Music from Quarantine: 15.4.20—Lamentations

Processing my own emotions with music is as natural to me as breathing. I view this recording project as an opportunity, perhaps, to reach others who could use some emotional support.

Many of my contacts are witnessing illness and death. And it’s not just the loss of an acquaintance, a family elder, or friends-of-friends. It’s not just the abrupt departure of people who have been famous and newsworthy. It’s also the loss, perhaps, of an entire way of life. Our familiar ways of socializing intimately, with friends, family, casual lovers, is gone, not just from the present, but for the foreseeable future. This is far more than an inconvenience; it’s akin to seeing your entire homeland destroyed, a community scattered.

Or, as one friend puts it, “Our world is in labor, and we need a doula. The birthing is difficult, and the outcome is not guaranteed.”

We need to grieve.

If you would like some personalized, one-on-one, musical support for your emotional needs, please let me know–I’m ready to help.

Plenty of music has been written for grieving. Loss of loved ones, first as a shock, then as ongoing melancholy–relieved, perhaps, by memories of love, or by the hope of a better future.

Don’t try to take these all in at once! One tune at a time, with plenty of space around it to process the feelings. And anytime you need to lighten up, skip ahead to the end, and Look to the Sky.


I start with one of the gentler laments. This melody tells me to open my heart; there’s such a reservoir of love underneath the sorrow.


In Porgy and Bess, Serena’s life is shattered by the killing of her husband. Miles Davis did a toned-down version of this tune, but I still feel the shattering. We are tested to stay with the shards, and find underlying strength. (This is a first take/ rough draft, just beginning to learn this chart)


Death is not always taken so personally. How about some ironic distance, a.k.a. graveyard humor, from Wayne Shorter:


Or, Death can be viewed very personally. Billy Strayhorn wrote this on his deathbed, encapsulating the feelings of his own impending end.


Finally, Bill Evans’ elegy to his father. I can’t play this without feeling the depth of his love and loss.


Is that enough grief support? I could add more links in the comments. But maybe that’s enough for now. Here’s something to lighten up with.

(Look to the Skies, Tom Jobim)



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