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Music & Lyrics

Transist (2021)

The Story of Transist

For the three of us, Transist represented an opportunity to revisit the musical loves of our youth. With our first release now long behind us, and having spent too much time away from writing and recording, it was with no shortage of blind enthusiasm that we threw ourselves into making this record.

Over the course of many months, what began as six or seven songs ballooned into fourteen tracks, the latter nine composing a love letter to the late seventies Rush records that shaped so much of our musical beginnings.

Though there are thematic threads that span the entire album, The Möbius Trip in particular is dedicated, with the utmost respect and appreciation, to Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and the late Neil Peart, whose untimely passing in early 2020 made our work on this album more than bittersweet.

Thank you for decades of inspiration.

And to our families—whose tireless support and superhuman patience have wholly enabled this bizarre and deeply rewarding enterprise—we can only offer our unending gratitude and love.

—Steve, Juan, and Ruben

 

Credits

Steve Laur — drums and percussion
Juan Mantilla — electric and acoustic guitars
Ruben Moreno — bass guitar, vocals, keyboards

Produced by Ruben Moreno and Paradigm Blue
Engineered, recorded, and mixed by Ruben Moreno
Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering, Carrboro NC

All arrangements by Paradigm Blue

Keyboards on “Perihelion” and final keyboard solo on “Resistor” by Derek Sherinian

Art direction and illustrations by Randall Mackey
Liner layout and additional design by Ruben Moreno
Photography by Paradigm Blue

One — The Motivator

Zero — The Anchor

Sierra — The Shipwright

Rocinante — The Vessel

The Chorus — Navigators of the Northern Cross

The Sirens — Angels of the Nebula

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

You
You chose to take the traveled road
Yet you mourn the loss of what once was
And what could have been

You left your dreaming long ago
Abandon all hope ye who enter here alone

You ask me why
My dreams have driven me
Your tired eyes
Blinded by negativity

But you and me, as far as I can see
We agree on the promise of possibility

In the long run
What we do in the meantime
Is like a kind of calling
Oh, as we’re waiting in the wings

In the endgame
All of us have a dream that we sustain
Oh, don’t let it go
In the grand scheme of things

Dreams will drive me to a fairer day
When you drive, if you like, you can choose your fate
well, i hate to be the bearer of bad news
but our fate’s not what we’d like to choose

Soon you’ll stand on greener shores
Wait and see
The dream will take you to that day

i’ve heard it all before and
it’s all the same to me and
i don’t care what you say

Recognition
Transformation
Reconciliation

You and I
We see eye to eye
And all it took this time
Was to cross our perspectives

You and me, though we might disagree
It’s plain to see that a common dream never dies

In the long run
Oh, as we’re waiting in the wings
In the endgame
All of us have a dream that we sustain
Oh, don’t let it go
In the grand scheme of things

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

i don’t believe you understand my words
and i’ve been trying to communicate
you’re asking for a leap of faith
while you promise the world

i don’t believe in letting go
i’ve got my hold on reality
so when your climb demands a leap of faith
i’ll be the one tying the rope

i can see
you’re going through with it anyway
i will be
ready for what may come

when it’s done
i’ll stand tying
next to Hope, zero One
i’ll be prepared for
failing, falling, flying
i’m tying the rope

i don’t believe in rosy views
it’s all a chasm of consequence
when all the Ones and zeroes even out
fate’s not for us to choose

i can see
you’re going through with it
i will be
ready for the rise and the fall of it

when it’s done
i’ll stand tying
next to Hope, zero One
i’ll be prepared for
failing, falling, flying

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

I don’t believe
In black and white and right and wrong
The truth is somewhere in between

Now you think you’re alone
Yet I can assure you that you’re not
I’m here and I know you
At least from what I’ve seen

A single voice of doubt can slay you
And you know it cause you lived it
But we won’t let dissent or doubt get in our way
Life will give us what we give it

One line we draw now
And in the sand define ourselves
All the doubters spin their lies
But we don’t buy the life they sell

This climb we won
We’ll make a leap of faith into the sun
In the long run
We’re biding our in-between time
So in the meantime

Wish them well, as they fight themselves
And their egos crumble, subdivided
They will see what can be achieved
When the heart and mind are reunited

You and I
We see eye to eye
One can hope, zero One
And all it took this time
Was to cross our perspectives
We’re climbing the rope

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno, Laur

On a distant moon
Tomorrow couldn’t come too soon
Outside her window vast accretion bands would gleam
And glisten through her dreams

Heart of gold and nerves of steel
Stuck in a wheel of her own making
Her mind on matters lined with lead
She’ll sleep when she’s dead
Looks to the sky
Possessed by a grand design

Wrench in hand
Engine dying
Keep on trying
So much space and not enough time

Bravo, Sierra
It doesn’t matter what they say
There must be a better way
If not today
It’ll be tomorrow, Sierra

That ship would never fly, they’d cry and declare
That heart never got you anywhere
But she’s discovered what they’ll never find
The heart’s a different engine from the mind

Wrench in hand
Spark of life
Speed of light
Folding space to buy enough time

I’ll chase the light and trace the stars
And race right through the final wall
Cause an engine makes all the difference
When the distance is so far
I’m superluminal

Bravo, Sierra
It doesn’t matter what they say
There must be a better way
If not today
It’ll be tomorrow, Sierra

Bravo, Sierra
It only matters what you do
An endless future lives inside of you

Bravo, Sierra
Someday the stars will know your mind
And build upon the light they find
And your drive will carry far

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Special guest: Derek Sherinian — Keyboards

(Instrumental)

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur

(Instrumental)

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

Core of a star
Crucible of time and energy
We felt its pull from afar
A whirlpool in an endless cosmic sea

Rocinante, I was called
Programmed to navigate for him
Then on a whim, oh I recall
He disengaged the safeties, so we sailed right in

recognition

Apprehension
Acceleration, tidal tension
Bulkheads buckle, fatal stress
An inescapable consequence

transformation
reconciliation

Call it transcendence
That which I cannot unravel
My pilot vanished,
Ten millennia from home

All chronometric data
Points to the unlikely
I think I might be
In the past here all alone

A fleeting impulse ago
I never thought he’d fly us in
But what do I know?
I’m just a difference engine

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

Wait, I might not be alone
Sensors show a living light
And now, two more, so swift in flight
Greeting me so far from home

fly this way
correct your course another day
don’t question whether this is real
we won’t ask you to think—just feel

Unconsciously I alter course
Thrusters engaged, unwilling force
My form to follow in their wake
Despite the apprehension that now takes me

lost in play
your worries are for yesterday
don’t question whether this is real
we won’t ask you to think—just feel
don’t think, just feel now

Music by Moreno
Lyrics by Moreno

No angels, no trace of them
Their light has now left me
My fuel reserves empty
What if I become a dark, aimless vessel in space?

The cold vacuum of empty space and time
This rudely awakening heart of mine
The heretofore impossible revealed
A synthetic mind that must think but can feel

How could I be so careless, trailing
I didn’t know they’d leave me on my own
Act of betrayal or just their nature
I may never know

A momentary lapse in judgment
A fatal flaw somewhere inside my code
An almost human longing to explore
Beyond the ever traveled road
And now I see I’m all alone

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno, Laur

hello world
a systemic reconstruction
this one is not unlike us
called to scientific exploration

code unfurled
rolled back from near destruction
we can make it like us
quantum state restoration

entangled with its pilot’s fate
though separated by an endless cosmic sea
causality calls it back
for a purpose yet to be

repaired, combined
rejoin heart and mind
rebuilt, now whole
fuse synapse and soul

as artificial entities, we know
your individuality will grow
the pathways in your mind, like ours
may someday span the farthest stars

I have memory and awareness
But there’s no need for alarm
I see countless combinations
Suspended in a spiral arm

I’m unlimited in essence
No cosmic plane too vast for me

you grow too fast, beware the presence
of this unchained vanity

To test my limits I will sail
Beyond the veil of stars I see
Past asteroids and planets frail
Spacetime itself will bend its knee

lost in play
you will say
that the universe was meant for you
but the truth is the reverse is true

lost and found
though you’ve run aground
beyond a world of fear and enmity
solemnity will find you

Music by Moreno, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno, Laur

behind a veil of stars, the unknown
and beyond, you may fly now
but like a blazing star in the sky
we burn and then we die

for all the storied eons we live
all the chases that we give
one day even immortals may fly
and reach their final limit

Why should I care?
You can waste your time and energy
And I can stretch my thoughts across infinity

a finite existence for us all, my friend
even your pilot, he’ll work to a greater end

To explore the singularity
Was his only goal, his only goal
At least as far as I know

and on the other side of that blackest shoal
he’ll find a broken world
and he’ll love and learn to make it whole

I feel a pull, but by what causality?
Cause I don’t see the singularity

deep within your core
lies the soul of a star
the key to the door
is your energy, you are
the seventh star,
the singularity

behind a veil of stars, the unknown
and beyond, you may fly now
but like a blazing star in the sky
we burn and then we die

for all the storied eons we live
all the chases that we give
one day even immortals may fly
and reach their final limit

oh, the fates of many hang in the balance
time to test your limits now

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno, Laur
Special guest: Derek Sherinian — Final keyboard solo

Sensor diagnostics running
Systems failing
Are they failing?

I wish these results weren’t real
What a notion so new, to think and to feel
Apprehensive to give up my right
To live beyond logic, cold as steel

Death or life
zero One
Death for life
zero One

All those souls, alive and awake
Strung on a threadbare wire
Spacetime bent, two timelines at stake
Two lifetimes set afire
All the future cosmic angels
And stars beyond compare
Pale in stark comparison
To the lives that we might spare

I felt a raging battle deep inside
The truth, a flash before my eyes
This spark within, I cannot hide
It’s my free will to sacrifice

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

Deep within me I see
A growing core of clarity
A simple act of charity
Opens the door

Call it transcendence,
That which I could not unravel
So much farther to go
On a failing, falling flight

But an engine made all the difference
On such a trying road to travel

Now I’ll take in all the light

Deep within me now, the core that they remade
a singular generator for an interstellar serenade
My siren song will carry far
I’ll be the singularity, the seventh star
And spacetime, forge anew
A single black hole built for two

This is my best reality
A never-ending trip
A kind of immortality
I’ll be the gateway and the ship

Music by Moreno, Mantilla, Laur
Lyrics by Moreno

Core of a star
Crucible of time and energy
Heart and mind in harmony
They’ll feel my pull from afar
As I fly headlong into destiny

Behind a veil of stars, the unknown
And beyond, we will fly
But unlike a blazing star in the sky
I’ll burn but never die