January 12, 2020

Death at Christmas: How do we celebrate?

Caroline Gilmour | Marissa Keltie, 33

Song recording mp3 & music videoChristmas in Summertime, 2018

Christmas. For some, it is a traditional time for family and rejoicing. For others, a difficult time of reflection and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away, or for loved ones who are on their final journey. The narrative and theme of this piece of work is to recognise the sadness and emotion that people experience at this particular time of year. How is one really able to rejoice at Christmas in a situation like this? Should this tradition be celebrated, perhaps, at another time of year, when grief is more manageable? This explains the song’s title ‘Christmas in Summertime’. We both experienced the loss of our fathers during Christmas. We were able to tap in to each other’s emotions, relaying the story of fragility, to create the lyrics: ‘We could see you were fragile, like fallen snow beneath the sun’. The music in the middle instrumental section, in partnership with the dancer’s performance in the music video, represents the human soul making its final, chaotic journey to peace.