Music from the deep, meditations and manifestations of grief, loss and healing: Seven highly intimate original guitar pieces in one landmark work from award-winning multi-genre musician and writer Douglas MacGregor. This is music that speaks of love, loss, death, yearning for the irretrievable, and, also, hope.
Composer and guitarist Douglas MacGregor lost his mother to cancer when he was just seven and, with that, a whole way of life. It wasn’t until twenty-five years later that the suppressed grief of this world-over-turning experience brought an emotional collapse that submerged him for almost two years. Throughout this time, music was the guide and lifeline, the method of making sense of the unfathomable.
He wrote seven pieces and then chose different non-studio locations over the UK – with a specific meaning to the pieces – to record and video each. He then consecutively released each performance online with an accompanying exploratory text.
MacGregor found inspiration in his ethnomusicological studies of ancient musical practices in grief rituals around the world. The act of researching, writing, travelling and recording became a ritual in its own right – an attempt to recreate the healing tools of religion through music. It was also a form of therapy and, no less, an artistic endeavour.
MacGregor envisions the music operating on multiple levels simultaneously, “with this project, the line between art, ritual and therapy completely vanished becoming one and the same. The listener can hear the music solely as a piece of art and relate to it freely, or delve deeper into the story, meaning and transformative nature of each piece.”
For this album release, MacGregor worked with German sound engineer Sebastian Ohmert to recapture these pieces in all their sonic beauty, while retaining all the immediacy and intimacy of the original recordings.
These are songs without words, music from the deep. Each piece is an unpremeditated manifestation of love and loss laced with hidden and overt meaning. MacGregor’s poetic writing and performances are beautifully delicate and moving, sombre, soothing and hopeful in equal measures as well as truly breath-taking.
Songs of Loss and Healing is released on 22 May and is available to stream here.
100% of revenue from all pre-orders and first two weeks of sales will be donated to Winston’s Wish, a charity which supports grieving children and young people.