MDR Selects – LUNA: Mono No Aware

MDR Selects, a new (old) series where we invite our favourite artists, record stores, labels and more to curate a playlist of songs that hold specific meaning to them. For our first edition, we invite LUNA to share her selection with us. 

“Have you ever felt both happy and sad at the same time? A feeling you can’t quite put your finger on, but it’s so strong it envelopes you entirely in that moment? I’ve experienced this quite a lot throughout the years; often when listening to songs that remind me of a particular time, looking through old photos, finding old letters… Almost like nostalgia. But not quite.

For a while I’ve been searching for a term that sounds most appropriate to describe this feeling but not had much luck. There has to be something, right? Recently I stumbled across the Japanese Mono No Aware (物の哀れ), which describes a ‘gentle sadness at the fleeting nature of life’ accompanied by ‘a sense of the transitory nature of beauty’. This feeling lies at the heart of Japanese culture, and they believe that accepting this impermanence can lead to a sense of joy in the present moment.

I suppose that’s how I feel when I listen to those old songs, or flick through those old photographs and letters… Each representing such a significant time at some point in my life, evoking a kind of sadness that that period is over and I will never get it back. Yet simultaneously, a comforting blanket of gratitude that it happened. Having said that, nothing can explain a feeling quite like music can. And so I selected a series of songs that I feel represent Mono No Aware.”



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