ILMX017 The River Gods

Illustration by Renata Owen   Website | Tumblr | Instagram

Once, when the Tanota River was young and sure, there stood a formidable waterfall. An imposing mantle that was both feared and loved greatly in the same breath.

Angry rapids cascaded into the most playful of swimming pools. Murky greys that rushed over treacherous rocks broke up into crystal clear lagoons reflecting the aquatic life teeming underneath. Thunderous roars from the great plunge faded into birdsong melodies that greeted the village each morning.

The waterfall and its outpouring of love sustained the folk who lived beneath its towering shadow. They drank from its waters, bathed in its lagoons, romanced under its fronds, and raised their families on its banks. And for the longest of times, they treated the mighty river with the respect it so rightly commanded.

More and more people heard about the rivers and its seemingly unending capacity to give life to all those who came before it. They flocked to the river and as the claim to land spread wider and further, the history of the mighty Tanota, told through fables and songs, became lost to the wind.

With that, so was the fear and respect that once held the people in good stead. Where they were once content with whatever the river offered, the villagers now grew impatient. The Rivers Gods watched in disappointment, shaking their heads and occasionally righting the small wrongs that were done to their scion.

That is, until the day came when the River Gods awakened in anger. Despite the the river becoming darker and dry with age, the people continued to demand what they mistakenly thought to be theirs. They expected to bend the river to their will, and used the potent rapids for privileged gain.

The River Gods could no longer remain passive while the people below destroyed the precious ecosystem of their gift to earth. So they stopped the flow leading to the waterfall and almost instantly the impact was felt. In despair, many people fled the villages and vowed never to come back. Those who could not afford to escape were burdened with a landscape that had irrevocably changed. The weight of their salted tears gave way to a brackish trickle into the pools that once stood fresh.

Eventually the River Gods relented, their anger subsiding into a reluctant forgiveness. As small reward for those who had stayed and made do with the little that was left, they carved a slow stream on the side of the former cataract. Humbly the people accepted their gift once more, but not without the River Gods wondering – how long would it be before they forgot these painful lessons of the past?

Tracklist

  1. The Apples in Stereo – Stream Running Over
  2. Grandaddy – Crystal Lake
  3. Faux Pas – Chasing Waterfalls
  4. Mutual Benefit – Strong River
  5. Why? – Waterfalls
  6. Children – Rivers
  7. Fear of Men – Alta
  8. Fear of Men – Waterfall
  9. Band Of Horses – The Great Salt Lake
  10. Clams Casino – Waterfalls
  11. Astronauts – Hollow Ponds
  12. Nat Baldwin – Lake Erie
  13. Telekinesis – Great Lakes
  14. Akron/Family – Lake Song/New Ceremonial Music For Moms

Alt Links

Artist Bio

  • Renata Owen is an illustrator & designer based in Surabaya, Indonesia. Her breathtaking work highlights a love of detailed ornaments and an exquisite colour palette, which results in imagery that feels rich, dreamy and delightful.
  • Renata tells me she loves to sleep (oh, me too!) – anytime, anywhere she can lay her head. She loves food too, and just about her favourite thing in the world is Indomie Goreng, the Indonesian instant noodles which both Alex and I can also vouch for.
  • Besides the usual channels of Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Behance, there’s also a gorgeous trailer for a limited edition, Lewis Carroll-inspired illustrated book that she published a couple years back. Watch it on Youtube!

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