I often wonder whether the dead still witness events on Earth, checking up on us mortals through a cosmic television of sorts. Do they even want to stay attached to those of us left behind as much as we want them to have them back alive? Sometimes musicians can channel these existential fears and questions to encourage us to make the most of our time and energy among the living while we can. Halifax’s Logan Hill is one such artist. Hill brilliantly combines ambient drone, field recordings, and spacious synth work with feelings of deep dread while pondering the uncertainties of life before and after death.
Hill’s most recent collection, Funeral Pieces, is a tightly-knit journey loosely chronicling the process of death from beginning to end. It starts with “Death Howl”, 90 seconds of feedback falling somewhere between a ‘60s kaiju film and whale songs. From there, Funeral Pieces moves from one’s deathbed to the pain/beauty of embracing what comes next (“When Will My Body Rest”) before one takes their final breath (the David Lynch-influenced “Bellowing”).
The overarching themes of Funeral Pieces came together for me on “Longing”, where the doubts and questions about what will happen to those we love when they’re gone hit home. Closing track “Passing Over” is a stark and vivid suggestion of what it might sound and feel like to move from this mortal coil to the afterlife. An ethereal yet sombre voice guides you through this great unknown, leaving its mark, and forming the perfect bookend to this remarkable project.
Funeral Pieces doesn’t need to be as black as night to leave a lasting impression. Through his art, Logan Hill puts your fears at ease by reminding us that beauty can come out of even the darkest of places.