Dust [mixtape]


When you lose a beloved pet, it’s a lonely experience. No one else feels the crushing sense of loss like you do, and no one knows the unique shape of the hole left in your life.

I created this mixtape as an emotional balm. It’s the soundtrack to mourning, chilled softness with a hint of wide-eyed wonder.

Download mp3 version here.

I feel like most sad music doesn’t do the actual feeling of mourning any justice. It’s too maudlin, theatrical, specific to resonate. It’s also too narrow; we don’t simply feel sadness when a loved one is gone. We also need a bit of hope, and to me there’s nothing more hopeful than feeling my mind open to new possibilities.

This mix is built with songs that convey a specific feeling of adventure, of cresting a mountain and seeing the landscape sprawling to infinity. It’s an adventure that begins with loss, but ends with a sense of renewed purpose. There are so many new things to learn and chances to grow, become someone new and better, always. This is a reminder that, from the darkest moments, things can only get better.

I’d call it perspective, but it’s more than that.

The cover art is one of the last pictures I have of my cat Tres. He was a tabby my parents adopted as a kitten 10 years ago, little brother to their 27 pound, purebred Maine Coon. When my parents both died within a year of each other, I inherited the cats. They were family companions for years, so I was more than happy to have a piece of my parents to love and care for.

When both cats got cancer last summer, dying within weeks of each other, I was devastated. Harley was too old for surgery, and an invasive procedure hadn’t helped Tres. I was completely broke after all the vet bills. Losing myself in music was my only respite for a while. I wanted to make it count for something, and I wanted to have a memento I could take with me. So I made something to give myself a light at the end of the tunnel.

Dust has since become one of my go-to mixes for relaxing, reading, and even work. It slides on like a familiar old coat and drifts through a mixture of feelings that, to me, add up to a sense of relief and optimism washing completely over me. It’s beautiful and sad, yes, but it’s also playful, exploratory, and ultimately full of mystical brightness.

I’ve kept it to myself for a year, but now it’s time to share.

Here are my other mixtapes.

Here is the track list:.

01. Joe Hisaishi – One Summer’s Day
02. Kenji Kawai – Virtual Crime [edit]
03. Spiritualized – All Of My Tears
04. Brian Eno – Deep Blue Day
05. The Durutti Column – Otis
06. Talk Talk – It’s Getting Late In The Evening
07. Sigur Ros – Samskeyti
08. Emeralds – Goes By
09. Kenji Kawai – Nightstalker [edit]
10. Elite Gymnastics – Here, In Heaven 6 (Tokyo Skyscraper)
11. Teebs – How You Doo (Extended)
12. Rene Hell – Quick Folding Motion
13. Fleetwood Mac – Albatross

As always, thank you for listening.

2 thoughts on “Dust [mixtape]

    • Thank you so very much for the kind words! It means a lot to hear that :)

      I’m doing much better this year, actually. I’ve been so much more productive with the writing, and I’ve since adopted two cats from the local animal shelter, both named after fictional secret agents: Dale Cooper and Sterling Archer.


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