Recently, Quilt shared their video for the deeply personal song “Padova,” a track from their new record Plaza (out now on Mexican Summer). While it would be easy to wax poetic about the lyrics, moods, and textures of the song, there are no words that could supersede those of songwriter Shane Butler, who wrote this song as a reflection on his mother’s death. Watch the touching Christopher Good-directed video, and read Shane’s words below.
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 believe in ‘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.