A GLASGOW guitarist and researcher is hoping his latest project will raise awareness of how music can help in times of loss.

Douglas MacGregor, whose mother died when he was seven years old, is donating proceeds from the first two weeks’ sales of his new album, Songs of Loss and Healing, to childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish.

“My mum died of cancer when I was very young but it wasn’t really until 25 years later that I started dealing with the suppressed grief I felt,” he said.

“As a child, no-one really spoke about death. I was not asked how I was coping, and her name was seldom mentioned.”

He added: “I just assumed sadness was part of life. And then when I was 31, I realised I missed my mum terribly and that was the start of it.”

Douglas said the experience “took over my life for a year."

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He added: “Throughout it all, music was the guide and lifeline.

“At the moment, the whole country is trying to cope with loss and for many people music is what will get us through.”

Now based in London, Douglas grew up in Strathaven, near East Kilbride. He fell in love with the guitar when his mum, Caroline, gave him one for his birthday.

“We used to listen to Bruce Springsteen together,” he recalled. “After she died, there was just too emotion there so I gave it up. When I was around 10 or 11, I got into Britpop and started lessons.”

While studying politics at Glasgow University, Douglas joined a local band, Punch and the Apostles, who were, he says, “known for our crazy, energetic live shows.”

He added: “Glasgow is a great city for music and creativity. The band scene back then, from around 2004 to 2008 band was fantastic.

“The band went to Berlin for a year, which was amazing, but eventually it just imploded and I came home. I’ve never stopped playing, though.”

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Since returning to London, Douglas has collaborated with poets, dancers, artists and filmmakers across the UK - his music video with videographer and academic Amy Cutler won a Best Foreign Experimental Film award in 2017.

While studying for a Masters degree in ethnomusicology, Douglas became interested in the relationship between music and grief. His new album grew out of that work and his own experience of delayed grief.

“Loss is such a complicated thing, but music does have a healing side to it,” he says. “Hopefully people will be able to connect with the album.”

Winston’s Wish provides specialist child bereavement services across the UK, including therapeutic support, a national helpline and training.

The charity estimates more than 100 children and young people are bereaved of a parent every day in the UK.