Peter Oren - "Falling Water" (audio) (premiere)

by Jonathan Frahm

27 September 2017

Peter Oren creates deeply analytical Americana music reflective of both the artist and the modern state of the world.
Photo: Audim Culver 

One of folk music’s most promising contributors is continuing his ascent with a sophomore album this November. Antrhopocene will see Peter Oren and his captivating baritone furthering his ascension with the hushed, soulful brood over themes relevant to modern times that we have come to know him for.
Before a full LP hits the scene on 10 November via Western Vinyl, however, Oren is treating his fans to a brand new single. “Falling Water” is the second track released from off of Anthropocene, and it is every bit as scintillating as you might imagine it to be.

Peter Oren has issued a lengthy statement for PopMatters readers to delve into the background of “Falling Water”:

“Falling Water” lyrically reflects a poem by Wendell Berry called ‘The Real Work.’ It’s a short poem that suggests confusion and troubles mark the ‘real’ challenges of our lives and offers a somewhat uplifting perspective: ‘The impeded stream is the one that sings.’

“The water cycle has been important to me even before I began to attribute symbolic meaning to its flow. I grew up canoeing with my family in the summers on the rivers near Columbus, Indiana. These rivers are usually slow and flat and full of fallen trees. It was sometimes stressful and difficult to maneuver but also exciting and soothing.

“In high school, I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and began to think of rains, rivers, and the ocean as an all-unifying life-force. Rain signifies new life, rivers are the journey, and the ocean is a return to the source, which is vast, mysterious, and one.

“Using this symbolic lens, I sometimes feel a loss of ego, I question social constructs that divide, and I feel a sense of awe about the diversity of life and about the ease at which it slips through one’s fingers.

“Like rain, we are assigned a place to begin at random, and I’ve had difficulty coming to terms with the place I’m from. For one, it’s the hometown of Mike Pence, who is more than happy to call upon the ‘wisdom’ of slave-owners like Thomas Jefferson and to use irrational and harmful religious beliefs for his own political gain—not to mention that he’s VP to Trump despite the hypocrisy that entails. It baffles me the extent to which Americans cling to a positive view of the history of the United States despite the genocide and slavery that men like Christopher Columbus and the foundering fathers took part in.

“Columbus, Indiana is also the hometown of Cummins Engine Company, which has been a leader in diesel engines for decades. Both of my parents worked for them. Though the company recently announced its entry into the market of electric drivetrains for big trucks, the local economy has and will continue to rely on fossil fuel consumption for some unforeseeable time.”

“I’m frustrated by the pervasive complacency of people to international consumer capitalism. We eat cheap strawberries and seafood and play games on smartphones at the expense of people and ecosystems on the other side of the world and at the expense of the climate.”

“I’ve felt confused and tossed around by my incompatibility with my environment. With this uncertainty, I’ve chosen to write and sing. Hence, ‘Falling Water’.”

09/28 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop *
09/29 – Fort Wayne, IN @ The Brass Rail &
09/30 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Founders %
10/06 – Indianapolis, IN @ Fountain Square Music Festival
10/09 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place ^
10/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Café du Nord ^
10/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar ^
10/12 – San Diego, CA @ Space ^
10/13 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar ^
10/14 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace ^
10/16 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links ^
10/17 – Austin, TX @ Sidewinder ^
10/18 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger ^
10/19 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa ^
10/20 – Mobile, AL @ Merry Window ^
11/02 – Köln, DE @ Theater der Wohngemeinschaft #
11/04 – Rees-Haldern, DE @ Haldern Pop Bar #
11/06 – Berlin, DE @ Baumhausbar #
11/07 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique / Rotonde #
11/10 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast #
11/11 – Dublin, IE @ The Grand Social #
11/13 – Manchester, UK @ The Castle Hotel #
11/15 – London, UK @ St. Pancras Old Church #
& Busman’s Holiday
% Antibalas
^ Trevor Sensor
# Angelo De Augustine

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