by Kat Harding (@iwearaviators)
How Eric Schermerhorn is able to write music is a testament to the love of his child. Last January, we covered his album Flowers Now Dry, written and recorded in the lead up to the birth and death of his child, Sage, who was born March 31, 2016, and died June 25, 2016 from a Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation. On March 3, Schermerhorn released Elegy, a nearly 16-minute wandering track chronicling his grief.
The celestial shot on the single’s cover gives a glimpse into our mortal quandaries about life and death. We associate space with the great beyond, the unknown, possibly heaven, and questions that can never be answered. The same feelings swirl around Schermerhorn’s track, wondering why this happened to his child. “I never thought that you would not survive,” he sings, accompanied by sparse piano and drums. “I can’t believe I couldn’t save your life,” gives a glimpse into the deeply personal feelings any parent would have after the untimely death of a child. Tears sprang to my eyes with the line “Why did love bring us here?” The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the most joy-filled occasions of your life, filled with love.
Immersed in the gentlest of pianos and echoing reverb, the listener can catch their breath after that crushing line - or, do as I did and get deep in a rabbit hole about the unfairness of life. People die before they should. People can be horrible. We all eventually die anyways. What is the point?
The point is to go on for each other. Listen to music that moves you. Create something that moves you. Reach out a helping hand. Buy an album that supports something - all proceeds from the track will be donated to the Center for Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions at Boston Children’s Hospital in memory of Sage Schermerhorn. Start a charity.
The track ends incredibly hopeful, as Schermerhorn vows to go on, facing forever one day at a time so he can eventually meet Sage on the other side. And that’s all any of us can really do - just keep on going.