With autumn now in full swing, there's a different feeling in the air. Gone are the warm summer nights. As we move forward into less daylight and attempt to bypass elements of seasonal depression, it's important to ask: do you have any special music you turn to this time of year?
This past month, I've really fallen in love with the music of Suzanne Ciani. Particularly the albums Seven Waves (1982) and The Velocity Of Love (1986). There's also something captivating and uplifting about her appearance on the television show 3-2-1 Contact, which you can view below. I used to watch this show as a kid! Talk about a nostalgic blast from the past.
“The Romantic movement was built upon the idea of nature as the salvation of the mortal soul and the mortal imagination, with poets penning odes to high peaks just as industrialization was beginning to choke its way through Europe. Wordsworth wrote of a fusing of ‘the round ocean and living air, / And the blue sky and in the mind of Man.’ Beethoven would literally hug a linden tree in his backyard. He dedicated symphonies to landscapes and wrote, ‘The woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs.’ Both men were speaking of a melding of inner and outer systems. It sounds a bit woolly, but they were auguring the explorations of twenty-first-century neuroscience, of human brain cells that sense environmental cues. Our nervous systems are built to resonate with set points derived from the neutral world. Science is now bearing out what the Romantics knew to be true.”
With or without headphones, there is an abundance of music to be heard. This past summer and early fall, the birds have been the stars of the show. Sometimes I play music at a low volume in my headphones, trying to strike the right balance. Gentle music that won’t drown out the wind in the trees. Lately an artist named Suzanne Ciani has shined bright in this role. But more on her next week. For now, I’m going to include some North American birdsong below. 🐦
For many, Monday signals a return to the work week grind. It can come with its fair share of emotions. A push and pull of yearning for the freedom and revitalization often associated with the weekend, coupled with the drive and determination to access a productive and optimized flow state. A work week that leaves you getting ahead in what you seek to achieve, without sacrificing your well being or humanity.
The right music can help prevent a workspace from becoming draining, boring, stale, or devoid of human spirit. Recently, I was introduced to a phenomenal album by my dear friend Tim Berrigan. It's called "playing piano for dad" by h hunt, and I find it to be a highly replayable piece of music that suits the workspace exquisitely. Mellow, warm, and intimate, it can speak to your soul without bombastically interrupting your focus on other tasks. Read on for a bit more about the album, and if you need something new for your headphones, I encourage you to seek this one out. I put a link to the music in the comments section.
"Recorded in one comfortably-seated take at Studio Ferber, Paris, France in 2015 - h hunt’s ‘playing piano for dad’ was initially conceived as a Christmas gift to the composer’s father. Intimately recorded, it is a heartbreakingly gorgeous & sincere work of eleven vignettes which capture even the most nuanced sounds of the recording session - the composer’s breath, the shifting sounds of the piano pedals, the ambient noise and conversation within the studio. With minimalist tendencies, h hunt’s compositions are earnest and heartfelt."
I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this phenomenon, but in recent years many long lost, overlooked, and underappreciated works are being discovered and exalted by way of the “YouTube algorithm.” Long out of print musical treasures from continents thousands of miles away are being beamed into the homes and workplaces of those seeking glorious sounds. In many cases, they are obscure and unavailable on major streaming platforms like Spotify.
“Endless Tide” has become a treasured work here at Harmony Integrative. If you need to unwind and disconnect from the pressures of the world, put this on, close your eyes, and let it transport you to a special universe. A lot of us are stuck behind computers for several hours a day during the work week. If you seek to stay focused and productive within your technological framework without losing your sense of the higher self, play this through headphones at low volumes to help steep your daily grind in a more transcendent atmosphere.
Lately I’m thinking a lot about the mixture of music and nature. Here, the harp swirls and creates a meditative experience, eventually melting away and seamlessly blending into ocean waves lapping at the shoreline. It can be blissful.
the feeling you get when you're looking for the next song to really connect with whenever your head strong there's always a playlist always a lost gem to get you through phases and then when you find it, you're outta your head your into the skyline and centered again
Above is a set of lyrics I wrote yesterday while working on a new song. Music is a very special gift. Life can be difficult at times. My hope for you is that in every phase of life, you can pull from the infinite well of sound and rhythm, and in doing so, you can be empowered to carry on and weather the everchanging forces this world presents.
Head over to the Lesson Resources section of the site to check out a new 3/4 backing track that was added today!
"Here's a fun beat for playing in 3/4 waltz time. There is a lot of syncopation in this one. Not every drum part is hitting on the strong beat. Have fun grooving along with it! The tempo is 135 BPM. This is an example of a composition made using the Supermoon drum beat."
Watercolor + gouache painting by eldowho. Right Click it and hit "open image in new tab" to see it in glorious detail.