Posts tagged ‘wild abandon’
February 20, 2016
Ian Penn spent most of his youth in the mountains of Pampanga and has nature rooted deep in his soul. Folk music of the acoustic guitar troubadour – story teller variety is the soundtrack to his early years. For the past 18 months, Penn has been writing his own life’s soundtrack as he pursues his dream of being a professional recording artist. Fresh from a four-month tour of the Philippines as the supporting act for Dragonfly Collector, Penn recently launched the music video for his latest EP’s title track, Wild Abandon.
A collage of travels and wanderings textured by a Super 8 film quality, the visual dream that is this video, is in constant motion. Images of the road speeding by, water flowing, ocean waves and waterfalls, are interspersed with shots of feet walking and Penn wandering through wilderness landscapes, guitar in hand. Like the song, Penn flows along, his peaceful, smiling figure in constant motion.
Lilystars Records captured the following brief conversation with Penn about the video, its making, and Penn’s vision and philosophy behind his music.
Where was all the video shot and by whom?
The were clips from our shoot at an old abandoned brickhouse in Tarlac, some from our hiking at Sagada, Mt. Province, clips from Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales, Mt. Arayat, etc! Gibsam [Salak] included his own road trip videos and beach clips. We included my live performance clip at Within the Walls [a special concert held last year in Intramuros, Manila]. It was done by Lycean Intramuros.
Who edited the video? Did you tell the editor how to make it look or was it entirely up to the editor to tell the story? There’s a lot of motion – driving down roads, flowing water, walking through forests and down roads…is motion and travel a major theme here? It seems to match with the rhythm of the song.
I blame Gibsam for this. He’s a buddy of mine even before I’ve released any record, he knew where I was coming from.
What inspired the theme for the visuals for this song?
I remember I said to Gibsam I just wanted the music video to be candid as much as possible, your typical on the road backseat view, on a handheld Super 8 film. Ha!
What is the most important message in the song that you wanted to get out there in the video?
Wild Abandon! It has to say so much with what I’ve been doing the past one and a half year of my life.
So the video officially launched on Feb 5th at SaGuijo. How was it received by the audience and what kind of feedback have you got so far? What other things do you really want to tell about the video?
They loved it! (I think). Most of the people at the music video launch were our friends. They knew I was on the road for so long, so this was sort of a description of what it was like and what I have been doing.
I have friends coming up to me saying its a Sunday morning song, some – a rebel song. I just like the idea of having different interpretations from different people. I mean, when I wrote the song, I didn’t see certain things the way I see them now. I’ve aged! The meaning of it changes. How great is that?
June 29, 2015
There’s something about a simple folk song that has the power to unite people across the world. Ian Penn is well on his way to achieving that, following in the footsteps of a rich folk music legacy left by the likes of his songwriting inspirations including Neil Young, Bob Dylan and John Denver. Inspired by the everyday life he experienced growing up in the shadow of Mount Arayat in the Philippines, Penn’s songs are his reflections and observations, which anyone – whether they live in Manila – or Winnipeg – can relate to. “It’s all poetry in motion, you see,” he says.
Since releasing his first single, Headback Home in October, 2014, Penn assembled this batch of songs for his debut EP, Wild Abandon, with the intention of inspiring listeners to reflect on their own lives and experiences. Penn’s hope is that people will see themselves in his songs, a similar wish, he notes, to that expressed by Joni Mitchell in a rare interview with the CBC: “If you listen to that music and you see yourself, it will probably make you cry and you’ll learn something about yourself and now you’re getting something out of it.”
Wild Abandon is a collection of what the now Manila-based performer likes to call “road songs,” six thoughtful, simple and contemplative tunes that he envisions people taking on long road trips as a soundtrack to landscapes unfolding around them. Raw, spare melodies stripped down to bare-bones basics bring a message of unpretentious simplicity. Sing-along choruses and soothing melodies remind listeners of simpler days and youthful innocence. Created with only guitar, voice and harmonica, with an occasional mandolin, the tracks call to mind wide open spaces and quiet nature. Spellbinding harmonies stand out all the more because of their rarity, sending chills down the spine. Penn channels a young Bob Dylan with playful strumming and touches of harmonica solos.
Lyrics wise beyond Penn’s mere 20 years give practical advice to take it slow and enjoy life while it lasts. Penn – as always – writes what he knows. Home-schooled, he grew up surrounded by music lovers and musicians. His dad taught him to play the guitar, starting with John Denver’s Leavin’ on a Jet Plane. On Sunday mornings, young Ian would wake to the sound of Sam Cooke’s voice blasting on the stereo. He played bass in high school bands, covering The Beatles for fun, but guitar and harmonica were his weapons of choice, with Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke his preferred influences. In the past six months, Ian Penn has spread his wings, With Wild Abandon, he is happy to share his brand of folk music with the world.
Join Ian Penn and Lilystars Records for an exclusive live performance to celebrate the official launch of Wild Abandon at 8:00 p.m. on June 29, 2015 at The Boiler Room, Makati (8:00 p.m., free admission). Special guests include Dragonfly Collector, Jen Rogers and Motto Stella.