So it's the anniversary of my Dad's death - it's been three years - it's weird. I've been out of sorts for days - weeks actually. While there's been a lot going on I've just not felt right - not wanting to move forward - wanting to withdraw and not be a part of anything.
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.
Listening to sad music isn’t exactly a group activity.
You don’t call your friends up and go “Hey guys, fancy coming round and spending the evening bawling your eyes out…?”
Sad music is best listened to in isolation...
I've been living with this track for weeks now - letting it creep up on me and infect my bones - I knew it would appear on the list - just didn't know when.
Sometimes you just want to cry. Do you ever get that? Where for whatever reason you realize that your emotions are full to the brim and you think you're about to burst? When I'm in that space it's this track I listen to - actually - it's this track that I watch.
While the idea behind the playlist is that sad music can make you feel better - when I want to cry, I don't go looking for sad things - I go looking for beauty. I am way more likely to well up when I see human kindness than I am over human despair.
I was chatting with Val, host of the Loss to Profound podcast and we ended up talking about music – shocker huh!? We were talking about how music is this amazing tool to help people when they are down because it delivers a way for them to connect to humanity without the need for anyone to be there...
So we're going back to our roots this week - soulful, sad piano music designed to put you in a reflective state and allow the melody to work its magic. Igor Longhi is most definitely a magician!
This is another song from the other perspective.
If last week’s Radiohead track was about mental illness and what it’s like to be in love with someone who has it – this week’s track is about relationships and what it’s like to be the one who leaves.
It's interesting to see the main themes that come out from this music to grieve to playlist - certainly there's death and loss, there's depression and mental illness, there's the whole relationship breakup genre and there's family and friend trauma, although strangely enough, not many songs about moving house (which often makes the top 5 lists of "most stressful things that can happen to you!")
You know what grief is good at? Apart from the whole making you feel like shit and depressed and generally pretty miserable - grief is really fucking good at forcing you to be real - to be honest - to be true to who you are. Most things in life you can skate over, even unpleasant memories can be safely tucked away and dealt with maybe never, but grief - grief you can't control - grief hangs around, discombobulating your daily life until you deal with it.
Have you ever put your heart and soul into something for years and yet it didn’t work out?
If so, this track’s for you.
The frustration I’m referring to is not the angry, cheated emotion – it is the sad one. The frustration of not getting what you want - to be frustrated in one’s efforts.
So – before we go any further – you should know that this one is for my Dad.
He died in 2015 and I miss him immensely. He was as flawed as the rest of us, but I remember him as just, a really good man. Husband for 51 years, father of three super capable children, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, served his country in the Air Force, lover of books, of music, of humanity, of laughter, of hard work and perseverance – I am incredibly grateful for what he gave me and thankful to have been his son.
Sometimes grief is debilitating - it takes away from you - your hope, your desire, your demeanor - and yet sometimes - it fills you with an energy that you just have to express. We've all been there - shouting at people who don't deserve it (particularly ourselves!) driving too quickly or barely stopping before we put a fist through the wall. And yet - so long as we don't actually hurt anybody - I'm a huge fan of this kind of energy.
I remember hearing this track for the first time when it was performed by the writer Peter Gabriel and I think it was Kate Bush - it was one of those songs that you immediately recognize as classic - even to my then teenage ears.
Society does a poor job of dealing with grief, particularly in western European culture - it seems as if we're happier to just tuck it away, not deal with it - to keep it hidden and put on the brave face. But we all know that's a shitty way to cope with it, why wouldn't we want help?
I was going to introduce this track with a couple of super strong reference artists - but screw that - 'cos while - if I said those names - you'd immediately go "Oh yes" and forever on associate Heddwen with them - that's doing these artists a disservice.
This track has been in my head for a couple of weeks now - it has well and truly burrowed under my skin and I'm hopelessly in love with it. Having said that - I'm not sure whether it's a 100% right for the Grieve to list but I suspect that anyone who's ever wronged their partner may just resonate with it.
This is a track about loss - specifically about the loss of one's father - a father that was truly and deeply loved. It is relatively short for a music2work2 track but it stands out for its simplicity and sweetness.