Marissa Nadler - Somebody's Song

Musical Audio Tour 'Highlights from the Groninger Museum collection'

Marissa Nadler (1981) is an American dream-folk performer and visual artist from Boston. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. While discovering art techniques such as illustration, painting, bookbinding and woodcutting, she also began to develop her talent for writing. She taught herself to play guitar and to sing. Her songs are usually based on acoustic guitar accompanied by various instruments including organ and electric guitar.

Ballads of Living and Dying (2004)
The Saga of Mayflower May(2005)
Songs III: Bird on the Water (2007)
Little Hells (2009)

Georg Jiri Dokoupil
Jede Wolke ist ein Weg, 1981
oil on canvas, 135.7 x 357.1 cm

The painting appealed to me because of the strong delineation between heaven and ell that is depicted in the work. I realized that these stark extremes exist in all of our lives, and I thought about how they played a role in my own. For my song, "somebody's song", I thought about how one person can go through both heaven and hell and transform, nevertheless to be haunted by ghosts. We frequently float over peaceful blue serenity as well as the fiery red rings of despair. The song details how people can land in their own personal infernos if they take the morally bankrupt path in society. I suppose I saw so much good and bad in the Dokoupil that I internalized it into my own experiences. The cyclical nature of the song is also referential to the cyclical nature of life.