Third Culture Kid

by Del Stephen

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Direct and indirect influences stemmed from all directions, which I've ever-so-boldly attempted to list for you here, and thus gave birth to a third culture kid;

adjusting to a recent move,
a sudden absence of friends,
a constant presence of family,
ambitions coming,
ambitions going,
Paddy McAloon,
the funny thing about using someone else's shower,
drastic changes in temperature,
National Geographic,
my earliest recording sessions several years ago with my former music guru, Eric Mahar
Julian Anderson's artwork ethic,
'Pink Slime' by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
periodic weekends spent partying in St. Catharines ON,
a spontaneous trip to Kingston ON,
routine trips downtown Toronto ON,
'That's Us / Wild Combination' by Arthur Russell,
feeling good lost,
the way Matt Ossias experiences music,
a growing desire to pack up and move overseas again,
reading Morrissey's autobiography,
a conversation on Skype with Crystal Powell,
meeting Andrew Burrows,
the idea that anyone can sing,
'Dream Kitchen' by Frazier Chorus,
a car ride conversation about musical aspirations with Mike McCaig,
exchanging hugs with people I'm not close to,
Lonnie Holley,
breathing sounds with everyone in Think Of A Name,
the sense of nostalgia in printing photos from my favourite years,
third culture kids.



released December 10, 2013

Music, production, and words by Stephen Del Duca.
Photography by Celine Chan and Lys Quintero.
Cover design by Julian Anderson.
Recorded in Bolton, Ontario between September and December of 2013, with the exception of various personal cassette-tape recordings from 2011 to present day.

Additional Notes:
'One New Message' contains personal voicemail messages from Luke Chandler and Paras Memon, as well as a recorded message by Crystal Powell.
'I Was Young, Like You' contains spoken words by Sheila Rosalie, a hard-working volunteer at CFRC Radio in Kingston, ON.
Words, vocals, and electric guitar in 'Fernweh' by Emma Fleury.
A more psychedelic-rock'n'roll-romance variation of 'Shea Butter' has been played by Oak & Elm in the past.
Words and vocals in 'You Were Dancing' by Barsin Aghajan.
'Inbetween Spaces 2011 or Background Music / (Fracture)' contains the poem 'Fracture', written and read by one of my favourite poets: William Maclean. This song also includes voices of many other friends, as well as strangers I will likely never meet again; I am grateful to have collected their words in an attempt to solve a puzzle.

Lastly, I hope that if you like the album, you will decide to live with it, and take it away from this website.

Thanks for listening.





Del Stephen Toronto, Ontario


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Track Name: Applause (Intro)
some thoughts on 'the artist defect':
what is 'the artist defect'? the artist defect is that crazy thing that every artist has (whether or not they choose to acknowledge it is another thing) that fuels them when they're onstage or even releasing new music, for it is not enough for the artist to play by themselves in their living room. they need the approval (i.e. the applause, or in the case of releasing new music: some sort of approval from the listener...a review, for example).

the first step to overcoming the artist defect is to acknowledge that it exists within oneself.
the second step to overcoming the artist defect is to acknowledge that without it, the artist is lacking.
I do not believe there is an escape to the artist defect.

here's one reason why. in my own concert-going experience, both as a member of the band and the audience, I always find it incredibly bizarre how there is applause even before the artist makes a sound. it would be ludicrous to claim that the artist is not affected by this, whether or not they want to be.
Track Name: Wet Grass Mantra
Take your time

Recline your seat

Make some room

For both your feet

Slow your pace

Come undone

Squint both eyes

Feel the sun

Set you free

Feel the sun

Squint both eyes

Come undone

Slow your pace

For both your feet

Make some room

Recline your seat

Wet Grass MantraAaAaAa

Wet Grass MantraAaAaAa
Track Name: Domestic Toucan
('Domestic Toucan' is a musical adaptation of a poem I wrote in September, 2013, called 'it ends with imitation')

I might find you

in a coma

in a bottle

sweet aroma

I wake up somewhere new

I see the moon

yesterday’s lovers

eating breakfast at noon

calypso kareoke

a painting of a man

yellow red and white

a domestic toucan

a domestic toucan.

(for original poem:
Track Name: You Were Old, Like Me
(this song is more than just my first attempt at film-scoring. it seems to work as an epilogue to the first half of the albuml. it brings some closure to the feelings and emotions of the first half, and especially of the previous song [hence the combo titles]. it is the sunset before the sunrise that is the next song.)
Track Name: Fernweh
(The word 'fernweh' is actually a German word, and according to Wikipedia, the closest English translation would fall under the word 'wanderlust'; "a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world". Of course this is merely the definition of an English word that is most similar to the German one; through some discussion with native-German speakers, the word 'fernweh' has more to do with nostalgia. I believe in linguistic determinism, which basically states that one's perception of the world is determined by one's language, and can therefore explain many cultural differences across languages. With that being said, I do not know for certain whether I have ever actually experienced fernweh. However, although the words Emma sings differ, and are mostly unintelligible in the final mix [a case of emotion over meaning], the song 'Fernweh' to me represents a musically emotional adaptation of the poem below, which I wrote in May, 2013. The poem is my attempt at describing the word 'fernweh', which is, again, much different from the definition of the English word 'wanderlust' above.)


what is nostalgia,
but some strange sense
of longing? the past
the present
the future.
we remember the events that never happened
? will I
remember the fond memories that lay scattered
in the forefront of my mind? all I know is that
this evening the skies cleared,
and for a brief moment,

I enjoyed the present for what it was.

Track Name: Your Smile
('Your Smile' is a musical adaptation of a poem I wrote in August, 2013, called 'Discontent For Now'. I also thought it would be a strangely progressive idea to sing robotic vocals on a place like the beach.)

My vacation has a smile

but little does it know

that there are things that need to be planned

in order for something

to come into fruition

your smile, a vacation far away.

(for original poem:
Track Name: You Were Dancing
I know my fate but it couldn't wait
I've been carefully defeated
but by my own I would never go
with the help of someone's beating

beating heart, oooo

these are my legs if i runaway
there's no way they would receive me
so let my mother and father know
I was not who they believed in

I'm a liar, oooo
I'm on fire

I try not to feel alive
you were dancing like you didn't care
I try not to breathe at night
you were dancing like I wasn't there

I'm not alone but I'm never right
there are people all around me
it's not the same without you good riddance goodbye
these are my friends these are all of them
they don't question my agenda
it won't be long til i prove them wrong
I don't need you I don't want ya

I'm a liar
I'm on fire

I try not to feel alive
you were dancing like you didn't care
I try not to breathe at night
you were dancing like I wasn't there
Track Name: Inbetween Spaces 2011 or Background Music / (Fracture)
It was the year 2011.
I decided to buy a cassette-tape recorder and some of the last dusty blank cassette-tapes available from the local dollar stores and thrift stores.
I don't quite remember what brought on this sudden fascination with tape-recordings and capturing the sounds of the people around me and the things zooming past me in my everyday life. I became obsessed; I would bring my tape-recorder to university, to cafes, to parties, to bars, to friends' houses, the list goes on and on. I took it with me wherever I went.
With no real motive for why I was filling this first tape with sporadic, random everyday dialogues, I started thinking about this concept I thought up, called 'inbetween spaces' (which I still don't have a proper definition of to this day).
Perhaps that was the whole point; my earliest recordings consisted of me asking friends and strangers how they interpreted the concept 'inbetween spaces'. A lot of their responses (including a poem written and read by William Maclean), which I recently compiled for this song, actually form the general premise of how I eventually began to interpret and realize 'inbetween spaces' to mean.
But what's the use of explaining that here? Why not think about it for yourself? How do you interpret 'inbetween spaces'? Here is 'Fracture' by William Maclean:


A silence surrounds the space

where a scrubber used to scream

and in the silence of the afternoon,

now sits my sliding coffee,

slipping later still into a day that never comes;

i’ve slept the day back to the cradle

coddled it way back to sleep.

so i stay up late alone

doing senseless things in cycles

before falling back

into the eyelids of euphoria.

tentacular fractals looping me into me

out of me and into myself

then, like a gush of warm salty brine

solace spills between my cells and swells

until their are wells that tell of the peace that has found me

and the fleeting ether between the consciousness

and unconsciousness of sleep; and then its gone.

i wake up to another fraction of a day and greet cynically its sliver of sunlight

i wonder whether today’s nibble will be safe or not to swallow

should i trust it to nourish me another day?

or hide it under my tongue, to spit out doubtfully tomorrow?

clarity has all but vanished

all that remains is this uncertainty in the venn diagram

of loving and hating my life.
Track Name: Applause (Outro)
an applause? again?
how pretentious!
because when has there ever been an occasion where there *hasn't* been an applause at the end of a concert?
I can only think of one occasion;
a concert for oneself!