A return to the playlist's roots this week with a stunning solo piece from Canadian pianist Ian Wong. While sad songs - and by songs I mean tracks with lyrics - can tell a specific story - sometimes you just need an instrumental track to create your own narrative. Right now it's raining outside, the sky is kinda grey and you know it's cold - there's a general melancholic feel to the world and this track accompanies it perfectly.
Here's what Ian had to say about the track:
"She's Like the Swallow" is a traditional Canadian Folk Song about the loss of a loved one. In the song, the final line of the first verse is "I love my love, and love is no more". Last year, I wrote a piano arrangement of this folk song that focused on its tragic nature. What emerged was a piece that immerses the listener in a dreamlike world full of sorrow.
...The music tells a story that conjures feelings of grief and heartbreak. I deliberately wrote the melody in a disjointed way to emphasize the confusion that often accompanies grief. I also, chose emphasized harmonic progressions that were particularly dramatic.
Sad music is indeed a useful tool to help one heal, and my hope is that this instrumental piece has been doing this to those who have listened to it, or played the score (published in the Canadian National Conservatory of Music).
You can learn more about Ian Wong here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.
25 September 2021
Why write a song reflecting on the suicide of a beloved friend? Why send it out into the world? What purpose does that serve? Ever since Gerhardt reached out and sent me this beautiful track, I’ve been reflecting on those questions – and while I don’t have an answer, I have an idea of one…
13 April 2021
I was feeling sad – and I know why, but damn it’s so hard at times.
I’ve sat and watched as circumstance came in and deconstructed my defences one by one – constant pain leading to lack of sleep to lack of writing to lack of self care to lack of confidence to lack of hope to – STOP!
31 March 2021
There’s this idea in life that just because you know a thing it makes it easier to deal with.
Like sitting down with a therapist, driving through your history until you find the behavior that causes you, many years later, to run away from connection or drink too much or insist on cleaning everything 3 times.