January 31, 2020

What if our dead are heard through us?

Maya Chillingworth

To Be Remembered, 2020

Much of my childhood was spent living next to a graveyard, where I discovered my fascination with the inevitable. Shortly after, the tradition of my singing at funerals begun. And, eleven years on, when I found myself again dressed in black, I wanted to explore how our fascination and fear when it comes to death can compel us to destroy our memories, and how music could be a step towards learning to live with our ghosts. The auditory system is one of the first sensory systems to develop in the womb, and considered one of the last to go; its impact on memory has been used to treat patients with dementia and memory loss. Interweaving fiction and real life accounts, this sound piece manipulates our subconscious connection to sound, inviting the listener to don headphones and become immersed in the musical and atmospheric story of a dearly departed who wants their voice to be remembered. In bringing the griever and the grieved closer together, maybe they can both begin to learn to exist together?