When I'm using music as an accompaniment to something I'm doing - in this case writing an essay - I don't want it to get "too" interesting all of a sudden. The idea of taking a theme and slowly working it, gently twisting and developing it into new shapes and sounds makes a lot of sense to me. It's different enough to allow the brain to notice the change, but not too different that it has to devote extra resource to processing it.
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I’ve been writing music since I can remember. My first memories are not of scales and baby Mozart, they’re of the piano in Singapore where Angels and Demons lived at opposite ends of the keyboard and played battles through my fingers.
I was three when I met my first piano teacher, eight when I wrote my first song, thirteen when I played my first rock show and sixteen when I wrote my first Hymn. Yes – this track was the Hymn.
Written for a school music competition the task was to take the the Hymn “These Things Shall Be!” from the poem “A Vista” by John Addington Symonds 1840 – 1893 and create new music.
I think I came second!
The reason this track makes it onto the album is that my Father fell in love with it. Out of all the things I had done it was this track that resonated with him and he asked for it to be played at his funeral.
When the time came – I couldn’t. The piece wasn’t finished and it would have felt – just odd – weird and ultimately - wrong.
This version is solo piano – which is what he was familiar with – but I hear this with full orchestra and a bloody great church organ delivering a final crescendo - I think he would've dug that.
Acceptance & The Five Stages
This track was always going to be the last one on the album - and when I was still working with the idea of a track for each stage of the Kubler_Ross model, it was fitting that this was going to be called acceptance.
There is a hopefulness to the track - particularly in the coda where it’s all about imperfect and perfect cadences all resolving positively around the G major root. The reality of grief is that life does go on, and while the grief may never fully subside, it does fade and we do get to feel good again.
Acceptance is about reaching the point where it’s OK to feel good again. The final notes of the album are the opposite of the beginning, they are still the major triads but this time they are major and instead of descending, they are uplifting, ascending the keyboard to finish on a high, hopeful note.
FIND US ON SPOTIFY
We're going to be focusing a lot on Spotify over the coming year - it is by far the biggest revenue source for Musicto and music2work2 and the best way for you to support us is to listen to and share our playlists.
We will be developing the Music to Grieve to playlist by adding new tracks so make sure you choose to follow.
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Rock piano is not about scales, chords, arpeggios or riffs - it is about the relationship between your right and left hand.
If your hands are playing something different, there is one thing they do need to agree on, and that is time!