Artist: Nick Panken (of Spirit Family Reunion)
Hometown: Accord, New York
Song: “In The Manner That It Came”
Album: Consequential Breach
In Their Words: “I wrote this song while I was working as a gardener in lower Manhattan, transplanting flowers from little plastic pots to those small plots of soil that interrupt the pavement. Songs tend to come to me after I’ve spent some time examining my thoughts and then they start to fade into more abstract notions. Gardening presents a lot of time for this kind of activity, and this is the best work I did at that job.
“The chorus seems to be built with salvaged parts from a couple of old gospel songs sung by Mississippi John Hurt and Joseph Spence. As someone who doesn’t intend to preach about spiritual matters, I want the conclusions in my songs to be both vague and meaningful, and ‘receive it in the manner that it came’ felt appropriate along the lines of ‘the answer is blowin’ in the wind.’ The final line I wrote to finish the song was ‘we come so far to be so far gone.'” — Nick Panken
About the video series: The Westerly Sound Archives are a series of videos and recordings by artist/musician Sean W Spellman in which he has invited friends and acquaintances into his spacious studio in Westerly, Rhode Island, for quick, off-the-cuff performances. Spellman has curated a music series, festival, and independent label that crosses the paths of his contemporaries in both the music and visual art community.