Welcome to the first version of
the Survival Playlist
– a sister project to Empty Room
What is it?
While developing Empty Room I became more and more interested in the songs or music that we use to get us through difficult times. Music has been central to my life and my art and I wanted to explore other people’s relationship to music in their lives.
The Survival Playlist is a playlist made up of submissions from audiences of Empty Room as well as anyone around the world who gets in touch, either through email, Facebook or Twitter.
Your submission can be a single song, several songs, an album, a concert, a band etc.
Please feel free to get in touch through any of the above. And if you feel free to share, let me know how this music relates to a specific time in your life, if this song or piece of music is uplifting, cathartic, nostalgic or anything else for you. I will never share any information you consider private.
You can also listen to all this wonderful music through the Survival Playlist on my YouTube channel
Post on Twitter or Facebook with the handle: #SurvivalPlaylist
The Survival Playlist
My Heart Will Go On – Postmodern Jukebox submitted by Emily Jane Kerr
Loveless (album) – My Bloody Valentine submitted by Peyee Chen
Take My Hand – Clare Cordell submitted by Emily Jane Kerr
The Civil Wars submitted by Lizzie Franks
Lucky Man – The Verve/Richard Ashcroft submitted by Lee Murray
Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen submitted by Lot Grundy
That’s Amore – Dean Martin submitted by Lee Murray
Don’t Touch My Hair – Solange submitted by Peyee Chen
Whole Damn Year – Mary J. Blige submitted by Peyee Chen
Jazz Man – Carole King submitted by Dan Egglington
Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust (acoustic)
I forgot where we were – Ben Howard
Small Things – Ben Howard
“when I want to wallow it reminds me of how mundane sadness is”
Gonna Make you a star – David Essex
“when I want to feel better, reminds me of my lovely mum”
Let it Be – Beatles
“For Jonny <3”
Paper Bag – Fiona Apple
“Pretty much anything from her album ‘The Idler, The Wheel’, because her pain calms my pain”
Dance me to the end of love – Leonard Cohen
“reminds me of the love of my life, although we are no longer physically – we always will be in spiritual reality”
Us – Regina Spektor
“For friendships I’ve had more than half my life (I will have for the rest of my life)”
Bach’s cello suite, Minuet in G major
“This piece reminds me of my friends who always joyful, encouraging and loving. I lost her once after a big fight during both of us in depression but then she came back to me (thank god).”
Bach’s cello suite, prelude in G major
“I was practicing it when my boyfriend came to visit me for the first time. l always thought I was very bad at playing this wonderful piece, but he was amazed and transformed by it. Later it was also him who encouraged me to take the grade 8 test even when I found I practiced the wrong version one day before the test. And I made it and passed with distinction in the end. Without him I could have given up. So this piece reminds me of many things like keeping calm, courage, be yourself when playing the music etc.”
Begin the Beguine – sung by Richard Tauber
“My stepfather sent this 78 recording to my mother during WWII from South Africa. It was maybe his only heartfelt communication. They married years later. But she always loved it. I listened as a child and after she died I learnt to play and sing it so I could sing to her even though she was dead. I love it because of its erotic promise and its completely self-contained prayer to the power of music, its admission to the pain of lost opportunity and lost love – and its complete surrender to reignited emotional power. It’s Cole Porter. It’s fun. It’s clean and it’s truly cathartic.”
Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Earl Scrugs)
“…is a super fast and joyful bluegrass number that my best friends would play when he was really mashed because it’s very fast and complex so he could gage whether he was still in command of his senses if he could still play it…After he died I would play it round and round in a loop (it never ends, only gets faster) and remember him at his most excited, loving life.
*Plus, for all its exuberance, that E minor still hits me in the heart every time it comes round.”
a) Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
b) The Dear Hunter – Waves
c) Dave Matthew’s Band – Crash (Into Me)
a) When missing dead dad
d) Tim Minchin – I’m there
d) reflecting on childlessness, cathartic
This may be ridiculous but my song is ‘Hold On’ by Wilson Phillips, which came on the radio when I was 16 and suicidal. It stopped me.
Days like this – Van Morrison
“there are going to be some shitty days but there are going to be some great ones. Keeps me pushing on!
This is a beautiful idea, thank you.”
Paul Grady – Arthur McBride
Tom Waits – Innocent when you Dream
Elisabeth Cotton – Freight train
And Diamonds on the souls of her shoes.
“All of these songs helped me through my hardest, most difficult time. Sorry I could not pick one.”
“Loved, loved, loved the show.”
1. Bruce Hornsby – the Way it is
Reason: it was playing when I found out my dad was dying
2. Badly Drawn boy – Pissing in the wind
Reason: when I feel sad
3. Beautiful South – Perfect Ten
Reason: Lifts my spirits when I want to die
I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a list.
* Sometimes when I feel horrible I can’t listen to music at all until I feel a bit better – the emotion runs too high
* I shall send a piece of music as I can’t find it right now!!! It’s pianoy though xxx
“Thank you for the lovely performance, loved every bit of it and such a great idea.”
Vecherai Rado (it’s a Bulgarian folklore song so there are loads of diff people singing it but I like Desislava Dobreva’s version) ❤
Christina Aguilera – Fighter
‘Odal’ by Wardruna
“This song is very special to me as wherever I am I can close my eyes and it will me home to my Norway. The trees, mountains, sea and family and friends whom I miss very much every day.
Thank you so so much!”
My song is a Christopher Robin Lullaby – so probably can’t be added! But thank you for such a heartfelt, honest, deeply moving yet light and careful show. The best theatre I have seen this year. Thank you.
Shake it out by Florence and the Machine
“I’d listen to it before every exam at university and jump around my room to shake away the anxiety.”
‘All my Loving’ by The Beatles.
“My mother (a huge fan in the day) used to sing to me as a lullaby – it is still my comforter.”
Follow or post on Twitter with #SurvivalPlaylist