…I’ve shed a tear upon hearing the news a musician has passed away.
We’ve lost a number of gifted artists in the last couple of months, and while some of them I wasn’t too familiar with, I only had to take a quick look at the reaction from their fans and the outpouring of tributes to know that these artists had a profound impact on music, and that they leave behind a worthy legacy.
The other day I heard that Lhasa (de Sela) died on the 1st of January from breast cancer, at the far too young age of 37. I wish I could say I knew her music well. I looked up her albums about 18 months ago and found none available in Australia so left it at that; but I heard her wonderful voice often on Stuart A. Staple’s That Leaving Feeling (a song which I posted here in May last year). I’m not too sure why, but the news made me feel quite sad. Perhaps it has something to do with that other feeling… The regretful one of choosing not to appreciate her while she was still with us.
And today… I hear that Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) has also passed away. Earlier, I was a little surprised by the fact that this news made tears well in my eyes. I guess because, while I have It’s A Wonderful Life and Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly of a Mountain, I never actively sought out the other albums, and generally listened to what I do have at a pretty inconsistent, casual pace. That is to say I have not been a dedicated fan, unless you count the collaboration with Danger Mouse, Dark Night of the Soul, which I love and have played quite a lot in the last few months.
I haven’t brought out the albums I do have and listened to them. I understand the desire to, but for me personally – and perhaps somewhat strangely – I feel like it would be tacky on my part to listen to his music. Which I don’t mean to accuse anyone else of being tacky for doing so, it’s just something I’m applying to myself, and for reasons I can’t quite fathom.
What I would really like to say is that while I don’t know and understand everything, I know enough to feel this is a genuine loss, and that in his wake Mark Linkous has left a body of work that will not succumb to mortality.
RIP to those gone from us.