Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Cosey Fanni Tutti
A Hallucinatory Patripassianist Dream
The texts for this album were started following an intense dream I had that Black Ships had entered our skys in preparation for the arising of the final Cæsar and for the Second Coming of Christ. In subsequent dreams I saw geometric faces , colours, words and shapes falling into my head. They appeared as a multitude of images; they were dreamlike yet vital, manifesting as processions of characters and scenesand dialogues that shifted between being utterly lacking in conventional perspectiveto that of being hyper-dimensional. I commenced writing furiously, and the words of Black Ships Ate The Sky are the recording of this period in my life.
I asked those friends and artists whom I love and whose works I most admire to interpret the haunted words of that great hymn "Idumæa" by Charles Wesley; this piece had become an obsession for me before starting work on this albumand its face watched over all these Black Ships, providing one key to this Hallucinatory Patripassianist Dream.
I live in an increasing awareness that a Love will some suddenly who will finally tear our skies apart. And then all Black Ships will be no more. This album was started four years ago by myself and Michael Cahsmore without whom this album would not exist, and finished four years later by myself and Ben Chasny, John Contreras and Steven Stapleton, without whom too this album would not exist. My heartfelt thanks to them for all they have done. More detailed acknowledgements can be found below, but I also wish to thank those other friends who worked on this album, for without them there would be just words. Andria, Marc, Will, Dee, Antony, Clodagh, Cosey, Chris, Shirley, Amy, Bill, William, Mark, Colin, Geoff, Al, Paul, Lance: thank you.
Thanks too to Blessed John Bradburne for prayers answered and and favours received.
I Dedicate Black Ships Ate The Sky to our beloved friend and companion Squiggy who went on from us on St. Valentine's Day, 2006. May she rest in the Love of Christ till all times and and all friends meet again.
Thank you, again, to all those who created and worked on this album.
And to those who contributed with their friendship and support: above all, Mark Logan of Durtro Jnana Records, whose friendship and endless generosity and love kept me from capsizing under the approach of Black Ships.
I wish to acknowledge, too, the kindness of Lance Eccles who answered my endless questions about Coptic with great patience and generosity of spirit. Black Ships were launched at the same time I became obsessed with this language. Any small progress I have made in Coptic would be immeasurably less without his help.
Also my love and thanks to: Olivia Bunting, Stefanie Thiel, Stephanie Volkmar, Lynn Jackson, Carolyn Cox-Dorée, Ayse Tuzlak, Chris Hakius, Stephen O'Malley, Rob Fisk, Maja Elliott, Nick Church, Jhonn Balance, Henry Boxer, Lauren Winton, Michael Lawrence, Gary Held, Tony Sylvester, Matt Sweeney, Cam Archer, Howard Wuelf, Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo, Giulio Di Mauro, Enrico Croci, Greg Peters, Paul Cheshire, Jeremy Cantwell, Denis Blackham, Stephanie Meixner, Ossian Brown, Stephen Thrower, Tim Renner, Joolie Wood, Simon Finn, Allison Schnackenberg, José Pacheco, Hymenæus Beta, Nikki Howes, Nidge Ince, Celia Brigstocke of the John Bradburne Society, Kat Cormie, Timothy d'Arch Smith, Paul Deighton, Bill Fay, Gary Smith, Thomas Ligotti, Little Annie, Richard Moult, Mark Coyle, Michael Kolson, KatieJane Garside, Julia Kent, Johan Kugelberg, Nick Blinko, Joe Budenholzer, Devendra Banhart, David and Sara Surkamp.
And thanks to all those who supported the recording of this album by subscribing to it 93 years in advance. Without you all, Nihil.