On her second all-ages album, Unhurried Journey, Brooklyn-based musician Elena Moon Park combines reimagined folk and children’s songs from East and Southeast Asia with original, western-style songs. Thematically, it’s an invitation to take life slow and appreciate the possibilities of the moment–something Park continues to illustrate with the release of a music video for the album’s opening track, “Brilliant New Idea.”
“It’s a reminder that our stories connect us to one another all across the world, and we can go wherever our curiosity leads us through telling and listening to those stories,” says Park of the original song. “Our ‘brilliant new idea’ is to go on this journey through music and song together.”
The journey starts with Park strumming a jarana, a stringed instrument from Mexico, in the style of the son jarocho folk tradition. She’s also joined by Sinuhe Padilla Isunza on the guitarra and jaranita. A wealth of other regional sounds find their way into the mix, with Kyungso Park on gayageum, Rob Friedman on lap steel, James Moore on banjo, Yoshi Waki on upright bass, Colin Brooks on drums, and harmonies by Sonia De Los Santos and John Foti.
Every song on Unhurried Journey comes from that place of international collaboration, featuring artists from around the world and reflecting the perspective Park gleaned from years of touring. It’s the foundation of her unique genre fusion, and she sees a timely resonance to it as well.
“Now more than ever, we recognize just how globally connected we are,” Park says. “We depend on one another for our health and well-being, for our inspiration and joy. We lift each other up and touch each other’s lives. I feel so fortunate to be able to make connections with people around the world through music, and to build friendships and collaborations with people through song.”
Park’s work also draws heavily on visual art; Unhurried Journey takes its name and concept from a piece by Kristiana Pärn, who previously worked with Park on her album Rabbit Days and Dumplings. You can see Pärn’s work in the backgrounds of the lyric videos for each of Unhurried Journey’s 16 tracks.
The new concept video for “Brilliant New Idea,” on the other hand, features animation by Maiko Kikuchi and green screen work by Alice Schoenberg. It puts Park and her collaborators in colorful storybook scenes–forests, fields of flowers, and hot air balloons–as a whimsical backdrop for the song’s bright shuffle. Just like the music, it radiates gentleness, wonder, and cheer.
Since the album’s initial release on May 29, Park has continued to build it out through auxiliary materials on a dedicated website. It includes artwork, multilingual lyrics, activities for kids and adults, and more.