Cremation

He wasn’t blood, but Howell was the closest thing to a grandpa that I had. When I was young, we spent a lot of time together out on the golf course…it was there that he helped me to become a patient person and to do my best. He also taught me its OK for a father figure to tell his son / grandson, “I love you.”

Howell Parker died on November 2nd, 2013 on Dia de Los Muertos. His funeral service was November 13th, 2013 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. His funeral was difficult…each fold of the American flag unbearable…the sound of taps heart breaking. I regret not visiting him before he passed.

After the funeral, we went to visit my grandmother, Grama Sally. She had been sick for a while, fighting cancer. She was asleep, in bed, and had been for a few days. I found out she was still smoking even just a few days before the visit. Stubborn til the end.

I held her hand and I knew she was in pain…that night she died. She waited long enough for her husband to pass and then she joined him. They must have had a night of bowling and two-stepping planned out there somewhere.

Today, December 2nd, 2013, was Grama Sally’s funeral service…also held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Both my grandparents and my great grandmother who passed earlier this year, all chose to be cremated. That’s why I had been thinking about the process lately. Sound by fire.

In the 5th grade I received one of the best presents ever…an electric guitar. It was with this instrument that I learned how to make music. There’s a lot of sentimental value with that guitar…that’s what made it really difficult for me as I plugged it in and placed it on the fire.

I recorded the electrical signal the guitar made as I cremated it. I recorded the ambient sounds of the fire and my backyard as well and then took all of it into Ableton for some final touches.

The song is 11 minutes and 13 seconds. 11/13 for the day both my grandparents left earth.

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