Empty is Open

by Asumaya

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $3 USD  or more




released August 6, 2010

Recorded and mixed by Andrew Hartman.
Initial tracking at Madison Music Foundry by Landon Arkens and Andrew Hartman.
Mastered by Jeremiah Nelson.

Drum Kit - Chris Sasman
All other instruments, vocals and art - Luke Bassuener



all rights reserved


Asumaya Madison, Wisconsin

A single throat and four appendages attempting to multiply like cells. Loops and limbs. Mbira and Bass. A polyrhythmic, mono-member musical entity.


contact / help

Contact Asumaya

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Be a Drop
A very steep hill, a fork in the road.
The cost of a pill, a fork in your mouth.
It's so nice to sit in a big chair.
It's so nice when everybody's in here.
It's so nice to stay warm and stay dry,
just make sure the windows are shut tight.
I'd rather be a drop.
I'd rather be a drop
in the bucket, than more hot air,
drying up the little that's already there.
A walk through the mud, a waltz to the fridge.
A fight to be heard, a channel to switch.
A fork in the road, directions to choose.
A fork in your mouth, the ways that we chew.
I'd rather be a drop.
Track Name: Marketing is my Culture
Who's been co-opted?
Who's opted not to try?
From cradle to persuasion,
can anybody tell who organized this line?
The one we're standing in, where's it going?
There's a signboard here
for when we forget
what we're supposed to need.
There's a picture shining on it,
to remind us what to see.
Eyes look to the lights.
Realize, they look away from life.
The one we're living in, where's it going?
They look away from life, they look into the lights.
Who's been co-opted?
Who's opted not to try?
Track Name: Suspect Firefighting Tactics
The fire is sending,
The fire is sending sparks.
The fire is sending sparks that think they can be water,
for dry mouths and open arms,
welcoming the blaze like rain.
Looking for a carbon copy,
dreaming of instant delivery.
In the name of development,
developing dependency.
Does the grass ever know it's burning?
Track Name: Bootstraps
6:21 am, snooze bar for the second time.
Nine minutes, the day begins... again.
There's never enough time.
She wipes the crust out of her eyes, she drives.
The traffic is fine.
The coffee is warm, and she'll take that as a sign
of a good day.

7:38 traffic stops, she's late,
and the car is low on fuel.
She knows what's coming: The lecture, the boss, the rules.
Straight forward following day: The fifteen minute breaks and the usual tools... humming to herself.

She says, "I don't ask for much, just a little slice of the pie. I've always been a dreamer. I got a twinkle in my eye."

5:45 in the checkout line. Stuff for enquiring minds
passed off as headlines.
The bagger smiles.
She suspects it might be a show.
Who knows?
But she knows we're all in the same boat.
Aren't we all in the same boat?

Because we don't ask for much, just a little slice of the pie. We've all always been dreamers. We never stop to question why
we can never seem to find the bootstraps
we're supposed to pull ourselves up by.
The Bootstraps.
Track Name: Uncertain Roosters
She wakes up with the sun
and the uncertain roosters.
The sound of sweeping, the end of sleeping.
Cool breeze receding.
A fire she starts heating
under three stones.
Two big eyes needing,
leading her behind small ankles
on tired legs with tough toes.
Everybody knows
it's flip-flops or nothing.
She walks in the ways of all of the past days,
and tomorrow she'll do it again.
Track Name: Harmattan
Little black plastic bag
tumbleweed on a grassless grassland.
Where the soil sprouts
bushfires and half finished buildings.
Where the surprise slides southwest,
recorded by the tumbleweed.
The gusts and the haze
obscure vision but fill the sails
of insight in a land with no sailboats
where few can swim.
Forward does not fight the wind.
Let the dust cover these shiny zinc rooftops.
Forward does not fight the wind.
Track Name: Breathe Deep
Which way is up, which way is up?
Which way is upside down?
Down-turn economy
slides off your shoulders.
Slide it off your chest,
and rest, renew, refresh.
Watch what was not crumble.
Wash what was and wait.
Walk side by side, walk side by side,
with short or long stride,
and sidestep the mess.
Hope has not died.
Track Name: One Day
Fumbling around for the lightswitch
in a dark room we thought we knew.
The furniture's all been moved.
Hanging around all tight-lipped
so the words don't slip, the meanings never fit
and I can't say what I'm trying to say.

You try to say and I try to say
what we can't articulate.
The greatest things I am convinced
cannot be said.
But I know, one day, I know
we will open up our throats, and it won't
it won't come out messed up anymore.

Dragging our feet, trying to back track
at the front door.
Staring hard at the floor.
Something obvious for us to ignore

Because when our fingers finally find the switch
everything looks different now
than we remember it did.
And we can put the lamp back where it was,
push the couch over the stain on the rug
but it won't change what we're sitting above.

You try to say and I try to say...

One day for sure.
So here we sit afraid to admit everything has shifted
One day for sure.
So here we sit.
I know, one day, I know
we will open up our throats, and it won't
it won't come out messed up anymore.