Governor’s Square is Chamber Band’s 2017 album inspired by The Time Machine and The Invisible Man, both by H.G. Wells.

These songs were constructed in the spring of ’16 by a select team of music professionals and audio tinkerers. Guitars and vocals were tracked in a big house in sunny Burbank with two cats and a Lucy. Piano, select percussion and ambient sound were tracked at Pipes Canyon Lodge in Pipes Canyon, California. Bass was recorded in Anthony’s bedroom in Echo Park. Additional percussion was recorded at Spaceworks in Williamsburg. Some songs were workshopped at the Dramatist’s Guild in New York City.

Endless thanks to our Los Angeles family who opened up their homes and hearts to us while we made this machine together: namely Steve and Pamela Molton, Andrea Finlayson, Adam Bowers & Whitney Teubner & Barb, Chris Milliken, Christina Reynoso, Andrew Disney, Monica Taylor Halchishick & Kyle Smith & Connor Wanless. A huge thank you to Raul Cuellar for bending his rules for us and upping our sound quality. Our New York team was also clutch, transmitting good vibes to us from (near and) afar: specifically Melanie Rose Thomas, Simon Ban, Kelly Tieger, and Bella Esser. This album is dedicated to Aunt Judy.

Chamber Band is Anthony Cerretani, A.Sarr, Chris Littler, Sam Monaco, and Ellen Winter.



when I was young, a boy of ten
while at my father’s side I learned to travel time
my eager mind was his to bend
we worked until the dawn
i dreamt amongst his dark devices
I wound the clock
I sealed the door
I sent my father back for more
the sharpened crack
the smoldering air
his young assistant pries his red and bleary eyes
not gone for long, but gone for good
i wait to hear him speak
he talks to me in tones advanced
I wound the clock
I knew the score
I sent my father back for more

so what did i see in the machine — in twelve years time?
I was upset
we were estranged
and some fault was mine
had to speak my mind at the perfect time
now, presently placed, I can erase
I can hit undo
I can reset
I can restore
make the world anew
I can reset time
take us back to fine
with a well placed line
though i think there’s a force against me
pushing back, like the timeline is sensing
it’s so
and every time that i straighten the record
a new argument springs to life from the ether
it’s so strange to me
can it be that our fates are both sealed?
that the power you gave is a false one to wield?
and if so, it affirms my fear
whatever path i clear
only buys us years
so what can i do
living now with truth —
time won’t yield or bend?
each moment we pass
inches forward to the last resolutions end?
maybe get on fine
live in my own time
celebrate what’s mine

my father rang for me when he was feeling low
awash in lantern light
obsessing in its glow
I played my part
and gave him faith in his own path
but saw the hell it wreaks
this world of rigid math
and at the time, couldn’t hope to understand
what consumed my old man
I watched the flick of the plume in his hand
as be pursued some master plan
as he pursued some kind of ancient key
unifying everything
it all comes together
who could sleep?
the answers nearer
crawl to his side
and look in the light
I must have faded then
’cause night turned into day
I saw the lab transformed
his work was brushed away
I grabbed my coat
and went upstairs to draw a bath
and tried to think of anything but rigid math
and in time
lost the urgency to prove
the endless proofs consuming you
and found a way to digest and understand:
i hate the math
but love the man

my mother came to my bedroom, parted the curtains at first light
i turned away under covers, shouted invectives
she said: my son, you know why
she said: my son, you know why
she said: my son, the dust also awaits us
any day could be the day you die
and i just thought, well ain’t that something morbid?
to go each day, expecting it all ending
but went along
i went along
my father took to the study, guzzled his coffee as he aged
i saw him sleep in the parlor
work every hour in a daze
he said: my son, you know why
he said: my son, you know why
he said: my son, the dust also awaits us
any day could be the day you die
i left for school
traversed a lonely ocean
i watched my friends
i monitored their motions
i came of age
i asked the aged and wealthy
they couldn’t tell me where you’d gone
i held the bars of the manor
hoping to get some sense of home
and said: good god, I know why
I said: good god, I know why
I said: good god, the dust also awaits us
any day could be the day we die

I knew him well
long before trials and tribulations
long before hurt and accusations
he’d traveled miles…
I took him in
said there was “room to spare”
lit a fire, fed him pie, and tried to find meaning behind his stare
recalled our time in the Governor’s Square and said:
“I’ve seen the curve of your cheek,
so what’s the use, hiding beneath
your spectacles blue in the light?
I know your skin and you know mine.”
day after day
I’d find him occupied.
mumbling, grumbling, fumbling, over lost fragments of his mind
and when he failed to work through the night
I’d wrap him up in my arms
trying to calm the steady alarm said, “If anyone can bear the weight, I trust in us,
I trust in fate.”
“This is not your weight to bear,
I’m just a ghost of a man that you cared for,”
he gathered his things in a blur,
and as he left I heard him curse
the gods and viles and the bottles in his case
the powders, the tonics, the code he couldn’t break
I closed my eyes and imagined his face
a distant arrangement of textures and shapes
I heard him go
the floor creaked and I was alone
his speech was soft and morose
a still silhouette of a hat and a cloak
I clung to the warmth of the bed
uncertain of whether it was all in my head
sometimes I wish he was here
but for all I know…

I pack my bag
ring my brother
tell him i’ll be home tonight
board the train ten after two
take a seat
pull out the paper
from the suitcase at my feet
and read a strange report from Iping
sources say chaos and bloodshed erupted in the streets of Iping
even the witnesses question the truth that they’re telling in Iping
they don’t mention a name but i fear for your life
I take a cab
make conversation
collect my luggage, rap the door
arrange my face to hide the fear
distant thought
echoes in my worried mind
If only I’d been there in Iping
perched at the foot of your bed talking you through the crisis in Iping
would anybody be dead if you’d told me you were bound for Iping?
I cannot say it with certainty, but I know..
it’s simply an article, I should let it go

once i woke in the dark
double beat in my heart
and i called for my mother
she came and she gathered me up in her arms
laughed it off — as i cried
wiped the tear from my eye
told me “child, the sounds up in the attic
are far from only sounds in your mind
there’s a man at the top of the stairs
so you stay on the landing
it might seem like you’ve seen him before but
that’s a misunderstanding
things change
and people seem to lose all reasoning
but you’re safe
trust that i’ll protect you
and if you see the man call for me
i’ll be there
don’t be scared
mothers here
things change
and people seem to lose all reasoning
but you’re safe
trust that i’ll protect you
and if you see the man
pay no mind to what he says
pay no mind to how he lingers
if you see the man, move along
call for me
i’ll be there
don’t be scared
mothers here”

he kept a lock from the millionaire inside his coat pocket,
inside an old tin
i turned it over and pulled out a hair and begged for forgiveness,
but I had to ask why he couldn’t say —
not to his only son —
was perhaps some day he’d have the need to “grow one of his own”
we jarred the fingers of a known local thief
we studied those prints and the joints underneath
he bought me tobacco and an elixir to heat
told the green grocer’s brother to get far more sleep
but he couldn’t say, not to his only son
was it’s a bad day, when he couldn’t keep with the seeds he had sewn
i took the ferry from Governor’s Square
bought a book on the landing and bottled the air
and stared at the city from a terrible height
watched the water grow dim and the gas lanterns light
it was just then, me looking down on the city below
i was with him and i felt the need to “grow one of my own”

i’ve seen the end firsthand
and can say with certainty the year that we’ll be making our last stand
and it’s sooner than you think
but feels farther in my mind
though the moment we collapse is on a permanent rewind
and after that it’s space
and silence in our stead
and there’s no one left but me to estimate the tally of the dead
and estimate i have
back in my own time
and i feel a tiny shiver when that number comes into my mind


Produced by Charles Wanless, Chris Littler, and A.Sarr
Engineered by Charles Wanless
Mixed by Charles Wanless
Mastered by Gentry Studer at Epicenter Mastering
Artwork by Nick Greenwald
Art templating, fonts and inside cover by Aaron Nestor

All songs written by Chamber Band, with the exception of “The Man at the Top of the Stairs”, which was written by Kelly Tieger.

On these tracks Anthony and Chris took turns playing Kelly’s old acoustic guitar. A.Sarr and Ellen traded off playing the upright at Pipes. A.Sarr snuck in five chords on electric guitar. Sam and A.Sarr handled all the percussion, both digital and real. Anthony took over on broom and bass. It was delightful.

All lyrics written by Chris Littler & Ellen Winter, with “MATOTS” as the sole exception. Lyrics to that song were cowritten by Chris Littler & Kelly Tieger & Ellen Winter.

Critical funding provided by superfriends Mark Scheppe & Gene Wulff

Additional funding from our fanbase via Kickstarter. Thanks y’all. <3