The Shawn Owens Project Trio recently released their new album, "Jazz Hands II", and to celebrate we asked Shawn to tell us about the track "Indigo". Here is the story:
Indigo was written during a creative bout inspired by the pandemic that turned every performing artist's world on its head overnight. Within the span of a few weeks the slots in our calendars once populated by gigs and other activities turned empty and bleak. Performing artists were no longer able to do what they love - share their passion for the arts. Many of our friends dealt with not only direct effects of the disease, but indirect side effects such as depression and feelings of worthlessness. We are not able to control what is happening in the wide world, but we are able to shift our focus to matters that we can control. For us it was trying our hand at writing and recording an album of original jazz tunes.
Southern Utah, our home, offers a wealth of outdoor activities year round, which turned out to be a great blessing during a pandemic. Frequent and lengthy hikes on trails all around Saint George served as inspiration for new melodies, rhythms and harmonic colors. Indigo is a ballad that was inspired by the deep blue evening and night skies in the high desert surrounding Zion National Park. The Utah night sky is famous and popular among stargazers from around the world who were not able to visit this special place for an extended period of time.
Indigo is a musical manifestation of one such evening under the deep blue skies in Southern Utah. The song takes you away on a journey along one of our evening outings that ended on the porch gazing at the stars. Indigo begins slowly and freely, resembling the wide and open night sky. Gradually one's eyes are beginning to adjust to the night light and more and more stars come into focus. The music also comes more into focus on the repetition of the melody, and some of the high treble notes twinkling in the piano may just start to remind one of shooting stars flickering through the night. The night becomes more alive in the more active solo section played in a double time feel. Listening closely, one can hear crickets, owls and sometimes even the howls of coyotes calling in the distance. Looking at the never ending skies, it is almost impossible to not realize that we are quite small in the grand scheme of the universe. The main melody of Indigo returns in its original tempo, maybe we end the night on our front porch with the realization of how amazing and vast our world and universe is - as well as ourselves. I always walk away from my evenings under the stars with the phrase "don't sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff" echoing in my thoughts. Our hope is that this tune will take you on this journey with us and for you to somehow enjoy even a small part of this magic we are so thankful to get to experience in Southern Utah.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here