A Meditation on Loss

A Meditation on Loss

*For optimal experience, listening via speakers is recommended.

Artist’s Statement: “A Meditation on Loss” was made during the grieving period following my grandmother’s passing last summer. Unable to process the sudden bombardment of feelings, I poured myself into music since words could no longer offer any sort of relief. Creating it entirely on a laptop allowed me to experiment with the duality of human vs nonhuman; seeing how something spirited would translate into a realm which can often feel overly clinical/cold. This convergence is perhaps most apparent via the metallic sounding swells (more on that later) scattered throughout the piece’s entire duration. When designing the soundscape, I made a conscious effort to break the linearity of “traditional” storytelling. Sonic progressions linger, stutter, and overlap, seemingly erupting from one another instead of following a set A-B-C pattern. The resulting push/pull effect mimics the wave-like manner in which grief often welcomes itself into our lives. Some days the pain is unnoticeable, while her absence hits like a speeding train on others. A subtle nod to this barreling quality manifests itself in the aforementioned metallic swells. I forgot what the original audio snippet was, but when pitch shifted & reversed, it sounded like train wheels screeching. Meanwhile the tail end of that same manipulated sample became these breathy ghost voices which drift in and out of the mix. Furthering the notion of grief coming and going in unpredictable surges. In many ways, A Meditation on Loss is a study on energy transference. How the process of repurposing offers new ways of looking at things. More specifically, how we carry the spirit of deceased loved ones long after they’re gone. Be it through physical objects like heirlooms, or works of art/music created in memoriam.

Nam Hoang Tran

Nam Hoang Tran is a multidisciplinary artist based in Orlando, FL. His work appears or is forthcoming in Posit, The Brooklyn Review, ANMLY, New Delta Review, Tagvverk, Always Crashing, and Diode, among others. W/ Henry Goldkamp, he co-edits TILT - a journal of intermedia poetics. Find him online @ www.namhtran.com

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