Good morning. It's Thursday, April 16, and everything continues to be bleak and strange, but mixed in with all the bleakness and strangeness, there is also beauty.
The music of Tomo Nakayama makes us happy to be alive. "I know everybody's having a tough time right now, and the troubles of the world can seem immense and overwhelming," Tomo says. "I hope this song can help you."
The song is "Roscoe (What a Gift)," which he recorded with his old band Grand Hallway. Put on headphones and disappear into it:
The filmmaker Lynn Shelton once said about Tomo: "It was like the most transcendent experience I’ve had in a live music situation. Literally, at the time, I thought to myself, 'That voice in this space has to go into one of my movies.'" Which is how Tomo ended up writing music for Touchy Feely. He also turns in the most powerful performance in the film, even though the other people in it include Ellen Page and Allison Janney.
Born in Japan and raised in Seattle, Tomo is an artist whose melodic, complex, and emotionally compelling music has been praised by everyone from NPR to the New York Times.
What, you only like Christmas music? You're in luck.
Thank you for your message, Tomo, and for making so much beautiful work.
We are awestruck by your gifts.
Good luck today, everyone.
Previously in this series: