The Pathway (Part 4 of 7)

by Douglas MacGregor

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Part 4 of the 7 part series, Songs of Loss and Healing

We often think of memories as static and when these memories are traumatic we might feel stuck with them. MacGregor was 7 when his mother died. Events at her funeral on a cold grey April day were infinitely far beyond his control and he was left with an unfinished legacy subsequently suppressed for quarter of a century.

Throughout the ages humans have used music in ritual at times of death to separate the living from the dead and to guide the spirit of the deceased on into the afterlife. The Pathway was inspired by the practices of Yolngu aboriginals in Northern Australia, where weeping songs transform over two-week-long funeral proceedings into songs that sing the spirit of the deceased along pathway through the land to their ancestral home in the landscape. From then on, that person can be remembered through the landscape and the songs that connect to that landscape.

The Pathway begins as a dirge on that cold April day – it is performed in the church where MacGregor’s mother’s funeral was held - and finishes as a folk imagining of the Welsh landscape where she grew up and is now buried. It is both a spiriting into the landscape and a way of remembering through landscape, a parting farewell and an onward connection.


released May 30, 2019


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Douglas MacGregor London, UK

Douglas MacGregor is a London-based guitar-player and composer. His music explores place, space, roots and acoustics centring around themes of loss, grief, transformation, memory and healing.

Unresolved childhood trauma cast MacGregor rudderless at sea as a young adult and musical exploration became the vessel to find home, to explore the inner and outer world.
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