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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes 20 page booklet, with notes by Aaron Hostetter, photographs, texts from the works, and a Q&A between composer Oscar Bettison and Ensemble Klang's guitarist Pete Harden.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Presence of Absence - Oscar Bettison via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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(Traditional Anglo-Saxon)

Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon;
burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,

scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
ældo undereotone. Eorðgrap hafað
waldend wyrhtan forweorone, geleorene,
heardgripe hrusan, oþ hund cnea
werþeoda gewitan. Oft þæs wag gebad

ræghar ond readfah rice æfter oþrum,
ofstonden under stormum; steap geap gedreas.
Wonað giet se ...num geheapen,
fel on
grimme gegrunden

scan heo...
...g orþonc ærsceaft
...g lamrindum beag
mod mo... ...yne swiftne gebrægd
hwætred in hringas, hygerof gebond

weallwalan wirum wundrum togædre.
Beorht wæron burgræced, burnsele monige,
heah horngestreon, heresweg micel,
meodoheall monig dreama full,
oþþæt þæt onwende wyrd seo swiþe.

Crungon walo wide, cwoman woldagas,
swylt eall fornom secgrofra wera;
wurdon hyra wigsteal westen staþolas,
brosnade burgsteall. Betend crungon
hergas to hrusan. Forþon þas hofu dreorgiað,

ond þæs teaforgeapa tigelum sceadeð
hrostbeages hrof. Hryre wong gecrong
gebrocen to beorgum, þær iu beorn monig
glædmod ond goldbeorht gleoma gefrætwed,
wlonc ond wingal wighyrstum scan;

seah on sinc, on sylfor, on searogimmas,
on ead, on æht, on eorcanstan,
on þas beorhtan burg bradan rices.
Stanhofu stodan, stream hate wearp
widan wylme; weal eall befeng

beorhtan bosme, þær þa baþu wæron,
hat on hreþre. þæt wæs hyðelic.
Leton þonne geotan
ofer harne stan hate streamas un...

...þþæt hringmere hate
þær þa baþu wæron.
þonne is
...re; þæt is cynelic þing,
huse ...... burg....

(English translation, Aaron Hostetter)

These wall-stones are wondrous —
crumpled by calamity, these city-sites crashed,
the work of giants corrupted.

The roofs have rushed to earth, towers in ruins.
Ice at the joints has unroofed the barred-gates, sheared the scarred storm-walls have disappeared—
the years have gnawed them from beneath.

A grave-grip holds the master-crafters, decrepit and
departed, in the ground’s harsh grasp, until one hundred
generations of human-nations have trod past.
Subsequently this wall, lichen-grey and rust-stained,
often experiencing one kingdom after another, standing
still under storms, high and wide—it failed—

The wine-halls moulder still, hewn as if by weapons,
penetrated [XXX] savagely pulverized
[XXX] [XXX] shined [XXX]
[XXX] adroit ancient edifice [XXX] [XXX]
bowed with crusted-mud —
The strong-purposed mind was urged to a keen-minded
desire in concentric circles; the stout-hearted bound
wall-roots wondrously together with wire.

The halls of the city once were bright:
there were many bath-houses,
a lofty treasury of peaked roofs, many troop-roads,
many mead-halls filled with human-joys until that
terrible chance changed all that.

Days of misfortune arrived—blows fell broadly—
death seized all those sword-stout men—their idol-fanes
were laid waste — the city-steads perished.
Their maintaining multitudes fell to the earth.
For that the houses of red vaulting have drearied and
shed their tiles, these roofs of ringed wood.
This place has sunk into ruin, been broken into heaps,

There once many men, glad-minded and gold-bright,
adorned in gleaming, proud and wine-flushed, shone in war-tackle;

There one could look upon treasure, upon silver,
upon ornate jewelry, upon prosperity, upon possession,
upon precious stones,
upon the illustrious city of the broad realm.

Stone houses standing here,
where a hot stream was cast in a wide welling;
a wall enfolding everything in its bright bosom,
where there were baths, heated at its heart.
That was convenient, when they let pour forth [XXX]
over the hoary stones countless heated streams

[XXX] until the ringed pool hot [XXX]
where there were baths
Then is [XXX].
That is a kingly thing—
a house [XXX],
a city


from Presence of Absence - Oscar Bettison, released September 10, 2021


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