Quilt has one of the most appropriate band names. Its music can be a soft, warm blanket with lovely harmonies, layers of textured drones and dreamy words. One standout song from the group's current album, Plaza, is called "Padova." It's a galloping tune with a sad underpinning whose lyrics puzzled me. Now the Boston-bred band, with director Christopher Good, has produced a video for that song, a song named for a town in Italy. I watched it and the imagery of burning tables and flowers puzzled me more. So I asked Shane Butler, the writer, singer and guitarist for this Quilt song about it and what he wrote to me was so powerful, adding so much to the listening and viewing experience, that I'm just going to let his note speak for itself. Enjoy.
"This song was written shortly after my mother passed away. It was written in Padova, Italy on a night where we were scheduled to perform there in the courtyard of a beautiful villa-like building on the outskirts of the city. There were old ceramic walls, chandeliers, Italian vines and horses on the periphery of the property; it was idyllic to say the least. During this period of time, after my mother had passed, I would talk to her every day. Whether it was in imagination or in spirit doesn't really matter; my experience was the same. That night in Padova my mother and I talked for a long time as I took a walk around the property. I then happened to come across an old busted up guitar in a giant wooden room with a chandelier in it, I tuned it to something that would work, and this song came out.
"The experience of my mother's death has not only been of grief, as our culture often solely represents death being. But, in my experience, death has taken on infinite voices. There are voices of beauty, melancholy, humor, rejuvenation and freedom located in this experience. When talking with Christopher Good about making this video we talked about making a representation of this experience that involved some of these other aspects of death. Christopher has an incredible eye and mind to make abstract narratives, which is what we decided to go with for this video. This scene is only a detail on the vast canvas of representing life's transition. As there is no finality to this experience, no static way to understand it, we chose to use abstraction, movement, color and the elements to play with the ideas at hand.
"Whether you get down with 'soul' business or not I'd like to leave with this quote of Kahlil Gibran's that I read shortly after my mother passed. I think it is very beautiful and maybe provides a moment to reflect on another possible voice of death:
"'Death is an ending to the son of
The earth, but to the soul it is
The start, the triumph of life.'"