This project was born out of a lifelong love of music. It's also a reflection on death, creativity and what it means to leave behind a body of work. You can read more about the background in Introducing The Last Encore .
What I worked on
I would compile an annual Spotify playlist. The tracks compiled from artists who had died throughout the year. The criteria was:
- One track per artist
- Arranged in the order they died.
What I learned
There are rewards outside your comfort zone. The process pushed me to listen to material that I wouldn't otherwise have listened to. This proved to be very healthy and I discovered many a musical gem.
Get lucky. The strict ordering of tracks is often quite jarring to listen to. But that juxtaposition can also throw up interesting surprises. Four Tet has a similar long running playlist of serendipitous crate diving finds.
Look after your mental health. Each discovery comes tinged with melancholy. For every amazing artist I found, came with the realisation I could never see them live. The project was getting me down. I stopped maintaining the list after we lost Bowie and Prince in 2016.