The Who’s Pete Townshend and wife Rachel Fuller – seen here with ‘Elsa’ and ‘Peanut’ – are long-time visitors to Antigua.
Anyone who’s ever experienced the death of a beloved dog or cat knows the trauma and heartbreak is immeasurable. Musician Rachel Fuller – wife of The Who guitarist Pete Townshend and long-time visitor to Antigua – channelled her grief into a moving album to help fellow bereaved humans cope with the loss of a four-legged friend.
‘Animal Requiem’, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,was released earlier this year with proceeds going to animal welfare charities, including Antiguan rescue shelter PAAWS.
Here, Fuller talks to Luxury Locations Magazine about her harmonious tribute to our faithful, furry family gone but not forgotten.
How did Animal Requiem come about?
I’d recently finished writing a theatre musical which is now being developed in New York. I wanted to write something new and I’d always wanted to compose a requiem.
A requiem is really a mass for people who’ve passed but I wanted to do something slightly different. My husband and I had lost six dogs in five years, thankfully due to old age, but I suffered a lot of grief.
When I was 17, I worked as an organist in a local crematorium for two years and I’ve played for over 2,000 funerals so I truly understand the importance of the service. Of course grief is present primarily but it’s also about saying a proper goodbye, remembering the life of the person and also celebrating and giving thanks.
We don’t have anything like this for our beloved pets when they pass. The idea came from these different things coming together; a musical work to remember, celebrate and honour all the animals we have loved and lost.
How would you describe your relationship with animals?
Nuts. I love them. They complete me. There’s a ton of love in this body of mine and my poor husband could never take the full force so the overspill pours into my dogs.
Which pet had the most profound impact on you?
Every loss has the same impact, although losing my Yorkshire Terrier ‘Wistle’ last October was devastating because she followed me everywhere. She slept on my pillow for 13 years; the loss was deep. But honestly all of them break me for a while.
Read more in ISSUE 16 out 1st July 2019. Click here to listen to her new album - https://listnin.co/AnimalRequiem