On Valentine`s Day of this year a musician friend of mine committed suicide.
I quickly resorted to music composition to process this tragedy. On August 8th I released Naomio Islands.
Notes on Naomio Islands
Fierce and true
Catchy and danceable
Fresh, quirky, and original
Wonder. Horror. Humor. More.
Journey into the realm of the taboo. Passion unfurls into an emotional tapestry
When musician Christopher Macor faces the death by suicide of a friend and fellow
musician. Faced with this great among human tragedies, he does what he knows
how to do: make art. But it’s not easy work. Thus the lyric’s in Bootstraps
“Responsibility’s a bitch” and “I’m left holding the bag.” Wait for it.
Time again and again throughout Naomio Islands, Christopher faces his emotions
full on to discover that if you can bear the pain, “Everything is musical.” And to even
begin to heal he must face first and hard his own judgment: The way you limit
yourself is the way you’re judging me.
As with “Let he who is without sit cast the first stone,” Macor seems to suggest that
we let the person who treats themselves with only life-affirming kindness be the one
to judge self-loathing’s most extreme unction.
He digs deep, with the rich tapestry of a talented musician with wild emotional
depth, seeking to answer What is this truth that violation brings? His almost circular
catchy guitar riffs and danceable beats speak to who is left behind remaining very,
very much alive.
“Cold” sounds like a duet between David Byrne and Johnny Cash. “Cut of the knife,”
shows that in her act, the suicide places everyone in her life in her harm’s way.
Christopher Macor picks this up, handles it, holds it to the light, takes a hit of
lightning to the core, and releases her—wholly transformed—at least the her within
him, showing that to survive is to thrive.
The song Naomi is the hardest to take. There’s nothing abstract in asking over and
over again “Are you gone? Are you done?” And in fact who wants to face a loved
one’s offing themselves? But a survivor must. Survivors aren’t given a choice, so the
choice is, to quote the talented survivor Courtney Love, to live through this, to feel
all the way through it…and if you can and you do (and Christopher Macor’s album
might help you to do this maybe) you will emerge healed on the other side. To numb
or stuff this experience is to let it slay you. Art is sword and shield to slay this
dragon and emerge: Feel through this. Live through this.
The album finishes with an anthem to the glory of life, aptly titled “Self Love.” But
there’s nothing hallmark about this conclusion. Life pulses through the guitar and
joy rises like a welcome spring after this deep dive into darkness, riding waves of
the YES spark that even though, despite it all …
(Your demons are your gift (and she jumped off a cliff)
…embraces the whole wide world anyway
(Your demons are your gift.)
In the process of creating and sharing this music I realized that people have a lot of shame around suicide.
I realize that our taboo about suicide is outdated and needs to be examined. Let`s stop shoving suicide under the table, covered up with shame and repression. Let us respectfully but deliberately place it in clear view of society where it can be revealed and healed.
This realization has given birth to SUICIDE CAFE.
Suicide Cafe is a forum where people who are touched by suicide can share freely. I have found the act of revealing to be poignantly healing and when it is done publicly, it leads to collective transformation.