Matt Kinnison 1965 – 2008

Love, loss.

Matt Kinnison died on May 7th.

My world is a much lonelier place.

He was a musician of enormous, astounding, jaw dropping talent; seriously amazing with whichever instrument he chose to play (Bass, Trumpet Marine, Yayli Tanbur…) He was in bands (Bunty Chunks, Cindytalk), but also worked alone (His beautiful album of Yayli Tanbur “Evenings of ordinary sand” is due to be released.)

Music was his passion and focus, but he was multi talented, had creativity in abundance, and was also an artist, and a writer.

He took great care and time over all his work. He designed his cd sleeves, handmade birthday cards, penned elaborate hieroglyphs and strange cartoons, he made his own wrapping paper, scanned images that caught his eye.

He was sharply smart, uncompromising, stubborn, and hilarious.

He loved coffee possibly more than anyone else ever. He drank so much of it (from beans that he ground himself) it was ludicrous. He was also keen on dinosaurs, buns, soft toys, elephants, robots, komodo dragons, Lindt chocolate and The Hoobs.

He was an intellectual who managed to get hooked on “Neighbours” for a while.

He was very stiff upper lip, but sang songs to his toys.

He was super polite, but could be ultra withering.

I love words, and his, spoken and written, were extraordinary. Emails from him were a joy: lengthy, thoughtful, fiercely funny and witty. He had a real way with words: as clichéd as that phrase is, for him it rings true.

We had a joint Live Journal for which he occasionally wrote bonkers pieces that made readers who didn’t realise that we were 2 different people assume I had lost the plot.

I also had him open a Facebook account, just so that we could play scrabulous. He became rather addicted to it; we often had a couple of games on the go. We still have two unfinished.

He had a pain in his shoulder which got increasingly severe. The doctors thought it could be a strain. We assumed it was too much time hunched over that bass. They sent him for physio, acupuncture, blood tests galore. It took them several months before they discovered it was in fact a tumour on his lung. He endured radiotherapy and chemo. Then more pain. The cancer was aggressive and fast, it invaded his bones. 

I thought we had more time, but it all sped up. 

He was so supportive of me, my life, my writing, he was my very own cheer squad. He was insightful, helpful, and generous. 

I really wanted to try to honour him here, but I have no words for this loss, this ache. 

He was truly unique, quite eccentric, and it was a real privilege to be his friend.

In one of his emails he told me that “We must clang on, sad faced or not.” And he is right, we must. But I am so sad faced, and so sad hearted. 

He has been part of my life for over twenty years, it is going to be very strange without him.

I will miss him always.

Rest in peace and in love Matt. 


15 thoughts on “Matt Kinnison 1965 – 2008”

  1. hi sara… beautiful memories of a truly special man.we won’t forget him,he’ll travel with us wherever we go…love to you,take care.cinder x

  2. Sara, I am so sorry for your loss, what beautiful words you wrote about Matt, I feel as though I had met him through that. He sounds like a wonderful person.Tania

  3. Gordon, thanks for your own words. No, we won’t forget.Big hug to you.XTania,Thank you for your comment, it is appreciated.

  4. I never knew Matt personally but I remember one of his parcels to Gordon when he was here in Japan once.The mysterious calligraphy,the beautifully exotic tunes,the soulful paper,with a suggestive incense smell…Through Cindytalk,I came to know about him and I am wishing him all the best,wherever he is now.

  5. spaewaif – yes, he paid such attention to detail, his handwriting was very distinctive, the paper or card carefully chosen, and everything always came with that waft of incense.Thanks for dropping by.

  6. Oh no. I am so so sorry to read this. He seemed like a very cool person indeed. This is so unbelievably crap. Take care petal. Big hugs. x

  7. Hi SaraI am so sorry to hear this. Please have a huge cyber hug.I am no good at saying the right thing at times like this, so won’t try. But I’m sending you my love.Vxx

  8. Sara – thank you so much for the update the other week on facebook. So it was you who was responsible for Ma Wellpost getting an account, eh? I remember his blurb on his short lived myspace page which was very, very funny. He made me laugh a lot. You also reminded me of the bi-weekly rehearsal CD’s he sent which always had that distinctive hand writing and a little picture of some description. Once, a bright orange flyer type thing with a picture of a soft toy eating a biscuit. Very Matt and very funny. I’ll never look at a vegan gummi bear again without thinking of him. Not that i often look at vegan gummi bears mind you…

  9. Hi Andie…Yes, Matt on facebook with his blue x-ray passport pic…I am the one responsible. He was amazed himself at just how much he loved to “scrab”.

  10. HiI’m sorry for your sad loss. I knew Matt many years ago, he lent me a bass for a couple of weeks and got me hooked — I’m sure he would have have some withering comments about my feeble efforts ever since! He had a rare, offbeat intelligence and an incredible sense of humour. I lost touch with him more than 20 years ago, but hearing that he has gone makes the world a sadder place.

  11. I was so shocked to hear this. I use to visit Matt above a shop where he lived and even though I tried to arrive after midday i always thought I’d just woken him up. He would listen politely to my dodgy demo tapes and make polite comments whilst brewing coffee. He was always alive in my mind and I wondered where he was and what he was doing. It is a great shame (on me) that I find out what he has been up to in the event of his death. He actually helped me play bass at one point when I was at University and it became a favourite instrument. He also gave me on one of my midweek visits a small roll-up and said to smoke it when I had a few hours spare. He was right – it did need a few hours . I just wish Matt that you had some more…..I hear there might be an album coming out….that would be great to listen topeace and loveA

  12. Sara,Thank you for your wonderful and very touching words aboutmy dear brother Matt – he wasunique and as you so warmlysay, greatly gifted. I’ve only just seen a copy of your tributeor would have posted this muchearlier – what lovely times wealways had discussing Stockhausenand ‘Cell Block H’……… Thank you.

  13. Hello again,Sara.I didn’t really know how to get in touch with you so I am sending my msg here.I have just posted a comment on my blog regarding Matt’s memorial.I have included a link to your blog with the letter that was included in the pack.I hope you don’t mind.Please drop by if you have some time.Regards.Maria Jose/Spaewaif

  14. Hi Sara,it was a great day at the museum,and free food! I wish I’d taken along more pockets now, that stuff kept me going for days (pocket cream cheese does tend to get smelly though, and fluffy)juskidn, too late now though you have that image in your mind. A big thanks to those who made it happen, it was mostly a sad-free day, although it did break through a couple of times. I’ve know Matt for almost 20 years even though I didn’t see that much of him during that time outside of rehearsal rooms, and know him as a great musician so I learned new stuff about him at the memorial, and it was of course, just like Matt, non-religeous. Your words about Matt were touching, thankyou also.Paul

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