Douglas MacGregor – Songs of Loss and Healing


Music from the deep, meditations and manifestations of grief, loss and healing: Seven highly intimate original guitar pieces in one landmark work from award-winning multi-genre musician and writer Douglas MacGregor. This is music that speaks of love, loss, death, yearning for the irretrievable, and, also, hope.

“intense, intimate and moving” / “a landmark”From the Margins

“evocative, urgent, and extraordinarily beautiful” Alex Neilson (Alex Rex /Trembling Bells)

Douglas Macgregor – Songs of Loss & Healing

MacGregor lost his mother to cancer when he was just seven and, with that, a whole way of life. It wasn’t until twenty-five years later that the supressed grief of this world over-turning experience brought an emotional collapse that submerged him for almost two years. Throughout this time, music was the guide and lifeline, the method of making sense of the unfathomable.

He wrote seven pieces and then chose different non-studio locations over the UK – with a specific meaning to the pieces – to record and video each. He then consecutively released each performance online with an accompanying exploratory text.

MacGregor found inspiration in his ethnomusicological studies of ancient musical practices in grief rituals around the world.  The act of researching, writing, travelling and recording became a ritual in its own right – an attempt to recreate the healing tools of religious systems through music. It was also a form of therapy and, no less, an artistic endeavour.

MacGregor envisions the music operating on multiple levels simultaneously, “with this project, the line between art, ritual and therapy completely vanished becoming one and the same. The listener can hear the music solely as a piece of art and relate to it freely, or delve deeper into the story, meaning and transformative nature of each piece.”

For this album release, MacGregor worked with German sound engineer Sebastian Ohmert to recapture these pieces in all their sonic beauty, while retaining all the immediacy and intimacy of the original recordings.

These are songs without words, music from the deep, each piece an unpremeditated manifestation of love and loss. MacGregor’s writing, poetic and evocative, conjures images. His pieces are delicate and moving, sombre, soothing and hopeful in equal measures as well as frequently breath-taking.

About the Musician

Douglas MacGregor is a London-based musician and writer whose music appears in the gaps between classical, folk and experimental music. This is his third full-length solo album though he has also appeared on numerous folk, pop, jazz, and experimental studio albums.

Previously, he has toured and played with folk artists such as Alasdair Roberts, Jim Ghedi, Toby Hay; Jazz musicians, such as Héloïse Lefebvre; and alternative folk/pop writers such as Stanley Brinks and Alex Nielson (of Alex Rex/Trembling Bells).

He frequently collaborates with poets, dancers, artists and filmmakers – his music video collaboration with videographer and academic Amy Cutler won Best Foreign Experimental Film at Mikro FAF 2017. MacGregor recently received new music commissions from Sound and Music to interpret the current social isolation imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

A writer, he has regularly contributed to Songlines magazine and The Guardian as well as his own blog and website which explores the age-old relationship between music, grief and loss.

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