In my quieter moments I imagine the music that might be played at my funeral. It sounds morbid, but I find the process of imagining three tracks a creative joy. The process goes like this. The first track is background for entering the building , it needs to set the tone and be respectful of the occasion. The second track is mid-service and needs to engage with the subject at hand. The third track is for leaving the building, it can be joyous in carrying people out of the building. So here goes, that moment that you have all been waiting for:
This is probably the only leftfield choice – I have gone for Jonsi and Alex’s track ‘Boy 1904’ from the Riceboy Sleeps album. This was an album that slipped under the radar for many people. My interest was fuelled by my interest in Sigur Ros and the album does have echoes of Sigur Ros. The track starts very atmospherically, I like the interference they have built into the recording. It slowly builds into a choral masterpiece, so could be played on a loop as people found their seats. I have just looked the track up on the web, but I am none the wiser. All I could establish is that it features the last recording of a castrato singer.
In the Middle
I have gone for the This Mortal Coil version of ‘Song to the Siren’ off It’ll End in Tears. It’s an obvious choice, with the bell sounding. You can almost imagine Liz Fraser singing to the Ferryboat man. It always connects with me whenever I hear it. It is a masterpiece which has been covered many times, but this was the version for me. I remember the Jeff Buckley documentary, you gained the impression that Liz was singing this song penned by Tim Buckley as a memorial for Jeff.
Another obvious choice by the Flaming Lips – Do you Realize?? (and yes it does have two question marks). It’s taken from the wonderful Yoshimi Battles album. It’s just the right track to say goodbye.
I have loaded up a series of photos entitled Smoky Sun to accompany this playlist. At the end of an intensive three day workshop I spent a couple of hours photographing the sun setting in March. It was a beautifully slow, even lazy sunset as the sun appeared to die away. The weather was hot for March and gave a wonderful misty effect – it was a rally magical way to say goodbye.