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
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