Anders Parker

Video Premiere : Anders Parker “Sunyata”

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Anders Parker

Americana Highways is hosting this video premiere of Anders Parker’s song “Sunyata.” The song appears on his upcoming release Wolf Reckoning out October 1st on Recorded and Freed Records.

Parker continues his dive into melodic psychedelia.

Loping, sinewy guitar lines float in between a dense organ backdrop and Parker’s high croon. The reverb-soaked performance is loose, but organized – all of the instruments riding the same weed buzz to a modest crescendo. “This and nothing more,” Parker sings over and over. It’s as much a mantra as it is a song.

Parker envisioned the accompanying video with the same laid-back patina: a one-angle, slow motion jaunt of him singing the song through the French Quarter in his adopted hometown of New Orleans. People and landmarks float past, slightly out-of-focus, as if in another dimension. When he sings “Walking into smoke, a disappearing act; becoming your own ghost, never coming back,” you half expect the street scene to fade away replaced by mellow hallucinations. Sunyata indeed.

Anders Parker is an American singer-songwriter, guitar player, singer and multi-instrumentalist with a career spanning two decades.He has performed and recorded as a solo artist and as a key member in bands such as Varnaline and Space Needle. Parker has been involved in various collaborations over the years including Gob Iron with Jay Farrar; Anders and Kendall with Kendall Meade; and recorded the Woody Guthrie tribute album New Multitudes with Jim James, Jay Farrar, and Will Johnson.

“Sunyata” has different specific meanings depending on which religion/philosophy it is being seen through. I like this from Oxford reference: In Buddhism, the doctrine that phenomena are devoid of an immutable or determinate intrinsic nature. It is often regarded as a means of gaining an intuition of ultimate reality. The word comes from Sanskrit śūnyatā ‘emptiness.’

“Sunyata” is the last song I wrote for the album. I had camped out at my friend’s tiny house in the Treme section of New Orleans to finish some other songs and as often happens when “working” on a song a new, completely different song, pops out, unbidden. Sometimes in the process of “working” on songs I kind of drift into a bit of a trance and start noodling on something while thinking about the “work.” All of a sudden this new thing feels more important and electric than what I was laboring over. Often the best songs appear this way, when not thinking or anticipating, i.e. “working.”

So this song appeared and I had been thinking about this Buddest concept of emptiness, devoid of desire for material wealth or different circumstances or want of anything, and free from regret or shame about things in the past, and also not anxious or concerned or worried about what the future might hold. Ultimately I suppose it’s about really truly being in the moment. An easy thing to write about, maybe not so easy to achieve and maintain. But I guess that’s where music is related to this concept…. at its best, when playing or writing, there is nothing but that moment and that’s a good place to be. – Anders Parker

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