Andrew and I have been working together for nearly five years now. When he came to me with the idea for his latest project, it didn’t take him much convincing for me to jump on board; I trusted his vision and believed his passion.
His idea was to start a record label that produced albums focused around the solution it provided. One of the first assignments he gave me was to brainstorm as many album titles I could come up with using this simple formula…music to _______ to.
Here was one of the first lists I came up with….
music to solve equations to
music to write a memoir to
music to study to
music to grieve to
music to stretch to
music to unwind to
music to focus to
music to brainstorm to
During one of our weekly Skype catch ups we went through the list together and Andrew ranked the titles according to the ones he liked best. After reading this list can you guess which one Andrew favored most?
As it turns out, one of his favorite titles was actually the one that was the most depressing in nature, music to grieve to. Logically speaking, it was an obvious choice, especially when you consider that grief happened to be something that was all too familiar to the both of us; I lost my grandpa to cancer a few years prior while Andrew’s dad had also recently passed. Though each event affected us differently (turns out, no two people experience grief in the exact same way), they were each devastatingly gut wrenching and unapologetically earth shattering in their own way.
Music To doesn’t just provide a carefully curated album and call it a day, we also provide a scientifically backed article that proves why this is the exact sonic solution you need.
When compiling research for the informative article to accompany the sad music to grieve to album, I hit a few roadblocks, had a few breakdowns, and discovered a lot about my own grieving process.
An unbelievable amount of scholarly journals require a membership to access or a whole lot of money. Since I had neither, I had to get really good at digging (not such a difficult task for a digital savvy millennial, though it was an exhausting task to say the least.)
Though I can generally write about anything, I hadn’t written anything close to a research paper since college. Luckily, writing a term paper came came flowing back to me much quicker than rollerblading did. I hadn’t thought about these words - thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, scholarly sources - in years.
When I initially wrote the article, I made it a bit too “term paper-y”. Andrew challenged me to re-read the article as a grieving individual and then make edits accordingly. If I had just lost a loved one, and I happened to land on the grieve to album page, the last thing I’d want to be is confused by some four syllable word only a Ph.D grad would understand. I removed the complicated phrasing, tightened the main points, made it easier to read, and infused the article with a plethora of comforting words. The result was a softer, easier to digest, relatable piece of literature (at least that's what I hope!)
The more I learned about grief, the more I questioned why there was still such a stigma associated with it. Though death is inevitable, and grief is a natural part of life, they are both still extremely taboo topics (at least in the Western world.)
Just because funerals are sad, death isn’t talked about until it’s staring at you in the face (and sometimes not even then), and grief is something we think we have to get through alone, doesn’t mean we have to perpetuate this absurdity any longer. Let’s break the stigma and accept that grief is natural part of life. Together, we can help each other find strength to keep carrying on, even when the world seems to be unraveling at the seams.
I feel so proud to be a part of the entire Music To project, and especially this album. If this album helps one grieving individual find hope to carry on another day, then all the hard work, late nights, dead ends, monotonous editing, will have been worth it.
Three More Things...
We're pulling together an index of curated resources to help those dealing with grief, if you would like to see your organization featured, please contact us here.
You should check out our article on how listening to sad music can help you feel better.
And of course, if you'd like to listen to some sad but soothing music - check out the links below: