Hearts of Glass, Nerves of Steel

This album is based on our concert at NorWesCon 2010, which was an entire set of love songs.

We really wanted to end on Gentle Arms of Eden, but the hotel barged in and demanded the room 10 minutes early. They even set the clock back! Well, we can play that game, too. So we've pulled in Gentle Arms from Baycon 2009, and Landscapes, which we skipped over for lack of time, from Consonance 2009. And because of the title, we sort of had to put in Quiet Victories, which we snagged from Conflikt 2009, and which isn't exactly a love song. It isn't exactly not a love song, either -- you decide.

This album started out as a simple Valentine's Day mix for Colleen, but by the time Steve got through asking the other band members for permission to put a copy in the Interfilk auction at Consonance and we totaled up the extra copies, it was only a short leap to a limited run of 50. That's all there will ever be -- it's not for sale.

Here's the original setlist, with Naomi's scripted narration (which isn't exactly what's recorded, but close), and track numbers.

1. The Owl and the Pussycat (Edward Lear / Anonymous)

Good evening! This is Callie Hills and Steve Savitzky, and I'm Naomi Rivkis. Together, we are Tempered Glass. What you're going to hear from us this evening isn't entirely our usual fare. We're giving you a set made up entirely of love songs. Don't worry. We're still filkers... and what you just heard, which was Steve's [actually, Oak, Ash, and Thorn's] setting of Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat, might well be the most normal love song in the entire program.

It's a strange, phrase, "falling in love". Taken literally, it seems to imply very little control of the journey, and a hard and uncomfortable landing at the end. Dangerous, perhaps, if approached without caution. Here's that story... by our friend Gwen Knighton. This is called Falling for Lancelot.

2. Falling for Lancelot (Gwen Knighton)

Now that's hardly fair of us, is it? To start a program of love songs with a song about the dangers of love? I'd better allow the opposition a fair chance. I think here are a couple of characters who'd like to debate the matter for you -- the price of love, and its worth.

3. Lock-Keeper (Stan Rogers)

4. That was by Stan Rogers, sometimes called Lock-Keeper and sometimes called Southern Cross. You know, the same questions -- the value of love and what it costs -- can apply in all sorts of situations; it isn't always necessary that one's beloved be a person. I knew this guy once... 1870's, the Black Hills gold rush... well, I'll let him speak for himself.

5. Riverheart (Naomi Rivkis / Ray Phoenix)

Ray Phoenix helped me with the tune for that; I wrote the words. It's called Riverheart. This next is by Zander Nyrond. It's about a lady whose beloved wasn't precisely human either. As happens too often when we love someone different, her friends were... unsupportive of her choice.

6. Mina's Song (Zander Nyrond)

That was Mina's Song.

Okay, time to change the mood. Not every case in which someone falls in love with somebody a bit different has to be a tragedy...

7. I'm In Love With a Big Blue Frog (Leslie Braunstein)

That was, as is probably obvious, Peter, Paul and Mary's I'm In Love With a Big Blue Frog, and I'm delighted I finally got an opportunity to sing it in public.

I'm not sure whether Ben Newman, who wrote this song, would consider it a love song at its core, but I do. It's about the question that all lovers have to ask each other at some point, as they grow closer: will you still love me when you know me as I truly am? It's called Masquerade.

8. Masquerade (Ben Newman)

That lady, of course, was the biblical Queen Esther. Her royal husband did decide he loved her when he knew the truth. Sometimes, it's the process of discovering the truth about each other that brings people closer, and makes them love each other more. I wrote the words to this for Callie after our first six months together; Blake Jodgetts was kind enough to set it to music for me. It's called Landscapes.

9. Landscapes (Naomi Rivkis / Blake Hodgetts)

So what does happen to these couples, the ones who mean it when they say they love the real person, not the facade? Where do they end up after all the years of learning each other's minds and hearts. Here's another song written by one of us for our partner: Steve wrote this for his wife Colleen, after nearly thirty years of marriage. It's called The River.

10. The River (Steve Savitzky)

We're almost done for tonight. Earlier, we spoke about love for something besides just a human partner. What do you do when that kind of love, for a place or a dream or an idea, conflicts with the love of the person you've chosen to spend your life with? I wrote this for Callie, she put the music to it, and it's become our most requested song. It's called Where the Heart Is.

11. Where the Heart Is (Naomi Rivkis / Callie Hills)

I don't know about you, but I like my love stories with happy endings.

The last song talked about conflict between the love of place and the love of a person. We're going to leave you with a song in which they don't conflict, but mesh perfectly.

12. Gentle Arms of Eden (Dave Carter)

Thank you, everyone. We're Tempered Glass. Goodnight.


There's a bonus track. Every verse in this next song refers to a legend, myth, or fairy tale. And every one is a true story. Just remember, it's a victory march.

13. Quiet Victories (Steve Savitzky)

Stephen R. Savitzky <steve @ theStarport.org>
Last modified: Sun Feb 27 11:55:58 PST 2011