Verluna, aka Chicago songwriter and producer Alex Katsaropoulos, had this to say about his track ‘The Narrow Road to Oku’ in a press release;
“This song was inspired by the poetic journal of Matsuo Basho called “The Narrow Road to Oku/Interior” written in the late 1600s. It’s a book of haiku and accompanying travel log of the author’s journey through Japan after the passing of his mother. The story is about grief and understanding oneself through that. A literal and figurative journey to the interior” Katsaropoulos said.
“When I first read this book I was going through a rather difficult time with my own family, dealing with my parent’s calamitous divorce and trying to understand myself as an individual within all of it. The darker extremes of my own situation meant I felt a sort of solidarity or maybe greater empathy for what Basho was experiencing. This is a man who lived nearly 400 years ago during the Edo period of Japan and we were linked by our emotions. To me, that’s powerful and worth writing a song about.
The project initially started life as a concept album called Oku and was inspired by Basho’s poetry. Katsaropoulos started work on the project 2015 before releasing the album on September 21, 2018.
Listeners will notice a melancholy sound to the album with an Americana sound with pop melodies and an experimental feel. Following a tour of the American mid-West following the album’s release, he renamed the project Verluna.
Katsaropoulos is currently preparing for tour dates that will take him to the East Coast of the US and back to his hometown and through the mid-West, dates TBA.