“The freer from our attachments we are, the happier our life will be.” – Chris Koehn
Diving deep into our intrinsic selves and the essence of our very nature, songwriter Chris Koehn beckons listeners to the unburdened days of their youth—to those uninhibited moments of singing carefree “La-la-las” with unbridled joy, with the delightful, introspective gem, “Ballad of Happiness.”
Bereft of distinct lyrics or explicit messages, the meditative song is an ode to the sheer exhilaration of vocal expression. It orchestrates a fascinating tete-a-tete between vocal harmonies while an eclectic ensemble of acoustic strings—from the gentle strum of guitars and slides to the playful plucks of ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins—dance and intertwine. It’s as though listeners are transported, frolicking amidst nature’s wonders, with a fond nod to the evocative 70s country western soundtracks, reminiscent of the likes of Dylan’s score for “Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.”
Through the ethereal blend of poetic lyrics and atmospheric vocals, Chris Koehn beckons listeners into a profound moment of mindfulness—a gentle nudge to truly inhabit the present and cherish its fleeting nature, cognizant of life’s impermanence and the ever-looming spectre of mortality. Ballad of Happiness is a bittersweet memento mori: our lives here are a gift, and we shall all return to dust one day.
The piece’s visual counterpart, directed by Koehn, is equally mesmerizing: a meditative foray into the ever-shifting play of nature’s hues and lights, set against the expansive canvas of the Uyuni Salt Flats. It’s the perfect visual for such a gentle foray into the imagination, a rejuvenation of the soul and brightening of the spirit.
The impetus behind Koehn’s musical odyssey was deeply personal. An architect turned singer-songwriter-producer, Koehn began his exploration into music in the wake of a profound loss: the death of his brother. This immersion into music served as a cathartic channel for his grief: a poignant reflection that soon revealed the healing balm that melodies and words can provide. Recognizing the transformative power his music had—both on himself and those who listened—Koehn embraced his artistry with renewed purpose. He became dedicated to sharing his musical creations, hoping to foster a communal space where listeners could navigate their own emotions and embark on healing journeys of their own.
The When Death Is Good News EP will come out in November 2023.
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