Angel Wings and Bria's Music Box

Posted on Jun. 3, 2016

(by Ghosty, for Bria with Love)

I'm sitting here spinning the lever of a wind-up music box that my dear friend Bria Magnin-Forster gave to me. The delicate lullabye tones twinkle over the whir of the winding gears. It is haunting and beautiful.

Bria was like that. Beautiful, but at the same time haunted. She'd sit in my living room playing the piano, inventing these breathtaking melodies that would tear at your soul.

Haunting and beautiful.

The first night I met Bria she was busking downtown. We had this immediate, profound creative connection. She played me a song she wrote called 'Roxy', a brilliantly crafted story about a sex worker's internal struggle.


I played her this song 'Angel Wings', which was little more than the skeleton of an idea at the time. It's a song about a girl's fall from grace. As the song unfolded over the coming months, I watched her fall from grace unfold as well.

Bria was selfless. She'd tell me about art projects that she'd conjured up in the hopes of reaching out to less fortunate souls. She loved to give gifts.

One night she showed me this music box she had. She'd create melodies on a paper strip with a custom hole punch and then roll them through the metal box, filling the room with magic.

It was the coolest fucking thing. One night, when I was deep in a struggle with some personal demons, Bria showed up unannounced with a gift for me.

She'd got me my own music box, just like hers.

I was touched.

It was a beautiful gift, a thoughtful gesture. It helped me chase my demons away.

Bria would call me when things were at their worst. When she needed someone to chase her demons away. But I couldn't. I'm not that tough. Bria's demons were fucking scary.

I wish I could have, though. And I like to think I tried.

Maybe I should have fucking tried harder...I don't know.

I'd been working on Angel Wings, but every arrangement kept coming up flat. Whatever the song wanted to be, I just couldn't trap it in a recording.

One evening I was contemplating the song and how it made me think of Bria. And I noticed the music box, just sitting on my desk.

I carefully punched out the notes of the songs melody and fed the paper strip into the whirring metal box.

And there it was.

Bria's music box painted the picture. The lullabye tones danced whimsically, delightfully over the dark devil rythym. Angel Wings became Bria's song.

Like her, it was haunted and beautiful.

---January 8th, 6:47 pm---

Hey are you there? Please write me.
I need a favour of epic proportions.
Do you know anyone who works with the Victoria film
festival or the public library?

Ummm no not off hand what're you trying to do?

I have a layout idea for the movie posters. Story-board esque. My dad volunteers but he's pretty set in his ways and I'm not always a take charge person when it matters I guess.
Anyway, how are you doing?

I used the music box in a song for my new record!

That's awesome, I stumbled across Ulysses at Lyle's place a while back. I like the look. What song did you put it on?

Its on my own record, song is called Angel Wings I may have played it acoustically for you the first night I met you.


That was the last time I ever spoke to Bria.

I never got to show her the finished track. I guess I wanted to save it until it was perfect, or make it special or something like that.

There's probably a lesson in there....something about not waiting when it comes to the people you care about because life is short and people can disappear.

And Bria disappeared just like that.

But I'll always have her music box and this haunted song that she never got to hear.

Teach me how to swim and teach me how to fly
Baby kiss them angel wings goodbye
Love is in the water, love is in the sky
Baby kiss them angel wings goodbye

Teach me how to roll and teach me how to ride
Baby kiss them angel wings goodbye
Baby kiss them angel wings goodbye
Baby kiss them angel wings goodbye

Goodbye Bria. I'll miss you.

With Love, Ghosty.