1 – The Burroughs book that my colleague was holding when he said “Look, it’s Matt…”? Turns out it’s subtitled “A book of the dead”.
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.