A few years ago I wrote this song as a way of communicating with my mother, who has Alzheimer's. A couple times I took a guitar with me on trips to New Zealand, intending to play the song to her, but I couldn't do it. I have only ever performed it live twice - completely unplanned on both occasions: a visceral response to circumstances. I had never attempted to record it until Mother's Day 2017, when I felt a strong compulsion to give "The Girl Who Loved To Play" a basic form beyond my head, heart, and hands.

I have a strong conviction that the concept of generational linearity is a falsehood we too willingly accept. My sense is that we live in a matrix of all our collective lives, memories, experiences and desires - we are woven, not extruded. A common, simple definition of matrix is "an environment or material in which something develops." To me, matrix and mother are synonyms.

I recorded a scratch vocal of the song, then added a couple guitar tracks plus a simple keyboard strings line in lieu of rhythm instruments and formal timekeeping. I did the equivalent with stills images and that's what this is: a rough demo of audio and video. Maybe the result will resonate for other folks.


Talking With My Mother About Dying


We were in a city neither of us knew

alone, briefly

You said it would be nice to go home

to the new place, the room with a view


In a scrapbook lying at my feet a collage

running into the sea and your legs,

two different animals working foam to your skirts

while I flounder and try not to drown laughing


Don’t ever let that happen to me

you said about your frightened father.

I refused the iron lung by will,

now it’s your turn to keep torture away.


Why won’t you keep me safe?


A long pause and our knowing we should find the others


One last time down this hill past strangers

but tomorrow take me home. I need the rest.

The room is high with a breeze and curtained

by the scent of oceans kissing