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Plein Air Jane Eyre

by nessa

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1.
Overture 01:21
2.
Plein Air 02:04
Long Island sinks inexorably Into the ocean. Long Island and me Bored of being car-less and eighteen Drawing power lines, suburban scenes At least Grant me Some new Scenery Out on the marshes, out on the bay All is uncertain as a house on stilts Picture me refined, a young au pair I want to paint the sand dunes in plein air At least Grant me Some new Scenery If the tides will allow If the tides will allow I’ll mark this down
3.
Hey There Rembrandt Ed: Hey there, Rembrandt That one line’s smudged a little bit About those bushes They’re really over to the left You’ve got a good eye But your brush strokes need some work Your hand’s too heavy Lighten up a little bit Jane: Ed: Who made you a critic? (My parents’ checkbook) If I want advice I’ll ask Ed: That’s what you get at private school A steady hand and crippling debt Anyhow I’m just an arty kind of guy Jane: You’ve got quite a garden For one who’s never held a spade Ed: You’ve got potential Where are you going in the fall? You smell like art school Bet you could pull off a beret Jane: Don’t get too close, it’s still drying I think I hear your sister crying... Ed: Jane: Hey there, Rembrandt It’s just sketches That one line’s smudged a little bit I just liked the About those bushes Way the ocean They’re really over to the left Framed the hedges You’ve got a good eye It’s just sketches But your brush strokes need some work I just liked the Your hand’s too heavy Way the ocean Lighten up a little bit Framed the hedges Ed (spoken): Anyway, I’m having a party tomorrow. You should come.
4.
Waves I can hear waves Right from the guest room Threatening to rise up And swallow me So empty and spacious Who could really call this house a home? Edouard and Abby Live here alone Well It’s not a bad gig Cleaning up after The messes of rich kids They all behave like strangers Their separate dinners are so cold Edward and Abby Eating alone
5.
I’ve never seen so many shades of pastel shorts Crowded around the keg like cattle at the trough While long limbed Aphrodites gather on the couch My awkward tendencies have left me to the dogs The crowd around me like a drunk panopticon And Edward at the center, basking in the noise Under the light Of this tequila sunrise I never could get a tan I only know how to burn She leans in ever slightly, soon he follows suit It’s like a game of chicken—who will make a move? And no one notices two people leave the room Under the light Of this tequila sunrise I never could get a tan I only know how to burn I think I’ve had too much Hey, do my cheeks look red? Her eyeliner is flawless, wingtips as sharp as razors Oh what a charméd life To be a Hampton girl Her hair a perfect ombre, a sun-kissed babe Under the light Of this tequila sunrise I never could get a tan I only know how to burn
6.
Will-o-wisp 02:38
Home’s a funny place When you come back and nothing’s changed Bird clock on the wall What revolutions have you made? Mama’s statuettes In porcelain bewilderment I still get a sense Of comfort from the lack of taste Just to pass these days Absentminded, find myself Tracing out his face Fiery eyes in charcoal grey Like a will-o-wisp beckons into miry wilds If I follow this infatuation I will slip Still on every empty page, I see him Still on every empty page, I see him Draw myself in crayon Let the awkward edges stand Who’s this plebeian Who thinks she has a flying chance? Look around you, Jane You’re a goodwill cabinet As for darling Blanche Educated, elegant Bathed in summer hues, Painted by a sweeter hand How can I withstand Knowing we’re so disparate Still on every empty page, I see him Still on every empty page, I see him
7.
When you tell me “There’s a string tied to my rib That leads to yours” How am I supposed to feel? --God, I’m truly hopeless I might be no one I might be classless and obscure But we are equal I have as much soul, as much heart And I can’t stay here To watch you fall for someone else (Ed kisses Jane)
8.
Baby I’m a plant that thrives in partial shade So it suits me Under the pergola We could Go over to the outlets Later on, Bread and wine Monday is the worst when You’re princess on the weekends Easy Under the umbrella To forget that I was just the nanny Baby I don’t need another summer dress It’s enough Just relax Monday is the worst when You’re princess on the weekends I can’t be the first girl Imposter on Old Montauk Road
9.
Still Life 01:34
If I stayed here Into the year The waves crash on Incessantly The summer fades I stay the same Would I get bored Of finding ways The dunes array their feather reeds In flaxen shades If I should stay? I watch the in- -cremental change An apple left To draw too long Will start to rot Not “still” enough The wind gets cold Your sister grows I’m really just A child myself
10.
Chiaroscuro 03:08
Look at this blank canvas Caught a snag and it’s wrecked I still see outlines of The things that could have been The way you tilt your head Your face in half-darkness Was never mine to have Wasn’t it? Ed: Janie, I swear I can fix this mess Jane: Tattered to shreds, me and all the rest Oh what a masterpiece That you and I have made Ed: Janie, don’t go, if you’ll only listen Jane: There were so many times you could’ve, but Like chiaroscuro you Obscured the harder parts All the shadows in this empty castle Have been cast in plaster, Brought into the light I won’t be the saint in chiaroscuro To your Caravaggio I live in the light So now it must be me Who tears our tangled strings Who plucks my own eye out And cuts off my own hand If only we had met In some other circumstance It’d be a different dance Wouldn’t it? Ed: You have no clue what she’s put me through Jane: Wish I did, love, it’s a bit late now Like chiaroscuro you Obscured the harder parts Ed: It doesn’t have to end this way Jane: I don’t know, sure, I just need some space Oh what a masterpiece That you and I have made All the shadows in this empty castle Have been cast in plaster, Brought into the light I won’t be the saint in chiaroscuro To your Caravaggio I live in the light All the shadows in this empty castle Have been cast in plaster, Brought into the light I won’t be the saint in chiaroscuro To your Caravaggio I live in the light
11.
Becoming 03:36
E: I wanted you Under these panels Of glass Matted and framed, I’d keep you separate I know you felt it I held you airtight J: I am no flower You can’t just keep me In your collection E: Manhattan kills All this striving towards greatness It raises monsters Long Island thrives How could I help it? A perfect place for A budding artist J: Don’t fence me in There’s more to paint than Your rhododendrons Have you forgot? I’m not Rembrandt I’m Jane from Nassau County E: Listen to me, Jane I know it’s hard to hear it now For all the mess I’ve made I never lied about the way You and I were meant To meet each other, just not yet Don’t destroy this page Save me for a different day J: To the untrained eye This is paradise But watch the ocean rise, Watch the marshes sigh You can come and go, To your weekend home Pretend the things you leave Aren’t dying slow Waves wear me down With every motion Into a new shape All that I am Is still becoming Is still becoming Have a good one, Ed This is where I draw the line Sever that old thread That stretches from your rib to mine So goodbye, my friend See you in Manhattan, then Don’t you dare forget I’m the one holding the pen
12.
Interlude 00:54
13.
Welcome Week 03:16
Out on the quad It’s not that hard To lose the hours In the tableau Of girls in docs Oh, hello I call this one “Boy with guitar” He hasn’t showered But he wants a crowd The slackline folks Look on I feel the cool wind of a September I can be anyone I want The leaves are turning and I, I follow My cheeks are burning Keep turning A stick and poke Bleeding with hope A tiny paintbrush Don’t tell my mom It stings to change Doesn’t it? So crop my tops & cut out the noise So cuff my jeans And chase all the boys I wanna know What’s your sign? I feel the cool wind of a September I can be anyone I want The leaves are turning and I, I follow My cheeks are burning Keep turning I miss the sun Over big long island skies I miss the sky But I’m so much more alive I feel the cool wind of a September I can be anyone I want The leaves are turning and I, I follow My cheeks are burning Keep turning

about

An 8-bit rock opera adaptation of Jane Eyre set in the Hamptons. Written and recorded by Nessa Grasing in summer 2020, in isolation, with a broken pinky and nothing but time.

credits

released September 3, 2021

All songs written and performed by Nessa Grasing

Nessa Grasing as Jane
Niko Stathakopoulos as Ed

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nessa Seattle, Washington

Nessa is the project of Nessa Grasing. Dreamy melodies and angular chords to weep along to.

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