BLENDING OUT: Owen Lennon, 18, with preternatural fear of bicycles and little sense of the future aside, Mr. Lennon creates a wealth of music, from Indie to experimental electronic music, ambient soundscapes and dark explorations of a sublunary sonic subconscious; all hint at a daunting precocity and the dreaded "G" word ... His tunes can be found on bandcamp under a variety of heteronyms that are all fractures revealing veins of rich musical ore inside the corpus callosum of one of Tiny Town's promising free range composers. Photo credit: Frankie14850; Images below designed by Mr. Lennon taken covers for two very different recordings.
Editor's note: A few weeks back The Admin wrote a piece about Owen Lennon's work to date with some backchat. It had a couple errors and so, we gave our Music Reporter, C. Penbroke Handy the rare opportunity to make it right. So here, essentially is a short take on Owen Lennon, 18, a notable Tiny Towner indeed, although he currently hails form the Ellis Hollow precincts. He is the son of novelist John R. Lennon, professor of creative writing at Cornell, who also writes short stories and book reviews. His mother, Rhian,is a novelist. Says Owen "They also do a bunch of other things that don't make any money."
1) Describe the arc of your discovering music to making music to making a lot of music to having some control over what you are doing so it's not all experimental, if that moment has come or not.
I discovered music at birth, because my father played music, and it was just everywhere all the time. I always listened to it. I became interested in making music when I was about 13 years old, and at first it was just strumming the guitar and whatnot, but eventually I discovered that I enjoyed producing recordings more than playing songs. It was just a song here and there until the age of 15, when I discovered ambient music, and got really into the conceptual element of putting together an album, and trying to create something emotionally poignant. That's when I really gained control of my music-making ability. I think taking yourself seriously is important. even if you believe your art is no good.
2) How do you work with lyrics? Tune, then lyrics, lyrics and tune, trial and error. Point to some of your favorite words.
I write lyrics after the musical structure of the song is already in place. By that time I already know what the themes of the song are, and I can just sit down and write all the lyrics in one sitting. It comes pretty naturally, and I've learned to editorialize while not being overly critical of the idea as a whole. I've got a bunch of techniques I use to structure lyrics that speed up the process somewhat. As for words, I tend to use a lot of words like "remember" and "maybe", and also imagery like "bird", and "moon".
Owen's cover for a piece about the lunar eclipse of April 2014.
3) Okay, for the uninitiated: Please provide an "Owen Lennon" discography ... A list of recordings compiled in compact disc form and what you consider albums -- and please describe why it is necessary these days to stop called collections of music "CDs" -- maybe I'm the only one who is doing it.
"Owen Lennon" is one name of several that I use when making music. Every name has a different style and sound associated with it. "Weeping Crone" is still my music, but it has a totally different sound. The pseudonyms are typically in place to distance the music from my identity.
Here is a look at several of the heteronyms Mr. Lennon employs in addition to his given name, when creating disrete packages of music:
Owen Lennon - Indie folk songs associated with my actual identity
Weeping Crone - Ambient music
Motorcyclez - Experimental pop music
Moon Factory - Dark music, collabortion with Jackson Quinn Gray
Here are his albums in chronological order, with the heteronyms they represent:
The Dawn's Chorus (Weeping Crone, 2012)
Ferroskeleton (Weeping Crone, 2013)
Oatmeal (Owen Lennon, 2013)
Grin! (Owen Lennon, 2013)
Spider Music (Owen Lennon, 2013)
Creation (Weeping Crone, 2014)
The Night Organ (Owen Lennon, 2014)
Dark Orange (Weeping Crone, 2014)
P&C Fresh (Motorcyclez, 2015)
Golden Deformity (Owen Lennon, 2015)
Tongue (Moon Factory, 2015)
You can call them CDs if you like, but it's not technically accurate because only two of them have had physical CD releases.
He currently perform with the punk band Anansi; Their next gig is on Sat., Oct. 17th at the Chanticleer loft.
4) If you wish, talk about what it means, exactly, to have no sense of the future. I am very curious about whatever so-called "existential angst" or sense of dread experienced by younger people in the current state of the world.
There is no future because it hasn't been made yet. There isn't even any guarantee that it will be made - death is around every corner. My existential angst has less to do with the state of the world, and more with the ongoing patterns of suffering and desperation in the cosmic sphere as a whole. Not a physical problem, but the idea that every soul is under the control of an all powerful and malevolent demiurge. - we exist to suffer, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
5) Is music saving your butt right now? Is there a better way to describe a fear of bicycles or -- not the thing itself, but whatever preternatural experience that gives rise to a dissociative sense when observing a person on a bicycle.
Music isn't really saving me, but I suppose it's helping me cope with it all. The experience of seeing a bicycle in a synchronistic context is akin to seeing the cracks in everything, and becoming vaguely aware of the deeply sinister nature that underlies all of the conscious experience. It's enough to signal that something is deeply wrong, but not enough to inform me as to what the problem is or how to deal with it. It's a heartbreak - a betrayal of familiarity.
If that sounds bleak, consider that Mr. Lennon recently stated a website for post-post-modern jokes. It is called Hahagoodone.com
Here you will find an example from his Motorcyclez collection ...
-- C. Penbroke Handy