Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, MUSIC

The bardo – dedicated to Joshua

Every now and then we do some daring things.  And this is one of them

This is about music that comes from another place or part of ourselves.  In 1999 my teenage son suicided.  A short time after I decided to express my emotions through music and I locked myself in a room for an hour with a guitar, an ADAT and a mixer.  I recorded what at the time was to be a solo guitar piece called ‘the bardo’.  The bardo is a Tibetan Buddhist term that I call the ‘gap between the worlds’.   The piece is rather loose in structure and it is in DADGAD tuning.  I felt the piece wasn’t quite finished so I recorded the second track. It was hard to follow the first track because it is quite loose because  I had never considered adding any other parts..   I happened to have a  synth  module on hand, so I recorded a few effects that represent the sounds floating around in the Bardo.

I built the guitar at a guitar making workshop in 1994, it has a Dana Bougeois pickup system and it plugged straight into the desk.  There is a bit of distortion here and there because at the time I was more interested in quickly capturing the emotion that wanted to come out and not overly interested in audio fidelity at that moment.

I have uploaded the audio file.   It’s a musical poem of the heart and I’ve only ever played it to a couple of people because of the fragility of the situation.

There is a gentle eeriness to it but that’s fine I guess.

It can be downloaded from this address

The best option on a windows machine is Right Click> save Target As> decide where you want to save it > save >

or If  SNAP Shots (which works in conjunction with Adobe Flash player) is runing on your computer, when you mouse over the player an option to play the file will pop up .

Tony Hogan


Worlds Best Acoustic Guitar Blogger

50 thoughts on “The bardo – dedicated to Joshua

  1. This is the second time I’ve come back to listen. It’s simply beautiful. I can’t qualify it any further.

    Wow, this time it’s playing on my windows media player, so I can save it. Now you’re a part of my household!

  2. Thanks K

    Hope you enjoy it… the original idea for this song came out of me in the South of India and it grew into a song for my son.

    For me, it’s like looking into another world


  3. Tony, that is really beautiful, touching music. I’m very glad you rang back last night, keep pursueing your breakthroughs! Ironically it is our youngest daughter’s 18th today. At times we complain about our kids’ behaviour and traits. However, after reading your news I have nothing to complain about. We all have a message for each other and you had one for me. Thank you.

  4. Agreed this is good.

    Funny before I came across your site I was reading some other information and on the television, that’s watching me, was the American Legacy Guitar By Esteban (infomercial). I was actually sitting her contemplating a purchase. Listening to you adds even more inspiration.

    Truly sorry about your lost, however, your son still lives through the words on this post and the sounds of your guitar.

  5. Hey Christopher

    thanks for the nice words.

    no need to be sorry…the things we love live in our hearts


  6. Thanks Chez. i really apreciate your comments and I’m sure it’s possible to capture emotions in music.


  7. I am adding a comment that came thru my email about the piece of music. It comes from a friend Alan that has been my best friend for 34 years

    Antonio…I listened to the piece you posted, you’ve done with music what was perhaps too difficult to put into words and more importantly where words just can’t express the emotion that come from the depths of our being. It’s beautiful and sad.

  8. Its a beautiful song and sad and soulful and ….all the things music should be evocative and spatial- honest. listening too it on my new mac book …glad that you have made it into the digital void we should fill space with beauty….love is eternal xxxxx

  9. thanks for dropping by Sally

    Sally manages an outstanding band called gotan project. Check them out at

    gotan are not an acoustic guitar band, but if you want musical inspiration nit’s worth listening to lots ovarious styles

  10. great to have james lee stanley drop in to my blog, acoustic guitar players that have ben around for a while will know him

    read this excerpt from his blog :

    I’ve shared the stage with Stephen Stills, Robin Williams, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, Bill Cosby, Steven Wright, Nicolette Larson, Poco, Dionne Warwick, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Sandra Bernhardt, Robin Trower, the Dixie Dregs, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Ramsey Lewis, Jeff Lorber, Cecilio and Kapono, Michael Smith, John Hiatt, Corky Siegel, Tom Dundee, Batdorf&Rodney, Tom Paxton, Mary Travers, John Prine, Commander Cody, Peter Tork, Phil Collins, Art garfunkel, David Crosby, Leo Kottke, and John Batdorf. And maybe a hundred others too numerous to mention.

  11. That is such an exquisite piece of music Tony. It just melts my heart – really it does. You most certainly know how to access that place inside that holds it all – thanks for taking me there.
    Lots of love, Krysia

  12. Touching! Having 4 daughters I can understand! As a Christian I believe that once we are united to God through His Son Jesus Christ, The first death, while painful to those left behind, is the continuation of Eternity with God and all who are in Him by faith.
    Grace and Peace,

  13. Very sorry to hear of the passing of your son, Tony. The piece has good atmosphere, with a kind of restless undercurrent, portraying emotions of conflict.

  14. Tony,
    The track is amazing…
    I can see you sitting in the room, like Antonio Banderas, hunched over your guitar, lamenting, crying, grappling with God. There’s so much emotion there…you did great.

  15. it’s beautiful that we can express our feeling, hurt, sadness via artistic and creative means. i don’t know what your personal beliefs are, and i probably will never be able to understand what you are going thru and what you went thru, but wanted to say thanks for sharing your song and your story.

  16. I’m listening to it right now (the first time I’ve heard any of your music, I’m embarrassed to say) and it’s quite beautiful.

    I think the greatest of all the great things about music and art in general is that beauty can be brought out of our darkest, most painful experiences (I don’t think Beethoven composed the 9th Symphony in spite of his deafness. I think he needed to compose it because of his deafness).

    Namaste to you and yours.

  17. A really deeply moving piece, Tony. Listening to it has really cut me up.
    I really hope it helps you cope with the pain, and helps preserve his memories.
    I think the people’s comments here say it all.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hej Tony
    Thanks for sharing it with me, a piece of music truly from the heart, I was really moved by it…..

  19. That is such a beautiful peice.
    My hair literally stood on end through the entire song.
    The guitar seems to have been a more effecite medium to communicate your feelings than words could ever be. It’s such a good thing you play. I’m glad to have heard this.

  20. Please accept these tears as an expression of our shared humanity. …and thank you for sharing this most poignant piece. It is, I am sure, a fitting tribute to a fleeting and beautiful life.
    I must reacquaint myself with Buddhism – long overdue. In fact my own son, just 15, who has recently got himself into a bit of trouble at school, has said he wants to learn to meditate, so I will visit the Buddhist Centre, taking him for the first time. Your tribute to your son is an inspiration not just to my son and I, but to all who share it with you.

  21. So very hauntingly beautiful and soulful..cried a lot…notes resonating straight to the heart….love never dies…

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