

recorded by Justin Marshall at Adelphia Studios, Melbourne
mixed by Michael den Elzen, Melbourne
mastered by John Roberto at Crystal Sound Mastering, Melbourne
produced by Zulya Kamalova, Justin Marshall and Andrew Tanner


1. A Tale of Love and Death

(music – Justin Marshall, words– Zulya Kamalova)

Oh how in love were we,
So sweet and carefree.
All of eternity
Belonged to us it seemed.

We lost ourselves, we laughed and waltzed around.

The hours and days went by,
Like in a dream we sailed.
Our time has slipped away,
The tale is near the end.

Another year goes by, another candle….

Let the music play, my love, all night till sun returns.
Let the angels and the demons dance in splendour.
There’s time to talk, although, my love, let us not say any words.
Only eyes and hearts, calm and tender.

When one of us is done
With this mysterious game.
This little song will stay and carry on the same, la la la la.
And the pain will fade..

Let the music play, my love, all night till morning comes.
Let the angels and the demons be triumphant.
We still can sing of life and spring, we will sing of our sweet love.
And of death?… of death we’ll be silent.

2. Su anasi xäm yätim qiz / The Water Woman and the Orphan Girl

(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

Suğa bar dide üği ana.
Kül yoqli äle, yeli baram.
Ber nindi sürät küldä çağila.
Küzema qari, qulda taraq.

Yörägem qati-qati tibä, tibä, tibä.
Ä ul qullarin miña suza, suza, suza.
Tamağim kibä, qotim oça, oça, oça.
Üzem alğa çabam, ä canim artqa.

Su anasina ğaşiq buldim.
Aniñ belän bergä külğä çumdim.
Su anasiz bulmas miña yäm.
Sixere belän genä dawalanam.

I am told to fetch water by my step-mother.
The lake is asleep. I walk, I weep.
I see a reflection in the mirror of the lake.
She stares into my eyes, brushing her long hair

My heart beats fast.
She reaches her arms towards me.
My throat dries up. I am scared.
My body flees,
But my heart longs to go back.

I’ve fallen for the charms of the Water Woman.
I jump into the lake with her.
I cannot live without her.
Only she can cure my poor heart.

3. Сон Бабы Яги / Baba Yaga’s Dream

(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

Вот уже много лет иду туда,
Не знаю куда, ищу что, не знаю сама.
Вот уже много лет идут за мной
Сомнения и хотенья незлой гурьбой.

Мудрая стала я, дряхлая, но жива.
По льду по серебряному я иду скользя.
Пули летают и свищут вокруг меня,
Но мне ничего бояться уже нельзя.

Веселье нередко становится тоской.
Похоже еще не дано мне найти покой.
Но я и не тешу себя такой мечтой,
Останусь себе верна, останусь собой.

For so many years I walk I don’t know to where,
I am looking for something I don’t even know what it is.
For so many years I am chased by the bad and the fair –
Beauty and truth, doubt and anguish and bliss.

So wise I became, decrepit, but I am alive.
Walking on silver ice, I slide and glide.
Bullets are flying and screeching, but I just smile.
Everything’s fine, I am no longer afraid to die.

Quite often the happiness changes to despair.
Wouldn’t it be wise to go and find some peace?
But I will not fool myself with such an odd idea.
I’ll stay truthful, and take everything as it is.

4. Ocean Lullaby

(words and music – Andrew Tanner)

Hear the water flow, never mind the cold
The ship is sound, you’re safe here in the hold.
Arctic birds and rain fly overhead,
Rocking boats and oceans for your bed.

Have you seen the emerald greens and deep dark turquoise
Shimmering weeds swaying in the flow?
Elegant driftwood bones embrace you,
Glimmering fish hook eyes below.

I promise you I won’t ever let you go,
Although the waters rise and the cold winds blow.
Silver shapes that swim circles round your bed
Whisper liquid dreams to your sleepy head.

5. He Fell So Deep

(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

He fell so deep
Into her eyes,
The grip of love
Is ice.
Her beauty splits
His craving heart,
The fracture is

The slightest touch
His yearning lips
Drawn and possessed
He thinks he’ll die.
He shuts his eyes and

A lonely swallow smashed into the window of your little room.
You cried throughout the night but no one ever knew.
Hide your pain away like a precious pearl inside a shell.
Don’t let the diver steal it, keep it to yourself.

He loved you so,
Now he’s consumed.
You waited long.
You cared.
So many lies,
You’re confused.
Estranged and hurt,
You’re scared.

What is this love?
A heavy stone
Weighs down your heart
Like lead.
Words are absurd.
Now all alone
You feel despair and

6. The Storyteller

(music – Andrew Tanner, words – Zulya Kamalova)

Quiet, put the candles out.
The fairy tale is over and now it is time for slumber.
Terror chained your weary heart.
Loveless, all alone, you are dying, your soul asunder.

Always looking for the bliss.
Your blood is starved of love.
You’re sapped by this need unanswered.

All your life longing to find the love eternal,
In the end you preferred love to be a dream.

Are you ready? It’s nearly time to leave.
Your love is scattered wide on the pages of tales and stories.
This hunger can not be relieved.
You’ve exchanged your happiness for holy Melancholy.

All your life longing to find the love eternal,
In the end love remained a castle in the sky.

7. A Girl Named Free

(music – Justin Marshall, words – Zulya Kamalova)

There was a girl, her name was Free, and she was happy and
She loved to fly in the sky very high, effortless she was.
But one day her wings got blistered by the sun but she said
It’s ok, I won’t cry, I will ride on my horse.

With her hair flying Free rode through the mountains and
The steppe, she was rebellious and strong.
Everywhere she was exalted and desired,
No one thought she could be wrong.

But the horse was wild, it threw her off but Free said, it’s ok, I’ll catch a tram.
Inspectors came, the tram derailed, she just smiled and said –
On a bike I’ll ride. But soon fell off and went on foot instead, got lost.
Free was tired, on the grass she then laid.

With her hair tangled Free walks through the city streets,
She still has hope but is tired and poor.
All her life she looked for happiness,
Now no one knows what has become of her…

8. The Ropemaker’s Daughter

(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

”there is the tree where seven men got married to the rope maker’s daughter, and are now learning how to fly..” Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear.

In December the nights
Are so long, very long.
And the moon’s dreary light
Isn’t kind, isn’t warm.

So you fell for my call,
Now you yearn for my kiss,
You say you want to fly,
Marry me – you insist.

Yes, I will be your wife.
Oh, my love is so sweet.
I will change your poor life,
Flying is easy for me.

I’ll embrace you so tight
You will need nothing more.
I will teach you to fly.
Like a bird you will soar.

But one thing you must know –
With my arms around your neck –
I will not let you go
For this bliss has no end.

So you’ve come to the altar,
Tie the knot, say I do!
I am the ropemaker’s daughter,
Now your wife forever true.

In December the nights
Are so long, very long.
And the moon’s dreary light
Isn’t kind, isn’t warm.

Till the end of all time
We’ll be free, we’ll be free…
Joined together, entwined,
You and me, you and me.

9. Невлюбленный / The Mermaid’s Tale

(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

Я хочу его так любить, как птица
Любит небо и облака.
Я хочу так любить, чтобы он мне снился,
И я рядом была всегда.

Я хочу его так любить, как берег
Любит теплый морской прибой.
Я хочу так любить, чтобы он поверил,
Что я буду его судьбой.

Ну а он – такой невлюбленный
Не желает меня целовать.
Вкус беды на губах удивленных,
Видно счастья мне не видать.

С ним согласна идти куда-угодно,
Только он предлагает чай.
Он приветливый, светлый, самый добрый.
На него нельзя серчать.

Я подброшу в небо сердечко,
И за ним подпрыгну сама.
Полечу над вечером в вечность –
Так беспечно сойду с ума.

I want to love him as a sea bird
Loves the sky and the gentle breeze.
I would love him so much, that wherever he is
I can always be with him.

I want to love him as the sandy beaches
Love the ocean and the gentle wind.
I would love him so much that wherever he is
I am always there for him.

But I am not with whom he’s enamoured,
He would not even kiss me.
A bitter taste on my lips undesired.
Not for us is intended the bliss.

I would go with him wherever he pleases
But he just offers a cup of tea.
He is a friendly and most delightful teaser,
He is so charming but terribly mean.

I will throw my heart in the sky
And will leap after it.
Flying in the evening’s eternity
I will carelessly go mad.

10. Little Sky

(music – Lucas Michailidis, words – Zulya Kamalova)

Oh how she loves to climb her favourite tree,
Counting sparrows she feels like a bird, she is light and free.
Whether it’s rain or snow, she’s always here.
She is seven already,
The socks are wet on her feet.

She can almost touch the wire.
She wonders if she’d get a shock?
Birds on wire safely perch.
How she wishes that she were a bird!

Nobody can find her in her little sky,
No one ever looks up above.
Though it is not high, for her it is just right,
The poplar tree is high enough.

It’s getting dark, she is tired and bored.
Should she climb down below and deal with the real world?
Out of the blue she’s struck with a curious thought:
Maybe touching the wire will turn her into a bird?

11. Сублимация Снегурки / The Subliming of the Snow Maiden
(words and music – Zulya Kamalova)

Безгрешна, кристальна, небесна, прозрачна, она почти неземна.
Жаждет тепла, ласки и страсти, нежности ищет она.
Тянутся губы, но недотянутся, в мокрых глазницах глаза,
Но все бесполезно, напрасно, ненужно, до капли промерзла душа.

Смутны желания, странны хотенья, тошно нутру и уму.
Ноет сердечко, счастье угрюмо, но не понять почему
Не греет огонь, не тешит тепло ее, не приласкает весна.
В отчаянии снова бросается в пламя, хочет растаять она.

Все скачет и скачет над пламенем дева – нелепа, невинна, тиха.
Хочет взлететь и облаком стать, не жилица на свете она.
Рвется на волю бедное сердце, жаждет блаженства любви
И растворяется, ввысь направляется и превращается в дым.

Innocent, heavenly, translucent, she is almost out of this world.
But she craves warmth, affection and passion, and tenderness.
Her lips are longing, but to no avail, eyes are moist with tears.
All is useless, in vain, pointless, her soul is frozen to the core.

The desires are uncertain, the wishes are strange, the mind is unsettled.
The heart is aching, the happiness is gloomy. She cannot understand why
The fire doesn’t warm her, the heat doesn’t cheer her, the Spring doesn’t console.
She throws herself into the flames in despair, she wants to dissolve.

She keeps on leaping over the flames, absurd, naive, quiet.
She wants to fly up and become a cloud, she is not made for this world.
Her poor heart wants to break the walls, it yearns for the bliss of love,
Then dissolves, rises and blends with the smoke.

12. Äsir Yöräk / The Captive Heart
(music – Justin Marshall, words – Zulya Kamalova)

Yöräğeñ çitlektä yoqli.
Biklängän, bik niq yozaği.
Yöräğeñä uñaili anda yäserenerğä,
Ber närsä timi, ni şatliq, ni bälä qaza.
Ber kem borçimi anda.

Yöräğeñ tin ğina tibä.
Kiräkmi ni kük ni saf xawa.
Serläşmi, ğazaplanmi, cirlami, endäşmi,
Özelep söimi, moñli sağişni xiç kertmi.

Çitlekne xawağa alip çiq.
Yozağin aniñ watip irğit.
Uyansin yöräk, moñli xislär kire qaitsin,
Bälki iskä töşär özderep cirlanğan cir,

Tüzärğa ğenä yazsin…

Your heart sleeps in a cage.
The cage is locked with a strong bolt.
It’s convenient for your heart to hide there.
Nothing will touch it, neither joy nor grief.
Nobody will disturb.

Your heart beats very quietly.
It doesn’t want to see the sky, breathe in the fresh air.
It does not feel, does not sing, does not answer,
It does not love, does not let sadness in.

Take the cage outside,
Break off the lock and throw it away.
Awaken your heart, let it take a breath of sweet air.
Perhaps it’ll remember the old song,
Sung with so much passion

If it can only bear it..