Becoming

by Gil Hockman

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about

Written, recorded, performed and programmed by Gil Hockman (that’s me!) mostly in the spare bedroom of my apartment in Johannesburg. What didn’t get done there was finished off in a makeshift vocal booth in the corner of Esther’s bedroom in Berlin. Julian Repdath (julianredpath.com) sings on Monday 7 September (he also came up with the additional lyrics and melody). Nathan Redpath and Stephen Timm are in there too on the tambourine, shaker and little cymbal. Mixed by Nolan Chiat (nolan@c-r-e-a-t-e.com). Mastered by Troy Glessner (spectrestudio.com). Cover and CD photographs by Dorit Hockman & Vanessa Chong (the bat, dorithockman@gmail.com) and Marc Shoul (the face, marcshoul.com). Additional design by Alex ‘bestie’ Adler (alexandrapearl.com).

For their love and support, never-ending thanks to my wonderful wife Esther, my parents, my sisters, my family, my friends. Nothing is possible without you. To all the awesome people and places I have encoutered over the past few years: thank you for being out there and for opening your doors to me. I hope to see you all again soon! Extra thanks goes out to Nolan for helping bring this to life and to Julien Fernanadez at Five Roses Press for replying to my first email and all the ones after that.

This album was proudly crowd-funded on Indiegogo and could not have been made without those who dug deep into their pockets. For this I am deeply, deeply grateful. In particular, the following excpetional human beings deserve a special mention (in order of appearance): Shira Hockman, Jon Savage, Sam Davis, Dorit Hockman, Phil Alves, Maurice & Meria Hockman, Joel and Zee Bergman, Caroline Leisegang, Leanne Rencken, Dennis Grzenia, Jono Hall, Maya and Sam Shewitz, Cat Pritchard, Steven Pillemer, Darryl Bernstein, David Nejjar, Trevor Calverly, Ruth Scott, Fran Wensley, Len & Natasha van Heerden. You are all among the finest of our species.

Finally, thank you to you for opening this up and, hopefully, taking a listen. I hope you like what you hear. If you do (or even if you don’t) feel free to drop me a mail at gilhockman@gmail.com or come find me at www.gilhockman.com or on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Bandcamp or SoundCloud or whatever else I have signed up for.

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released November 10, 2017

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Gil Hockman Johannesburg

Gil Hockman is a musician from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Track Name: The Days of Our Lives
The Days of our Lives

The times of our lives
Like the tales of a stranger
The sign of the times
Is a dog in the manger
The makeup we’ll bring
The songs that we’ll sing
The days of our lives
The days of a stranger

The times we recall
Are the lines we remember
The strain of our lives
Is a long, distant thunder
And to take what it brings
Is to tie and to link
To lines that remain
To the dreams and the hunger

The days of are lives
Are the tales of a stranger
The sign of the times
Is a dog in the manger
The makeup we’ll bring
The songs we will sing
The days of our lives
The days of a stranger
Track Name: Untitled
Untitled

You take a little walk you
As deeper that it goes the farther to the sea
You take a little walk you know
Sometime you’ve got to pick it up before you let it go

A grain is an awful load
A truth in an empty show
A flame has a strength no stronger than a tree
The sky is the limit, sometimes you’ve got to let it be

So it goes
Along the winds are sown
The careful dreams
As stones overturned
Turned away
Place to hide
Knees to pray

Trading on an open code
Betting ‘til the cards are shown
Sailing on a wind that’s hard enough to see
Straining to concile the strings of mortality

So it goes
Along the winds are sown
The careful dreams
As stones overturned
Turned away
Place to hide
Kneels to pray
Track Name: Monday 7 September
Monday 7 September

She comes home under a daydream
She comes home under wishing well
She comes home under grey cloud
She comes home under a ringing bell

He comes home over a bicycle
He comes home over a carousel
He comes home over a lost cause
He comes home over one last hill

It’s so simple
See what the day brings
It’s so simple
It’s so simple

Time flows like a daydream
Time flows like a sleeping cell
Cells divide like a feeling
Dreams divide like an iron weld

She takes the hand of a stranger
He takes the lead from a country girl
She sets her stall out in the courtyard
He lays his head on the warm ground

Where you are

And I’m always there with you
And I’m always by your side
Like the weather waiting by your door
Track Name: Talking to a Man
Talking to a Man

I met a man one day out on the street
who said he he'd dreamed he'd been lost in a forest of trees
and then woken up cold on a hard stone floor
with holes in his hands and scars on his knees

and two thousand years of history in his head
but with no explanation for what‘s been done or been said
Just a feeling as empty as an old abandoned building
on a winter shore

And as we stood there on that city street
With the cars rushing by but no one else to meet
and just the company of birds who kept their distance
up on the barbed wire fence

He was pulling in air like a baby being born
but the air here is heavy with the promises drawn
from billboards above and poisoned rivers below
so the words came out like a bells last toll, and he said

There are so many mines and factories
But still so many people on their knees
And so many people without a job
And so many who work too hard

And then there are those who plunder the earth
With hearts as black as the shadow of a funeral hearse
And so many saviors that come too late
And so many that come but just make things worse

And I said, Man if you are going to talk to me
you might as well come back and sit down at my place

He said man if I could I would tell you about all the things
that I've wanted to do in my life but
if only I still knew just what they all were in the first place

He said man if I could I would take you to where I was born
but I'm just so afraid I've been gone for so long
that we'd get there and in the end
I'd just feel out of place

And he said man do you know that there are children being born
who will never understand their place in the world
but who'll still always long for a place to call home
and some sort of heaven to aspire to.

And if there is something to believe in
it's certainly not anything you can see and
if man is the image god
then he’s nothing but the product of his own imagination,

And if you go on from that then it must be true
that nothing that you can ever say or do
will ever mean anything to anyone anymore
when everyone you know here is gone.

I said, what can I say other than
that you might as well come back and sit down at my place.

I said man if you are going to talk to me
then you might as well come back and sit down at my place
Track Name: Somewhere Else
Somewhere Else

There are times when I’m afraid
The decisions that I’ve made
Tell me right or wrong
And I weak or strong
Turn left or right
Do I run or fight
Will I sink or swim
This position that I’m in

A lot of people they’re all the same
Want to be hard but they’re tame
Lots to say but no real plans
For fame fortune or true romance
There’s always something else to blame
The world turning, a little wind or rain
Dreams chained to a pole in the ground
They’d rather sit than take the long walk round

And I know the pain
A soul crying when it’s got no aim
The dark nights bearing down
Days spent grinning like a circus clown
Skin wearing thin
Walls closing in
Thinking about what might have been

So maybe you just want to pay the rent
Or steal money like the president
Could be it’s a plane in the clouds
Or a cage fighting career now
But the rules are all the same
You don’t work and you don’t get paid
A little effort it knows no bounds
When the breaks start coming around

For all the barrels life can send
Jumping makes more sense when it’s your life you’re in
And not on some other monkeys train
Where you take his hits just to play his game
So even when I cry for help
Lost and lonely and upon the shelf
The dream I’m living in is where I find myself
And I’d rather be here than be somewhere else
Track Name: Top of the Hill
Top of the Hill

In the morning you shout
Here is the way to the top of the hill
And in the evening you doubt

And in the water it sprouts tender fruit
And then comes the drought
Dead vines piercing the walls of your heart

And all our problems are the same
We only wish that they were different
So we’d have someone to blame
And all the books upon our shelves
Are nothing but the way we like to see ourselves
Track Name: Rope_ankle
rope_ankle

How many times will it take
Before I can lose myself again
And how many walls must I break
'Til I can feel myself again
Will the winds of change ever come
The open road ever run
Where the only notes that I’m singing
Will be the tone of a phone call ringing

There’s a prodigal son
At the bottom of a well
He’s reaching up for heaven
But his feet are balancing on hell
Tie the rope to my ankle, baby
Because I’m going down
And if I don’t make it back
Drop the rope and come on down
Track Name: Coming In
Coming In

It’s the wonder I felt
Not the same as before
When I relied on the news
And the things that you told me
All the sounds, old and new
It’s the place in the night where I’d go

And the same way you said
How to use all the magic in the air
I dunno, it’s the way
That you told me to believe
In the things
The things that you know I can’t believe in

So I'll be coming in
on the sidewalk
on the 12th page
but in first place

It's not a time stamp
in the parlance
of the finance
or the last calls

I'm a hope train
with a hunger and
don't need a CV
or a television set

I'm a hard rain
from the dashboard
with a six string
and a seventh chord
on the eight day
on the nine ball
on the 42nd number
on the 13th floor

Are you picking up?
Are you receiving?
On the internet
On the ham set

I know my way
to the frequency
and I can handle
any latency
I'm not a hothead
with his shoestrings
in a prison cell
of existence
it's not a first date
steady heart rate
or spinning plate
or a cellphone battery

discharge
mischarge
low charge
no charge
In your car
turn hard
and then you
see me
in the mirror on your windscreen
I’m not a smoke screen
Just a steady stream
Just a human being
Track Name: Scheming
Scheming

It’s the same every time
I just want some of everything
And I’ve got nothing left to show
But a bit of self control

It’s same every time
I can think of everything
But I’ve got no place left to go
But sink into the show

All the time
It’s just a matter of time
Just a matter of time

Oh the time
It’s just a matter of time
Just a matter of time

It’s the same every night
I just drink up everything
And I’ve got nothing left to show
But a risk to call my own

It’s same every time
I can think of everything
And I’ve got no place left to go
But sink into the show

All the time
It’s just a matter of time
Just a matter of time

Oh
It’s just a matter of time
Just a matter of time