‘Part Of The Whole’ is the debut project by Jennifer McMahon. Beginning in 2014, and born out of loss and grief, the album was written as a form of therapy in a troubled time. The songs deal with the loss of a father, the breakdown of a relationship but ultimately, it offers a positive message about moving forward and finding one’s true north. This is a snap shot in the life of an artist who consistently seeks out new territories in life and music, who travels to boundaries within, in an attempt to understand the world outside. Part Of The Whole is vulnerable, inquisitive and it’s creation is reflective of the light we experience in the darkest times. Each song represents a memory now: the love of a father, the loss of a partner, a friend coming to terms with an emotional past, the innocence of a child in a world torn by grief, the hope of moving forward, the freedom of letting go.
The songs on Part of The Whole are efforts to reach out. They’re words I couldn’t say to the people I wrote about, my father, an ex-partner. It’s the offer of understanding to a friend, when I couldn’t find the words without a melody. Sometimes they’re words I, myself needed to hear; a way for me to understand myself , my experiences and to learn from them going forward. As my first artistic project, it has been somewhat of a compass to find my voice as an artist. I could work on it forever but, 4 years is already a long time! I’m ready for the next lesson. –Jennifer
Part Of the Whole refers to us, people: a daughter, a sister, a brother, aunt, cousin, parent, grandparent. Each only exist in the context of each other and as part of a bigger construct. Loss does not exist without first experiencing togetherness, sadness does not exist without happiness. Light, without darkness. From these experiences, new perspectives, new visions are born and in time,we may see our old perspective is merely a fraction of what we now know.
As an artist interested in reflecting on the process of creation, Jennifer also explores other means for creative expression. Thus, the music is part of the whole artist.
The project not only aims to find the ears for it’s music to touch but also, to create a community. It aims to reach out and connect. It asks for a voice, for you to represent who you are. It’s about connection and each accepting our part in the whole, whatever that may be.
The album alone features 20+ musicians from places as far apart as Ireland, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Lebanon, Serbia, England and Hong Kong, to name a few. Infused with elements of soul, contemporary jazz, free improvisation, odd metre samba, have a listen to the album teaser playlist here. If you like what you hear, please sign up to the mailing list for more info on the release.
9 parts will be unveiled throughout the release cycle of the project. Keep an eye out below.