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Music to Grieve To
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One of the goals of the Grieve to list this year was to open it up to guest curators - where people can come in and share their story through a track that resonated deeply with them when they were “going through it” - I think it’ll make the list more eclectic and hopefully touch more people.  

This weekend I was hanging with an old friend who had lost both her parents in the last few years - we’re both music junkies and while Robin typically has a South American flair to her playlists I couldn’t help but notice her reaction to this track.  I asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing about it - here’s what she had to say:

Staring out the window on a beautiful day in Monterey, in an emotional coma for the last 4 days. I can’t cry and I can’t stop trying to rationalize it, shouldn’t this be illegal? Can’t I write a law? But it’s nature. It’s life. How humbling, how little control we have really. I can’t write a law. I can’t write a grievance. I can’t slam the door and walk away.

This song comfortably immerses me in grief, the profound sadness I feel inside is gently playing through the air. It’s playing what I cannot express. Later, as I go back to listen, I’m back on my couch on a visibly beautiful day, a newly battered, bruised and naive orphan. I don’t get it. I’m numb with the sense of brutal unfairness. All I want to do is sit quietly with her, my mom, and watch tv. Watch her fall asleep on my couch, even snore away. The symphony of instruments, the soul of the vocals and pokes of the drum have me swimming in reveries. I don’t want to be a part of this club. But this song holds me, sways, hums, until I drift away again.
Robin Balchen

You can learn more about Michael Kiwanuka here:

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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.

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