A Letter to God
‘A Letter to God’ was written 2 months after Jenna lost her brother Luke to suicide in 2015.
It was originally written as a letter in poetry form, addressed to God listing the main reasons why Luke should be returned home.
- His daughters. 2. His mother. 3. His father. 4. And his sister, Jenna.
The first chorus dwells on the sense that surely her brother didn’t understand the ups and downs of life, which resulted in him living with struggles he could not overcome, whilst the second chorus flips to first person, now with her brother gone the result is living with a struggle she cannot overcome.
It was then transformed by forming the structure on her brothers acoustic guitar that was left to Jenna. The song was roughly recorded in 2017 though didn’t feel right for Jenna as she desired to capture her emotions of her experience, and this version didn’t do it justice.
When the Covid 19 pandemic hit and Victoria was in lockdown, time to create was at its peak. With curiosity surrounding the hire an artist app, Fiverr, Jenna put up an ad asking for a piano player to covert her vocal notes to create a melody. The idea behind it was to create a result that was light, delicate and childlike, like the sound of a nursery rhyme.
Yaffri Pakpahan from Indonesia replied and they both started collaborating endlessly, forming a friendship online that would instantly remove the app in between them.
The piano was recorded and the first idea was to make the track a vocal and piano track only, with the idea of having multiple vocals to give it a choir feel. As this went on, Jenna couldn’t shift the feeling of adding big, roomy toms to help deliver the emotion of the nonlinear waves of grief. Wanting the song to be dynamic, heavy synthesised bass was added, multiple guitars with heavy reverb and around 40 layers of Jenna’s vocals, with highs and lows to make portions of the song to sound like an ambient church choir. At the beginning of the song, there is a low grumbling sound, it is her brothers didgeridoo that his friend played to honour him at his funeral and the audio was converted from an almost lost video.
As Jenna didn’t want the outcome of the song to sound flat or morbid, which was challenging due to the nature of the sensitive topic, she recorded birds and the ocean to create a sense of realism and peacefulness.
The music video to ‘A Letter To God’ shows the rawness of a grieving mother, a dying father, and real photos of her brother Luke with his children, his mother, his father and Jenna. The end of the video has a message to those who are feeling suicidal with methods to reach out, in hopes to help those in a similar situation to her brother Luke.