A friend of mine recently demanded to know what I was listening to lately, and if perhaps I might enlighten him as to why I was listening to whatever it is that I am listening.
While such a question easily poses a problem for someone with as expansive tastes as mine, I was soon able to find an easy way to fulfill this request as I was waiting upon another friend of mine during the course of this afternoon. Something so perfectly simple: my little mp3 player that accompanies me from time to time – and I will merely transliterate the play-list, offering intermittent pithy explanations concerning individual tracks.
Therefore, here is today`s play-list – brought to you directly from my cheap-o mp3 player…
Alan Stivell – Brian Boru [track 01]
Alan Stivell – The Foggy Dew [track 02]
Bach (Johann Sebastian) – Air On “G” [track 03]
Bach (Johann Sebastian) – Jesu Joy Of Man`s Desiring [track 04]
Belle & Sebastian – Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie [track 05]
Belle & Sebastian – My Wandering Days Are Over [track 06]
Blind Willie Johnson – GOD Don`t Never Change [track 07]
Blind Willie Johnson – If I Had My Way (I`d Tear The Building Down) [track 08]
Blind Willie Johnson – Jesus Is Coming Soon [track 09]
Blind Willie Johnson – Let Your Light Shine On Me [track 10]
Blind Willie Johnson – Take Your Stand [track 11]
Chanticleer – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel [track 12]
EARTH – Tallahassee [track 13]
Gypsy Kings – Hotel California [track 14]
Led Zeppelin – Battle Of Evermore [track 15]
Loreena McKennitt – Greensleeves [track 16]
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird [track 17]
Mark Tindle – I Will Exalt You [track 18]
Moby – Natural Blues [track 19]
Morricone (Ennio) – Gabriel`s Oboe [track 20]
Nick Drake – Fly [track 21]
Orff (Carl) – Carmina Burana (O Fortuna) [track 22]
Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto #2 (in C minor) [track 23]
RHCP – My Friends [track 24]
Scourby (Alexander) – Caedmon`s Hymn (Old English) [track 25]
Shins – New Slang [track 26]
Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight [track 27]
Sufjan Stevens – All Good Naysayers [track 28]
Sufjan Stevens – Holland [track 29]
Vienna Boys Choir – Gloria (W. A. Mozart) [track 30]
Vivaldi (Antonio) – Oboe Concerto [track 31]
To be quite sure, this is indeed an eclectic set-list (to say the least) but there is much madness to my method.
While I was waiting for my dearest friend to finish an Exam, I walked out into one of the empty courtyards and stretched out upon the ground. Wrapped up in my warm overcoat while the raging Winter winds swirled about me, I listened to this play-list in its entirety – resting upon my back with my eyes closed tight.
An incredible experience. With the Music in my ears blocking out the roar of the wind and my eyes shutting out the light, it was soon that I felt as though I were floating… surrounded by the beauty of the sounds that were all around me.
From Alan Stivell`s rousing Irish patriotic songs Brian Boru and The Foggy Dew, through the pristine melodies of Johann Sebastian Bach into the gentle minstrels Belle & Sebastian, soaring across the searing preaching of Blind Willie Johnson which closes the first “movement” by the benediction of Chanticleer`s sacred hymn.
The second section is begun by such “mystical” tracks as those performed by EARTH, Gypsy Kings, Led Zeppelin, Loreena McKennitt, and even Lynyrd Skynyrd before being ushered into the main theme of the section as performed by Tulsa musician Mark Tindle, which brings the second “movement” to a close with a throbbing track by Moby and a gentle theme from Ennio Morricone.
The third and final section actually has a brief literary interlude with Caedmon`s Hymn, which follows the strangely mellifluous progression from Nick Drake to an epic movement from Carmina Burana through Van Cliburn`s masterful interpretation of one Sergei Prokofiev`s finest moments and to a funky ballad from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After Alexander Scourby`s mesmerizing reading, I slow down the tempo with some laid-back hipster minstrels like Sufjan Stevens (who seems to sing as quietly as possible) the Shins (who write terrible lyrics for incredible melodies) and the Smashing Pumpkins` magnum opus Tonight, Tonight – before ending the program with an uplifting chorale piece from maestro Mozart and the sonic tranquility of Vivaldi`s Oboe Concerto.
With the final notes from the “Red Priest” echoing within my dark transom, I arose and looked around me… feeling I had returned from a far-reaching journey, without having taken a single step.