“The River” is a cozy, inviting meditation about getting from here to there, written while its author was somewhere else. It’s the work of L.A. folk singer Auni, whose inspiration for the tune arrived “during a tedious political philosophy lecture my last year of college.
“I was weary of the atmosphere of stagnation surrounding a potentially empowering subject. As I zoned out, I started imagining trees and a forest around me … then a river. And the music just floated into my head,” says Auni (full name: Auni Hovanesian). “It was pretty much done by the time I walked out of there. It’s a song about freedom and transcendence, but also the pain and difficulty of getting from where you are to where you want to be. All I wanted in that moment was to create and be part of something living and breathing. ‘The River’ is a reminder to me to go for my dreams and ignore all the voices telling me what I should do with my life; the transformation and my connection to the worlds I create with song are in my own hands.”
Director David S. Marfield’s gorgeous video for the song, from Auni’s debut EP, had its L.A. premiere last week at Dances With Films. An “antique fantasy,” it imagines the songstress sequestered in an attic (with string players Hillary Smith and Donovan Bullen), but finally freed by her own imagination. “Wandering high, wandering low / Some people fly, some people won’t,” Auni sings, clearly resolved to be one of the airborne.
||| Watch: The video for “The River”
||| Live: Auni performs June 14 at the Hotel Café. Tickets.