In Macbeth, Shakespeare writes, "Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak/Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break." Faced with loss, we must give voice to our feelings so that we can begin some semblance of recovery. For Alain Johannes, there was no other option. In 2008, Natasha Shneider, his partner in every sense of the word--in romance, in friendship, and in music--died of cancer at the age of 42. They had been together for 25 years.
Out of this grief came Jonannes' solo release Spark (Rekords Rekords). On display are all of the emotions Johannes felt after Shneider's death, from grief to anger to celebration. The album was completed in only four days; in his words, Johannnes was "pregnant" with the inspiration and ideas for it. It just had to be made, because the lyrics were ready to burst forth. He made Spark much for his own benefit: to heal, and to pay tribute to Shneider. But while the inspiration part of the process was easy, it came from a very raw state. As Dante wrote, "No greater grief than to remember joy when misery is at hand."Read More