Irina Rivkin

Irina Rivkin

 Berkeley, California, USA
BandFolkWorld

"rhythm & sound would pass as a Russian Sweet Honey in the Rock." [Angela Page, Sing Out!] OutMusic Awards Recipient & Rose St founder performs poetic vocal world-folk originals, lyrics of substance & depth, & rich textured harmonies swirling w/vocal percussion (all performed live!) See Video!

Biography

OutMusic Awards Recipient
Indiegrrl Songwriting Contest winner (2 songs in the top-7)
Music to Life Foundation Top 40 Finalist
PeaceDriven Song Contest Semi-Finalist

Rivkin “performs her own breathtaking act as a "live one-woman choir" (using digital looping technology to astonishing effect)” Michael Dougan, SF Chronicle

“Innovative and glorious! You were stunning…wow I was blown away…you are a deeply gifted woman.” Linda Zeiser, concert producer

“Bobby McFerrin reminds me of you” Bodhi Goforth, house concert co-producer

Outmusic Awards Recipient for OutSong of the Year 2003, & Nominee for Outstanding Debut Recording 2005, Rose Street House of Music founder and singer-songwriter Irina Rivkin has performed for 25 years, from her childhood singing Russian folk and American Jazz in a family band, to performing her own songs for the last 12 years. She expresses insightful, gutsy, vocal world-folk originals, journeying into the personal and political, with occasional travels into Russian and Spanish language lyrics. Irina layers her poetic lyrics with rich textured harmonies, swirling with vocal percussive beats, all created live on-the-spot using her loop station instrument.

For a recent video of a solo live performance demonstrating this live-looping, please see:

www.youtube.com/irinarivkin

Irina has performed her own originals at a variety of festivals and tours, was audience-rated among the top 10 for the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival, which also included artists such as Dar Williams & Disappear Fear. In addition, as an occasional harmony vocalist for SONiA of Disappear Fear, Irina sang at the biggest march in US History on 4/25/04 in Washington DC, as well as at the June 2004 Clearwater Hudson River Revival on a stage shared with Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Toshi Reagan, & Dar Williams!

Her full-length CD “upwelling” was released on Rose Street Records in 2004, and has received airplay on over 100 radio programs. "See Through Bush," a song from "upwelling", received repeated airplay all over the world after being chosen for the Acoustic Rainbow v.20 radio sampler (distibuted in Oct. 2004 to over 1200 radio stations). “Ya Eyo Lublu”, Irina’s OutMusic-Award-winning “Russian-émigré-lesbian-coming-out-love-song” was included on the recently-released "Safe Haven" compilation raising funds for Portland LGBTQ youth services, along with artists such as Indigo Girls, Pamela Means, Alix Olson, Ashleigh Flynn, etc.

Irina Rivkin has shared the stage with a wide variety of artists, including Ferron, Laura Love, Disappear Fear, Girlyman, Rebecca Riots, Julia Butterfly, Alix Olson, Rose Polenzani, Joules Graves, Woody Simmons, Vienna Teng, Gwen Avery, Alice Di Micele, and many others.

Irina showcased at the 2000 & 2005 Rockgrrl conferences, and was selected to became a performing member of Indiegrrl, as well as being selected for juried official showcases at Folk Alliance 2006.

Irina Rivkin combines music and community. She founded the Rose Street House of Music, a house concert & musical community bringing out women’s voices through poetic original music of substance & depth. She organized the original acapella ensemble, Making Waves, around a song she had written supporting the struggle of KPFA, a community radio station. She also created and led "Harmonic Convergence" group singing as well as "Live-Looping" workshops in a variety of locations. Rose Street Harmony Tour concerts, featuring Irina Rivkin solo or in collaboration with other Rose Street singer/songwriters, are offered at a variety of colleges, festivals, venues, house concerts and more!

Irina "performs her own breathtaking act as a "live one-woman choir" (using digital looping technology to astonishing effect)..." Michael Dougan, SF Chronicle

“She is political, jazzy, and rhythmic...hot, harmony-rich vocals...
rhythm & sound would pass as a Russian Sweet Honey in the Rock."
Angela Page, Sing Out! Summer 2004

“beautiful lyrical melody, the added voice over of earthy harmony, and finally the texture of beatbox all performed live with the benefit of electronic looping. This feminist beatboxer poet has it all in one dynamic package." [Janie Roberts, Venue Owner, Wild Janes]

"I just wanted to thank you all so much for coming to our school...you should know that something inside of me opened up when I was there listening to you beautiful women make music and use your voices so powerfully on stage. I've been listening to your CD's like a maniac. Your music is my new medicine. So, just wanted to let you know that it's working. Take care,"
-email from a student Pacific University, Forest Grove OR, after a Rose Street on the Road concert

"Irina has an amazing gift of being able to multiply her voice right before your eyes, one singer many voices come together for an amazing sound of pure harmony...Each song is like a sand sculpture .... hauntingly beautiful, powerful, & awe-inspiring..

Lyrics

Ducking from Shadows

Written By: Irina Rivkin

your warm heart
could not keep your cold hard hand
from striking like a hammer fueled by the red hot anvil of your wrath
i tiptoed tightrope in futile attempts to dodge your rage
now i trip myself on that rope though i'm no longer in that cage

(chorus) stop ducking from shadows
sound sway me from inside
sing what i know,
let my gut be my guide
words bubble sink and spill
into what is finally mine and real

i want to take that fire that fed your rage that was
i want to use it to burn the tightrope that is
free fall to the other side of fear
now that i have known for years
that the jagged metal that was the edge of your hand
can no longer shake me
or break me, my stand

(chorus) stop ducking from shadows
sound sway me from inside
sing what i know
let my gut be my guide
words bubble sink and spill
into what is finally mine and real

clenched fist unfurls
i feel it burn
heart rips its seams
my stomach screams

(chorus) stop ducking from shadows . . .
into what is finally mine and real

(repeat chorus) … into what is finally mine & real

Taking Our Freedom

Written By: Irina Rivkin


My father was caught by the KGB
for the crime of listening to poetry
he was threatened with jail, threatened with the camps
under surveillance and our phone was tapped
he lost his job, lost his livelihood, no could hire him was the government's word
we were lucky enough to get the hell out of there,
find some freedom somewhere
find some freedom somewhere

find some, find some freedom somewhere
find some, find some freedom somewhere

2 dozen years later, here rises a man
who steals an election and has his own plan
to wage war, perpetuate hate,
turn the country to his own police state
now the FBI is like the KGB,
looking more and more like the same country
little by little, day by day,
he's taking our freedom away,
taking our freedom away

but we'll find some, find some freedom somehow
find some, find some freedom somehow

ain't it insidious how history repeats itself... Brra-ta-parrada-Prra-da-parrada..
..... little by little history repeats itself... it's happening here!

a teacher, peaceful activist, and poet too
now she's needing help from the ACLU
'cause she speaks the truth, her voice is clear
she tells you facts they don’t want you to hear
so she lost her job, lost her livelihood,
no one could hire her was the government's word
little by little, day by day
he’s taking our freedom away
taking our freedom away

but we'll find some find some freedom somehow
find some find some freedom somehow
(we're gonna)
take back take back freedom somehow
take back take back freedom now
freedom now!

Freedom now!

(to hear this song, see the sonicbids audio files; since this song was recorded, I've added vocal rhythms which would be performed live -- which you can hear in the live performance video file)

Boulders on my Path

Written By: Irina Rivkin

My feet would be my anchor
my thoughts would be my friend
my road would take me further
with every thoughtful bend

When I walk I hear where to listen
when I walk I feel how to see
with each step I fly without knowing
like bare roots and wild birds touch what's free

But these moments of freedom
could be frozen in their tracks
Cause the smallest pebble of doubt
could feel like a boulder on my back

that's when the ground can feel so far
and everything I do seems wrong
it's at these moments I feel so damn weak
at the invisible edge of strong

Sticks and stones and needless fears
let them roll off my back
like a river that knows where it's going
let me flow through the cracks
flow smooth past the jagged edges
of my own boulders that block my path

My feet still be my anchor
my thoughts still be my friend
my road still lead me further
with every thoughtful bend
with every thoughtful bend

Ya Eyo Lublu (“I Love Her” in Russian)

Written By: Irina Rivkin

i'm visiting my parents this week & i've been with you a while
i said “i think it's time they meet you”, you look at me & smile
i'm nervous as i'm talking to my mother on the phone
i ask her "can i bring her with me, next time i visit home?"
"i don't like that you're like that!" she says, she doesn't seem to see
that there is only good in this, does she herself feel free?

i tell her
(chorus) ya eyo lublu, from deep inside that's how i feel
ya eyo lublu, there's no denying this is real
ya eyo lublu, she'll always be part of my life
ya eyo lublu, she is my love she'll be my wife
ya eyo lublu, kak shastia shto eyo nashla (what luck that i found her)
ya eyo lublu, ee bit zhe sney mne radostno (what joy to be with her)
ya eyo lublu, etozh dobro opiatz skozhu (this is good, i tell you)
ya eyo lublu, kto trogayet dushu mayu (who touches my soul)

she says "well, you can bring her if you just act like friends"
i said "okay then i won't kiss her, but i cannot pretend
and even without touching, or saying who she is to me,
sparks that glow between us may be something you'll still see"

because (chorus)

at my parents house we are careful not to touch
but the way your eyes dance with mine, & our smiles say so much
mama meets you, and she likes you, she don't protest you're not a guy
she says she's happy we're together, maybe she sees now why . . .

(ay, ay, ay) ya tsebia lublu, from deep inside that's how i feel
ya tsebia lublu, there's no denying this is real
ya tsebia lublu, you'll always be part of my life
ya tsebia lublu, you are my love you'll be my wife
ya tsebia lublu, kak shastia shto tsebia nashla
ya tsebia lublu, ee bit s'toboy mne radostno
ya tsebia lublu, etozh dobro opiatz skozhu
ya tsebia lublu, ti trogayesh dushu mayu

ya tsebia lubluuuu

Little Silver Packets

Written By: Irina Rivkin

when your words were like flowers & our hearts open wide
i drank in each word yeah i took it inside
but when your words became weapons, grenades that you threw
while your voice shook the house, i took those in too

now i search through the rubble deep under my skin
i pull out each fragment to find me within
and i think of the bombs and the food drops that followed
little silver packets two steps from the land mines, oh from the land mines

i picked up your packets to taste what’s inside
but the love you don’t feel is a crater so wide
still i held on to hope as the bombs fell around
i gave you my flowers, you tore up the ground

so my love and my fear had a fight in my heart
it’s the tiniest things that can tear us apart
and i don’t want your bombs, although love drops may follow
little silver packets two steps from the land mines, oh from the land mines

Beautiful as you are (LIVE VIDEO available)

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(Solo Live version -- including created-live-on-stage interweaving harmonies & vocal arrangements, can be heard on www.myspace.com/irinarivkin (click on "My Videos")

"Beautiful as you are" is about seeing the beauty in all of our shapes and sizes.

Mmm-barrada mmm-barrada oh-oh-ay…etc. (live loop-station-layered acappella backup)

I like to hold you in the sunlight, in the new yellow rays of the dawn
But you frown at yourself in the mirror, use your scale to put yourself down
I wish you’d know your beauty, see your body through my eyes
‘Cause honey, I love all of you, this ain’t some compromise

You’re beautiful as you are
you were beautiful as you were,
you always will be beautiful to me

I told you my secret, the impact of all of those years
How I took in the taunts, turned against my own body, got so small I about disappeared
You said “I wish I had the willpower, to starve myself as you did”
I said “Honey, please don’t glorify the mistake I made as a kid”

You’re beautiful as you are
you were beautiful as you were,
you always will be beautiful to me

(bridge) You are beautiful now, you were beautiful then, honey hold on to what’s true
If you don’t hear me now, I will tell you again, open eyes to the beauty in you

(‘cause) You’re beautiful as you are
you were beautiful as you were,
you always will be beautiful to me
You’re all beautiful as you are, beautiful as you were, always beautiful to me
.. beautiful …, beautiful as you were, always beautiful to me
We’re all beautiful as we are, we were beautiful as we were, you always will be beautiful to me
(layered, harmonies, and delayed rounds -- all created live on-the-spot)

Hold the Moment (LIVE VIDEO available too)

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(An all-live version of this song -- with all vocals/harmonies performed live on-the-spot and then layered through live-looping -- can be heard/seen on "Videos")

i dreamed i went down to the river
it was hot and i needed a swim
but the once rushing currents were streams now
and i had nowhere to jump in
the next day i came back to wade there
but now even the streams had run dry
so i dug through the sand to find water
but it only would flow from my eyes

moments are minutes are hours are days are weeks are years are decades
seconds and seasons get blurred in a haze
climbing up through the down sliding sand
oh to hold the moment in my arms
let it seep through my skin heal what's harmed

but instead the moment slips through my fingers
like a river that's no longer calm
i say "i think i've almost found it!"
as i search the cracks of my palm

moments are minutes are hours are days . . . oh to hold . . . .

i dreamed i went down to the river
but what i found was a riverbed dry
so i dug through the sand to find water
but it only would flow from my eyes

moments are minutes . . . oh to hold the moment . . .
blood rushing through my veins can't make more hours in day
oh to hold the moment

Sobrevivientes ("Survivors" in Spanish)

Written By: Irina Rivkin

hay grupos de mujeres en guatemala
luchan siempre para sobrevivir
la historia que ellas te contaran, puede ser dificil de oir

(coro) sus familias matadas
sus cosechas quemadas
esos años de fuego y sangre duraran siempre en su mente

sin familia, sin cosecha,
superando dolor, miedo, y hambre
las mujeres trabajan unidas, sobreviviendo por su artesania

(coro) sus familias . . .

genecidio de la gente indigena, escondido de todo el mundo
pero las miles de personas desaparecidas
luchan en los corazones de sus seres queridos

sus familias matadas
sus cosechas quemadas
superando el fuego y sangre, siempre luche la gente

siempre dura la esperanza de la gente!

Survivors (English Translation)

there are groups of women in guatemala, always struggling to survive
the story they will tell you can be hard to hear

(chorus) their families killed,
their crops burned
these years of fire and blood will always remain in their memory

without families, without crops, overcoming hunger, fear and grief
the women work together, surviving through their artisany

(chorus)

genocide of indigenous people, hidden from the world
but the thousands of disappeared ones
will struggle forever in the hearts of their loved ones

their families killed,
their crops burned
overcoming the fire and blood,
the people always struggle

always lasts the hope of the people

River & Volcano

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(i wrote this in 2001 while learning, the hard way, that a river doesn’t have the power to prevent volcanic eruption)

i'm stubborn like water,
a river persistent
that changes the land that it flows through
and you're stubborn like a volcanic mountain,
like earth that explodes
so my river now shakes and spills over
i've seen water & earth
make a beautiful forest
but water & lava can make poisonous gas
and that air it can choke me
when that smoke it engulfs me
and i can't hold my river's tears inside its banks
sometimes to you my tears are gasoline,
to you my tears are gasoline
my tears are gasoline

so i hid all the matches,
tried to dam up my river
i flowed round your mountain,
tried to give it wide berth
but the ground it still shook,
and your mountain top blew
my river flowed too close
to red molten earth

if i hold the ocean inside me,
then the thundering mountain can’t shake me
if i hold the ocean inside me,
then the thundering mountain can’t shake me

i want to be like a river
that flows into ocean
where the water runs deep,
and the currents stay strong
cause the sea is not shaken
by the thundering mountain
its waters may wave
but they do not dissolve

then i would find all my fire,
would not dam up my river
when i flow round your mountain
i'd still give it wide berth
but when your ground shakes, when your mountain top blows
then my river would flow
to its own ocean earth
yeah my river would flow
to its own ocean earth

Katrina’s Eye

Written By: Irina Rivkin

She stands on the rooftop,
she screams to the sky,
She calls out in vain
as a copter flies by
Her kids tug her sleeve,
cry for water to drink,
Surrounded by river,
they try not to sink

(piano) Who gets to leave ahead of the storm
The highways are one-way, the ocean’s too warm
Evacuate all, but folks without cars
Without money to flee, are left behind

Ch: When the ice caps melt down,
the water returns
Not a drop you can drink,
but fierce flooding burns
Through our homes & our lives
& the land & the sky
We are blind to the storm’s very eye

Our high water trucks have gone to iraq
Our national guard between desert attacks
Hear news that their families back home
fight rising waters, alone

She stands on the rooftop, she screams to the sky
She calls out in vain as a copter flies by
Her kids tug her sleeve, cry for water to drink
Surrounded by river, they try not to sink

but who hears the voices from thousands of rooftops,
and crumbling cages of water-logged stone
days turn to weeks, joined together they wait
but for many, the help comes too late

Ch: When the ice caps melt down,
the water returns
Not a drop you can drink,
but fierce flooding burns
Through our homes & our lives
& the land & the sky
We are blind to the storm’s very eye

(vocal rhythms/percussion...)

the Mississippi river swells with tears from the sky
burst through levees & drowns us in our poison
does she not care that most of those left behind
don’t drive cars, don’t own tailpipes, refineries & smokestacks?

if the rain knew about Kyoto,
if the ocean knew about Iraq,
if Katrina knew what had caused this,
would she take it all back?
would she flood a certain ranch in Texas or the white house instead?
Then how fast would relief move ahead?

Ch: When the ice caps melt down,
the water returns
Not a drop you can drink,
but fierce flooding burns
Through our homes & our lives
& the land & the sky
We are blind to the storm’s very eye….
where’s the truth in the storm’s very eye

See Through Bush

Written By: Irina Rivkin

see thru da bush pachakarraa (3x) . . . kikimouta kikimouta
see thru da bush but-you-gotta (3x) . . . kikimouta kikimouta

the naacp registered the voters, door to door tens of thousands strong
they turned in the names to the registry on time
but on election day something went wrong
the people were told
"no, you can't vote today, cause you're not in the system
and if you don't get outa here, they’re gonna call the police in"

(chorus) they say that it's a coincidence, but it's no coincidence to me
and you can't find the truth on the 10-o'clock news
where they're saying that everyone's free
see thru da bush pachakarra (3x) . . . kikimouta kikimouta

the people couldn't get to the polling place on time
if they lived in a certain part of town
if a place to vote was there, then cop cars were too
and roadblocks were all around
"no, you can't vote today, cause you're not part of the system"
and what little choice you got, they take even that away
when they call the police in

(chorus)

the us cia trained the suspect of today in yesterday's terrorism school
he was flown in the private jet of the sr. bush back then
while bush & reagan brought the taliban rule
now w.b. says "yeah, i'll make war today
then the people will forget how i got here"
how many more innocent people will die
while the leaders play "eye for eye"
and the enemies change through the years?

(chorus)
see through bush, kick him o-u-t, kick him o-u-t

Timeless Road

Written By: Irina Rivkin

the road knows where it's going
and the redwoods are so sure in how they stand
i want my roots to reach that deep
so i know where i am without your hand
'cause sometimes your hand gets tired, sometimes my arms get weak
sometimes you need more space, and i'm standing in between

(chorus) so i take this journey now
i sing my truth from town to town
warm smiles, blank stares, open eyes, and tears
i shake, i soar, i stumble through my fears

i break fast in arcata with an old friend, i sip my water glass
she raised her own and said that water links the future and the past
i feel her words sink in, as water through me flows

(chorus) and i take this journey now …

miles later in seattle
a new friend is a friend of old somehow
i'm singing through her turns and spaces
dancing in between the waves of sound
i feel her voice sink in, as music through me flows

voices blending in a choir in the 15th century
how did women sing together, was music then as free?
sky melts into clouds melt into rain
each day sun melts into sea again
i call you between dusk & dawn
we kiss and hold each other through the phone
i don't want this road to end,
but i miss you and i'm longing to come home
i feel your voice sink in, as love through me flows

(chorus) and i take this journey now …

the road knows where it's going
and the redwoods are so sure in how they stand
i want my roots to reach so deep
so i know how i'm separate from your hand
i feel my voice sink in, i feel my voice sink in, i feel my voice sink in
as words through me water through me
love through me music through me flows

Making Waves

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(Written in 1999 to honor the struggle of KPFA,
a community radio station)

you shut off the sound to cut off our voices
your steel smashed the radio waves
silencing armor plugging your ears
we speak what is true you don't hear

you block out the currents forming our waves
build up the dam of concrete denial
but we seep through the cracks in your claims
spill through to the sand of your shame

Chorus:
my voice is breaking through the ground
her voice is what she newly found
his voice is what he's looking for
these are the waves that crash to shore
these voices rise to block the street
these voices sleeping at the feet
of what belongs to us, not you
these voices are breaking through

your steel, icy ruthless ax
swings sharply to hide the facts.
But whatever cuts water can't keep it apart
Cause the forces that bind it are the core of its heart

Chorus:
My voice is breaking through the ground . . .

each time your ax rises and falls
you cut another slab for your walls
but water is stronger than stone
when the weight of its numbers rushes to home

you wield your armored power
fist gripping the radio tower
but our voices still travel, mind over matter
these waves, no ax can shatter
these waves, these waves,
these waves, no ax can shatter

You Live On

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(In memory of Nancy Darcey, a Learning Disabilities Specialist who passed away from cancer, after decades of empowering countless students with disabilities)

When I last heard your voice, you hung on by a thread
Thin telephone wire, and a hospital bed
I told you of caps & gowns that all grew
From the seeds that you planted in 2002
And 2001, and 2003
when life could last long, and the future was free
with each person you spoke, with each word that you said
their fear turned to hope, and their dreams rose like bread

As days became short, I was too scared to call
Afraid of the end that could happen in fall
The new year had come when I heard you had passed
Five months from the time that I spoke with you last

Was there comfort in caps & gowns that all grew
From the seeds that you planted in 2002
And 2001, & many years more
when life stretched on forward with so much in store
with each person you spoke, with each word that you said
their fear turned to hope, and their dreams rose like bread

You made numbers and letters and pages make sense
You live on in their futures, now present tense
In countless hearts & minds & degrees
‘cause for doors that were locked, you helped find the keys

You live on in caps & gowns that all grew
From the seeds that you planted, we won’t forget you
You live on in his life, & the hope in her eyes
You will always live on in the dreams you helped rise!

Back of my Tongue

Written By: Irina Rivkin

When the failings of language have me undone,
my words get trapped at the back of my tongue
the back of my tongue, deep inside of my head,
where the silence reigns of the muse unfed
Ch: My mind screams out for her to break free,
but the muse refuses to speak to me
I pull and she twists, lodging deeper inside,
show yourself to me, I plead, why hide?
"You don't listen to me", she says, "it's clear,
if I speak to you maybe you don't hear
on the back burner I won't get through,
so to get to me, you gotta tune into you"
Ch: My mind screams out…
And I grasp and I dig and I try to reach in,
but phone rings the road roars my mind is aspin
then with time and space I find nothing comes,
can I dive through this sea like a ray of sun
While my mind screams out for me to break free,
let words fly, speak to me
I pull and I twist searching deeper inside,
show myself to me, why hide?
Why hide…Why hide

Pammparrarram-Parray

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(a sing-along, usually after several serious songs)

On the opposite end of the earth
Lies the cold rugged land of my birth
And the rhythms I’m writing today
Have their roots in my ancestors’ play-ay-ay
Pam-parrarra parray, Pam-parrarra parray
Pam-parrarra-parrarra parray

Pam-parrarram parray, Pam-parrarram parray
Pam-parrarram-parrarram parray (2x)

I sing lyrics so deep & so sad
You might think that for me things are bad
But it’s just that I tend to write songs
At the time my emotions are strrrong oy-oy

Pam-parrarram parray…

And the sun shines brighter after 4 days of rain
Chocolate tastes sweeter when 3 nibbles remain
The pillow feels softer at 2 a.m.
Pam-parrarram’s more fun, when we all sing as one…

Pam-parrarram parray…

In my songs I have so much to say
You might think that I’m thinking all day
But I have many happy days too
So I made up this ditty for you, hey-hey

Pam-parrarram parray…

This One Home

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(I wrote this after watching “An Inconvenient Truth”)

When she breathes, the wind blows
when she cries, pouring rain
when she moves, freeways fall
we depend on her terrain

Ch:
she is all that we know, we have nowhere else to go
because all of us share this one home (repeat)

as our smoke fills her skies
and her green disappears
does she choke on our lies
does she flood us with tears

Ch: she is all that we know...

may we find a new way
while the trees still give air
we decide, every day
will we always be there

Chorus:
she is all that we know, we have nowhere else to go
because all of us share this one home (repeat)

repeat Chorus again

Dark-sky Days

Written By: Irina Rivkin

When the sun doesn’t rise in the morning
The earth shuts out it’s rays
And when the moon’s all the light you will find
Through the night and the dark-sky days
And when the snow piles up high at the door,
And blocks the windows too
That’s when I know
I just want to stay in, spend the whole day loving you!

The sun will shine
In a month or two or three
So let’s stay inside
Honey lay yourself next to me
By the light of the fire
While the embers flicker & glow
This is all we require
What’s inside here can melt all that snow

When the sun (overlapping, harmonies, etc.)

No Words

Written By: Irina Rivkin

(For Palischer, in memory of Boyd)

She raised him to be a good man, with her warm heart of gold
He held that love inside him, almost 28 years old
He couldn’t stand by when someone did something wrong
The good samaritan became a target for a heartless man’s gun

I have no words for this, I can only cry
How can this happen? My tears don’t know why.
The pain that she feels I can’t take away
All grief can do is get through each day

For five days he lay in a hospital bed
His mama beside him, her palm on his head
Tears streamed down her face as she prayed for her son
He took her prayers up with him, the day he passed on

I have no words for this....

All grief can do is get through each day

The Child has got a Sense of Humor

Written By: Irina Rivkin

The Child got a sense of Humor (draft 3)

The child has got a sense of humor
The child has got a sense of humor
The child has got a sense of humor
Did he wait to come out, til Labor Day

Was he makin’ his mama cry
Was he makin’ his mama cry
With his other mama at her side
In 14 hours, of Labor Day

He was s’pposed to come out last wednesday
For a couple of hours he tried
But he changed his mind, he stayed inside
To take his mama for a Labor Day ride

He came out in the water
In the warm and waiting water
He entered a home full of love, in a birthing tub
He’ll want to go swim, on Labor Day

His mama she eats organic
His other mama drinks the other mom’s beer
He don’t need no dad, he’ll just be glad
So long as his mommies are near

The child has got a sense of humor
The child has got a sense of humor
The child got, some sense of humor
Did he wait to come out, til Labor Day

A sense of..A sense of… A sense of humor (layered etc.)

He finally came out on labor day.

Solstice

Written By: Irina Rivkin

It’s the end of the season, the night’s growing long
the cold pierces deeper, the wind’s blowing strong
shadows are dancing in scattering rain
the moon is a sliver she shrinks in her wane
i would hold you, you would warm me
i would cry with the sad in your eyes
nights are longer, days are colder
through the darkness what changes will rise
how can i help i ask what can i do
you say to the tv, “i wish that i knew”
i turn where you look & i’m caught by its glare
for the rest of the evening that’s where we will stare
i would hold you, you would warm me
i would cry with the sad in your eyes
nights are longer, days are colder
through the darkness what changes will rise
(br)what changes will rise, what changes will rise, through the darkness what changes will rise (2x)
we covered the tv that saturday night
for hours we talked in the candlelight
you played your guitar & i sang with your tune
the window was lit by the waxing moon
i would hold you, you would warm me
i would sing with the light in your eyes
nights are still cold but the days will grow longer &
through the darkness, through the solstice, through the changes, together we’ll rise

Happy Song

Written By: Irina Rivkin

I met you at the ocean,
it smoothed the layered sand, which stirred beneath the tides when your fingers touched my hand
I said “I had a bad experience”
I said “oh I was a fool,
now I’ll be alone forever,
you said “no need to make such rules”
Before your lips touched mine,
I built my walls so tall,
I said “I’d rather be alone than to feel again that small”
But you take me as I am,
and your words are not like hers, so brick by brick the walls came down
Smile by smile without a sound (instrumental)
I promised on my last tour
I’d start writing songs in major keys,
this song should be in major
but it’s not coming out of me,
I guess it’s ‘cause I’m Russian,
so I feel those minor thirds, ...
but if I raise the third a bit…(switching to major key on piano)...
Now we have a happy song everybody can sing along. Lalala…lalala…lalalala
I met you at the ocean, it smoothed the layered sand,
which stirred beneath the tides
when you touched more than my hand

En La Lancha Para Santiago

Written By: Irina Rivkin

Las nubes que esconden la cima del volcano
se reflejan con el cielo azul
en el agua clara del Lago Atitlan
donde se suena encontrar la paz
mirando las montanas, que parecen tan bonitas
no sabemos que esconde la niebla
y el agua clara del Lago Atitlan
donde se suena encontrar la paz
no sabemos cuanta gente murio
no sabemos que continua encubierto
pero el lago, mira todo
el lago sabe todo
El lago tiene la belleza que no podemos no mirar
El lago tiene la historia, que no podemos olvidar
hay algunos que no dejen que sepamos que pasaba
en montanas y alrededor
del agua clara del Lago Atitlan
donde se suena encontrar la paz
mirando agua clara del Lago Atitlan
siempre sonamos realizar la paz

Discography

Upwelling (full length, Rose Street Records, 2004)
"upwelling" has airplay on over 100 stations.
Track 9 "See Thru Bush" from Upwelling on Acoustic Rainbow Compilation Vol 20
“Ya Eyo Lublu" from Upwelling on "Safe Haven" compilation raising funds for Portland LGBTQ youth services

click on "audio" to hear songs from "upwelling". To hear samples from all 13 "upwelling" songs, visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/irinarivkin
To receive a copy of the full CD for booking consideration or radio, email rosestbooking@yahoo.com

previous work: Rose Street Raw (2 songs on comp.)
Irina Rivkin "unplugged" homemade ep

Partial List of Radio Appearances & Radioplay as of July 2005:
CJLX Belleville ON
CKHA Haliburton ON
KALW San Francisco CA
KAWC Yuma AZ
KBCS WA
KBOO Portland OR
KDVS Davis CA
KHUM Humboldt CA
KHSU Arcata CA
KKUP Cupertino CA
KMUD Redway CA
KMUN Astoria OR
KNON Dallas TX
KHSU Arcata CA
KPFA Berkeley CA
KPSU Portland OR
KRCB Rohnert Park CA
KRCL Salt Lake City UT
KRSC Claremore OK
KRVM Eugene OR
KRVS Lafayette LA
KSER Seattle WA
KUFM Missoula MT
KUPS Tacoma OK
KUSF San Francisco CA
KZSC Santa Cruz CA
KZYX Mendocino CA
Radio Crystal Blue
Radio ZuSa (Germany)
Radio Wueste-Welle (Germany)
Utah Public Radio
WBAI NY
WBGU Bowling Green OH
WBKE N. Manchester IN
WBNY Buffalo NY
WCWS College of Wooster OH
WDPS Dayton OH
WEFT Champaign IL
WEIU Charleston IL
WFHB Bloomington IN
WFMT, Chicago IL (Syndicated)
WFUV NY
WGAZ Goodman WI
WHUS Storrs, CT
WIUS Carbondale IL
WJFF Jeffersonville NY
WMPG Portland ME
WNAS New Albany IN
WNJC Sewell NJ
WLUW Chicago IL
WORT Madison WI
WPKN CT
WPRB Princeton NJ
WRFG Atlanta GA
WRFL Lexington KY
WRVG Georgetown OH
WTSR College of NJ
WUMB MA
WXXE Syracuse NY
www.jackandjillradio.com FL
99.7 FM Brisbane Australia Sidestream
Laney Goodman's "Women in Music" syndicated on 87 stations
& many more

Set List

Sets vary from 20 min to 2+hrs. long
Songs vary depending on performance venue.
90-100% of songs performed are originals (with an occasional traditional Russian folk song, or new arrangement of a Native American chant, or a unique musical arrangement of an Adrienne Rich poem, mixed in with contemporary originals).
See lyrics / audio for samples of some of the songs that may be part of the set, which can be tailored to the venue (whether it be political music for a rally, personal music for a house concert, peaceful relaxing sound layers for a retreat, or all of the above)