GETTING MORE TALE #443: Touched by the Music
I recently attended a memorial service for a friend of my wife’s, who was a local musician. His chosen genre was considered “dark synthpop”, something I don’t have a lot of in my collection. In the 80’s, he released a few records with his brother – actual vinyl records! I first met him through the Record Store, as he was a customer. I didn’t know the man very well. I knew him to see him and say hello, but it was my wife who really befriended him. They had become close, playing cards weekly with other mutual friends. She had come to really love his understated but sharp wit.
A few months ago, when she was told that he had passed away peacefully, she was absolutely gutted. Neither of us can really understand how a kind gentle soul can be taken too soon, but it happens every day in this world.
The memorial service was very emotional, and for me, I felt like I was getting to know him for the first time. His family made it a musical service. His younger brother, who described him as a genius, sang a modified version of Eddie Money’s “Baby Hold On” for him, one of his favourites. We also heard a lot of his own compositions. Even though synthpop isn’t a genre that struck a chord with me before, I found myself entranced by his music. It was remarkable in ambient depth, melodic composition, and feeling. His best friend spoke at the service, and described him as a science fiction and horror movie buff, as well as a music nerd extraordinaire. In his music, I could hear that. I picked out influences from Dr. Who, Friday the 13th, and other cinematic sources. In short I loved what I heard.
But there was more to it than just enjoying his music. At the service, his family said that he expressed himself mostly through music rather than words, and I could hear that. I felt like I was getting to know him a little bit better through his melodies, rhythms and arrangements. It is arduous, trying to explain just how I felt like I was really recognizing him for the first time. All I know is, I could hear him there. It was as if he was in the room, but unable to speak beyond the notes he had recorded. The music was enough and I think everyone in that room felt it.
He was gifted; a musical genius in fact.
I wish I had that gift, of being able to musically represent myself and my feelings the way he could. I’m glad that, for a moment, my soul was touched by his through music.