Respite Open Thread – Music Calms

I’m thankful that I have the piano to go to when I’m too stressed. It can be magic.

I had a lesson today that went very well. I usually have lessons every week, but last week I simply wasn’t prepared.

On Monday, this distracted me from Trump’s craziness.

I’ve got only one run to smooth out to have it all.

It’s hard not to buy too much sheet music. A while back, I bought Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’ve started working on the aria, but Glenn Gould has me convinced that every note is an essay in itself.

What kind of music calms you? Do you play an instrument?

 

 

 






122 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Shrillhouse says:

    I play guitar and piano.

    I suffer from mild depression and fairly severe anxiety.

    Music brings great joy to my life, and is basically the only reason I get up in the morning.

  3. 3
    Michael Cain says:

    I no longer play. But when I did, playing is one of those things where you can’t think about anything else while you’re doing it, buying a half-hour or so respite from all the problems.

  4. 4

    Native American drums and flute is my go-to Pandora station these days.

    I play the guitar, but it’s been a solid year since I’ve done anything but dust it off. :-(

  5. 5
    mongo says:

    I play woodwinds, so first on my list would be anything by the marvelous Dr. Michael White. OTOH, there’s some intense music that does the trick (kinda like Ritalin for the soul?) — for example, “Bad Woman Blues” by the equally wonderful Beth Hart. :-)

    Peace,
    mongo

  6. 6
    JanieM says:

    I used to play the piano, but I don’t have one anymore. Also the fiddle — for a few years in my forties, with a local contra dance band. I was also an accompanist for the school choir and a couple of plays in high school, and played the organ at church after the Catholic Church switched to Masses in English and actually started singing hymns. My piano teacher was the church organist and choir director, and now she needed someone to play at every one of the 6 or 7 Sunday Masses, so she recruited us teenagers and taught us enough of the organ to get by.

    My listening tastes are kind of random, mostly folk music but a lot of other random stuff thrown in.

    This is one of my very top favorites, not because it’s calming but because it’s happiness-inducing. Besides the fact that hearing the music raises my spirits, the musicians all just look like they’re having such a good time! And that was the best part of playing music back when I did: when it all gelled, and we were making magic together.

    ETA P.S. the link is to Apollo’s Fire playing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3.

  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    I played piano for years, but finally had to give it up due to severe RA damage. I miss it all the time. There’s nothing like struggling and struggling with that last section, being mad because you can play the other 90%, and practicing it over and over, feeling hopeless, then finally getting it. I still have a stack of music a foot and a half thick I need to pass on somewhere.

    Bach and Glenn Gould are amazeballs separately or together.

  8. 8
    Mike J says:

    Sad music news. Kim Shattuck died.

  9. 9
    Msb says:

    Voice is my only instrument, and the one I like best to hear. For calming I use Thomas Tallis’ motet, Spem In Alium, with its 40 (yes, forty) parts. My favorite recording (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cn7ZW8ts3Y) has a big Skip in the middle …

  10. 10
    zhena gogolia says:

    The piano is my lifeline. I used to play mostly classical, but my husband enjoys silly pop music, so I have gone overboard with buying collections of schmaltzy arrangements of show tunes, jazz, and pop.

    I have to admit that one of the most soothing composers for me is Andrew Lloyd Webber. Snark away!

  11. 11
    justawriter says:

    I am (was?) a chorister. I love singing with other people. My favorites include Carmina Burana, some funky 20th century stuff that nobody’s bothered to record, the aural candy floss that is John Rutter, and of course, Bach and Mozart. Also something of an old folkie (miss you Harry) with a motto that an OK folk song is one I can sing, a good folk song is one I want to sing and a great folk song is one I have to sing. Circumstances have kept me away from my old choirs for four or five years now, and it sucks.

  12. 12
    zhena gogolia says:

    For listening, I love Pedro Guerra, and this guy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbU_WihZMeY

  13. 13
    jl says:

    Thanks for nice music.

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    @zhena gogolia: Snark!? No way. Jesus Christ Superstar is my go-to when I need some serious catharsis.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @justawriter:

    I think you underestimate John Rutter! Very skilled composer.

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    hilts says:

    These are the first 2 that spring to my mind

    Beethoven: Piano Sonata no 8 ‘Pathetique’ 2nd movement
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAAsth8eLps

    Harp Concerto in B Flat Major, Op 4, No 6, HWV 294 – First Movement by Georg Friedrich Händel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEKdxLrbSiU

  18. 18
    zhena gogolia says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    “Listen, Jesus . . . “!!!!

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    thank you

  20. 20
    J R in WV says:

    I play piano, but after a couple of years of the traditional etudes style of piano work, my teacher asked if I would rather learn improvisation, jazz, big band, etc. So then I learned chord structure, how to read the melody with chord notation and make it sound like music. In high school two other guys in HS band and I did piano/bass/drums and played in local lounges on Friday and Saturday nights for an hourly rate and tips. We were young, so had to have a parent along for the ride.

    Now I can get a piece of music, think Grateful Dead which had really complex chord progressions, and play the song with just the melody and the chord notation above the melody line. Although I’m not as practiced as I would like to be. I used an electronic synth keyboard for some time, and then more recently got us a real small grand piano, Korean, which sounds pretty good.

    Thanks for reminding me that playing music is a respite from stress!!!

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    I really need to get an oboe again. Unfortunately the one I could settle for is still $7000. And the one I would make my precious is north of $12K. But oh man do I miss making a horn sing. That includes the tuba.

  22. 22
    JanieM says:

    @zhena gogolia, @TaMara (HFG). I’m with TaMara! I love schmaltzy arrangements of show tunes.

  23. 23
    delk says:

    As a good Polish boy from the south side of Chicago my first instrument was the accordion. I attended the Academy of Accordion on 59th just west of Kedzie. In addition to the usual polkas, Galveston, Fascination, and The Alley Cat Song were my ‘stand up in front of the relatives’ show pieces.

    I also have been playing guitar for about 45 years.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m trying to teach myself guitar. (As everyone here knows.) And this is the most beautiful and calming music to me: You’ll Never Walk Alone from Carousel.

  25. 25
    joel hanes says:

    What kind of music calms you?

    Bach
    Vivaldi
    Torelli

    blue Ella Fitzgerald

    and San Lorenzo, by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
    the version from the album is apparently no longer on youtube, so this live version
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJPUZX45_sA

  26. 26
    ThresherK says:

    Guitar, had organ lessons in my youth. (We had an actual pump organ when I was a kid.)

    I am left-handed and self-taught, and it all shows.

  27. 27
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Mary G:

    It’s absurd how that man makes that music sound the way it sounds and the way that music seems to fit a man so perfectly.

    Saxophone for 14 years, chorus, choir, quartet for an additional 15.

    Now I just sing to my cat, Salad. He don’t give a shit.

  28. 28
    hilts says:

    Also have to include compositions as well

    Camille Saint-Saëns – Aquarium
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVpl-RNzdE4

    Vladimir Cosma — Sentimental Walk (Diva Soundtrack)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxjxoQ3JMF0

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @zhena gogolia: John Rutter is THE choir composer. I did so many of his works in college. Getting back to singing is high on the agenda for me.

  30. 30
    Wag says:

    My favorite thing about Glenn Gould’ Goldberg Vatiayions is how closely miced it is. If you listen carefully you can hear him singing along with himself, and can hear the pedals. It feels like you’re right next to him

  31. 31
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    Meant to mention that my piano teacher worked with Harry James back in the big band days, wrote charts for many big bands, wound up as music director for a name nightclub (Copacabana perhaps) in Manhattan, moved back to his home town to raise a family.

    He had a dance band and traveled from VA to northern WV on weekends, and did the music for the big Methodist church in town. Had to stay busy to make a living in a small town with music.

  32. 32
    Doc Sardonic says:

    Used to play many instruments but now mainly guitar. Amazing how soothing a 120 watt tube amp and a beat up Les Paul can be.

  33. 33
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha … I see you running down the wing!

    I prefer their original version that came after they knocked off Barcelona and revived a wonderful Socialist slogan!

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Depends on the level of calming required. Erik Satie and/or Louis Gottschalk and/or Philip Glass and/or Dieterich Buxtehude (his non-choral works).

    But then, have always been out of step with the majority.

  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    I played clarinet up through junior high. I was not very good, mainly because it was more my mom’s idea than mine and I didn’t put much effort into it.

    The music that mellows me out more than any is Steely Dan. Such a good mix of rock with some jazz influences and such fantastic musicianship. Love their lyrics, too. Especially “My Old School.” And all of Aja.

    But the thing that calms and soothes me most is reading. Big, thick histories, biographies and historical fiction. The bigger and thicker, the better. If you like such things, I highly recommend Margaret George’s series on Nero. The third book is coming out this month and I have it on pre-order. All of her historical fiction is really good (“The Autobiography of Henry VIII” is especially fun), but I think this series is a tour de force.

  36. 36
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Americana. Where rock n roll went to hide out.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: ALS. Shit.

  38. 38
    hilts says:

    Given all the insanity that’s been swirling around for the past week, I can’t think of a more fitting thread than this one.

    In addition to classical music, I have to include some jazz

    Stolen Moments – Oliver Nelson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbaGDDbpcQ4

    All Blues – Miles Davis
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-488UORrfJ0

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    Almost anything new, especially complex or unusual stuff. Basically music that demands my attention. I’m really accustomed to multitasking with music, and I have a good ability to memorize music, so I seek out music that makes that difficult to draw my attention away from other things. That may be live performances, covers, or just new genres. It’s all over the place.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @delk

    Alley Cat written by the awesomely named Bent Fabric.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I should pick up my violin from my parents’ house.

  42. 42
    RAVEN says:

    We just finished the 7th Country Music and Emmylou was prominent.Together Again.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    She shared a birthday with me and David Hasselhoff. RIP.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    I tore up my wrist about 25 years ago. Not sure i have enough range of motion left to play guitar, but I’m planning to take some lessons and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work, I’ve been good enough this year that I could ask Santa for a dobro and have some hope of getting it.

    I’ll get a transcription of “Giant Steps” and see if I can learn to play it. That should keep me occupied for at least the next 15 years.

  46. 46
    sfinny says:

    Just recently I have been looking at getting a keyboard or piano. I played piano from age 6 to around age 25, when I had to get rid of my baby grand because it was very hard to move from one apartment to another. So its been about 27 years since I have played regularly. But I think it would be a great relaxation to get back into it. Whenever I come across an idle piano I play a quick Fur Elise or ragtime, but having it at home would be a boon.

  47. 47
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you wouldn’t believe what autocorrect did to your post, which I’m sure had nothing to do with picking up a violin from your parents’ house.

  48. 48
    hilts says:

    This is probably a microscopically small minority opinion, but the Who once recorded a song that I’d include on any relaxation mixtape

    Welcome
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_gU-jdHqxM

  49. 49
    justawriter says:

    @zhena gogolia: Oh I agree. I just hung out with a bad crowd that thought if it didn’t sound like a scalded cat making love to an angle grinder it wasn’t modern music. (plus you have to throw in six useless time signature changes so the other composers won’t make fun of you) A lot of what I sang focused so much on dissonance that when I got to sing some Rutter, it was literally a treat. (I’m looking at you, Chichester Psalms (wonderful to sing though once you got it))

  50. 50
    K488 says:

    Playing, any keyboard music of Bach, and especially the organ works if I have access to an instrument. And Mozart, for obvious reasons. Brahms op 116 – 119. For listening, chamber music of Max Reger (just got a wonderful recording of the cello sonatas, in performances that I’ve waited 50 years to hear). And Schoenberg – anything, but especially the violin concerto. Hillary Hahn’s recording I waited 40 years for. This is the music that centers me, that brings me peace.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @hilts:
    This one is quite charming, too. Blue, Red and Grey

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @K488:

    K488 ain’t bad either.

  55. 55
    Louise B. says:

    Another singer here. Love to listen to the English choir, Polyphony, performing Morton Lauridsen’s music.

  56. 56
    Ken says:

    I play one-twelfth of an instrument. Ten quatloos to the first person to guess it.

  57. 57
    donnah says:

    My youngest son is an amazing pianist. He started picking out tunes on our piano at the age of four, started lessons at age eight, took lessons through high school and attended a school of the arts, majoring in classical piano. He switched from piano performance to education in college, but picked up voice, and his voice coach told him he had the lowest bass register he’d ever coached.

    Sadly, he drifted away from piano and now that he lives in his own apartment, our piano sits idle. I miss his practicing and performing and wish he could have continued his piano magic, but for now that part is on hold. He does sing in an a capella group and in a church choir, but those hands really belong on a keyboard.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ken: Hand bells.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    @RAVEN:
    Have you seen this? First Aid Kit performs “Emmylou” live, with Emmylou in the audience. Pretty special.

    Something in how siblings can harmonize that’s indescribably wonderful. (Never harmonized with mine, so….)

  60. 60
    Ken says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We have a winner!

  61. 61
    J R in WV says:

    @sfinny:

    I played piano from age 6 to around age 25, when I had to get rid of my baby grand because it was very hard to move from one apartment to another. So its been about 27 years since I have played regularly.

    All you keyboard players should be aware that Roland electronic keyboards are really close to a real grand piano, if you don’t have room for a a baby grand, or can’t afford one. I loved having a small keyboard that sounded great through the stereo. Plus those keyboards can do other instruments, like pipe organ, Hammond B3, bass guitar, stand up bass, etc, etc. Very fun.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    If this famous rending of the opening fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra doesn’t make you smile …

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    While I do not play, all of my children did through high school, two through college, and one through an MA in performance, but none still play, although my SIL is a professional pianist.

    When I really need to get my head on straight, I almost always go for Bach’s B-minor Mass.

  64. 64
    Inventor says:

    I love music, but am totally inept at making it. So I like to listen to it on one of my restored reel to reel tape decks. A lot of stuff I recorded from my jazz record collection and some “factory” tapes which usually sound superb.

    Chico Hamilton is a favorite.

  65. 65
    Jerry says:

    @Mike J:

    Sad music news. Kim Shattuck died.

    Yeah man, that really sucks. She was with the Pandoras for a few years, the Pixies for a bit, but I will always remember her work in the Muffs. That debut album is something of a wonder; pop punk, but with still an incredible edge. Rest In Power, Kim!

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ken: I worked with someone who played.

  67. 67
    PJ says:

    @Mike J: That is very sad. She had ALS, too, which is a really horrible way to go.

  68. 68
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Directed by stanley shitbrick

  69. 69
    hilts says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’ll second your nomination.

  70. 70
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    OT, but wanted to say I’m sorry you had to put up with Cacti earlier. I don’t know what happened with them

  71. 71

    Can’t have a music thread without mentioning this – I hope it’s good – but Rita Moreno!

  72. 72
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Made me recall the legendary Roland TR-808 drum synthesizer.

    [Roland founder] Kakehashi deliberately purchased faulty transistors that created the machine’s distinctive “sizzling” sound.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I didn’t have to interact with him. By which I mean to say: make good choices.

  74. 74
    Emma says:

    I learned to play the piano as a child but my hands were all wrong for it, really. But it left me with a passion for the instrument, especially the Beethoven sonatas. I actually studied sonata form so I could understand them better. And this is one of my absolute favorites.

  75. 75
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Tonights earworm:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpD4siBSUOE

    First album by Earth Wind, and Fire-when I first heard it it was like nothing I had ever heard before.

    Keep Your Head to the Sky, Indeed.

  76. 76
    mrmoshpotato says:

    I’m thankful that I have the piano to go to when I’m too stressed. It can be magic.

    So true.

    Enjoying the Danish National Symphony Orchestra playing some film music right now via YouTube.

  77. 77
    Mike in DC says:

    My mom, a near virtuoso level pianist, still teaches lessons at the age of 80, and still plays beautifully.

  78. 78
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: None of my business but I’ll say it anyway – they’re both big boys and have been around here a long time. Don’t bother feeling sorry for anyone.

  79. 79
    NotMax says:

    @mrmoshpotato

    Gotta link it. Hot stuff.

    ;)

  80. 80
    frosty says:

    Guitar. Picked up my roommates Fender Mustang in college and I could play it without blisters. So lots of electric stuff in the 70s and started learning slide ’cause I couldn’t bend the strings. Bought a resonator in the 90s and now I’ve got two Nationals and a Republic, all metal. I’m playing blues mostly: Elmore James, Ry Cooder, stuff from the 20s and 30s. 45 years at it now, and I’ve never been in a band that lasted more than a year. I’m thinking about bass lessons next summer. There’s too many guitar players but not enough bassists.

    But back to the OP: Yes, it’s a great distraction from the news.

    ETA: Coincidentally, just finished playing with a friend tonight. After a year we’ve got two songs nailed, and a couple dozen of “I really like this one, we should learn it” that are almost there.

  81. 81
    Ivan X says:

    I play drums, not especially well, but it helps for sure. But what really gets me out of my world in a good way is is writing and recording (or programming) songs, which I have only started to do in earnest in the last 12 months are so. I find few things as satisfying.

  82. 82
    frosty says:

    @Doc Sardonic:

    Amazing how soothing a 120 watt tube amp and a beat up Les Paul can be.

    Yow!! But I’d say the same about a Deluxe Reverb and an SG. Plenty loud enough for me.

  83. 83
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    It was me being nice. I consider Omnes and a bunch of others (such as you) internet friends. When Cacti attacked Omnes it pissed me off. However, your point is taken

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Don’t worry, I’ve pied Cacti. Fuck that asshole. Life’s too short for that shit

  84. 84
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    they’re both big boys

    It’s glandular—they cant help it! Be nice, dude.

  85. 85
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Doc Sardonic: @frosty: Twin Reverb and vintage Strat solve a lot of problems! Though they are not able to write this stupid post-hearing brief.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @Steve in the ATL: Neither of you have even seen me!

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    frosty says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I could ask Santa for a dobro

    The year I broke my right wrist I used a thumbpick. With that on the right and the slide on the left it doesn’t take a lot of motion. Give the dobro a try. Since it’s on your lap it won’t give you the wrist strain.

    I recommend Cindy Cashdollar’s DVDs to get started.

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    eclare says:

    My serene music is stuff that exhausts me, currently NiN and Ice Cube. Nothing like belting out an obscene rap song.

  90. 90
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: memo to file: subject has not located the cameras hidden in his home

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Um, okay then.

    Well, I have joined a gym and am working with a trainer. So there.

  92. 92
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How can you be sure?

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I am invisible. Well, translucent.

  94. 94
    burnspbesq says:

    @Louise B.:

    Polyphony are the shiz. Their recording of the Poulenc Gloria is the best there is.

  95. 95
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you should get that mole checked out too. Might be cancerous.

  96. 96
    JeanneT says:

    I recently commissioned a parlor guitar from a hobby luthier in West Virginia. The front is Alaskan yellow cedar, sides and back are black walnut from Michigan, soundboard and bridge are hickory: the neck is mahogany Martin style neck, but otherwise I wanted him to use North American woods. I’m looking forward to spending fall and winter evenings relearning how to play. I like to sing along with the guitar – mostly folk music by Greg Brown, early Dylan, Claudia Schmidt, Richard Shindell, and Cheryl Wheeler. There’s not much that makes me happier than a few hours of making music.

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    @sfinny: Where I live there are always pianos on Craig’s List begging for good homes, often for free. Not grands, usually, but nice ones nonetheless.

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    Louise B. says:

    @burnspbesq: everything they do rocks.

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    Fair Economist says:

    For relaxation I like instrumental/ambient New Age music, especially dark ambient. Some bite makes it tastier. I generally prefer a mix from a station or streaming, but some of the artists I particularly like are Steve Roach, Beyond Interval, Patrick O’Hearn, and Richard Bone.

    I took piano as a child but I don’t have the ability to make things sound good even if I can hit the notes. I do appreciate classical piano a lot as a result.

  102. 102
    dimmsdale says:

    Cheryl, a profuse THANK YOU for posting the Gould video. I have all but memorized his 1955 Goldberg, and had heard about this newer version, but never HEARD it; I love putting myself in the hands of artists like Gould, because he (and they, depending on who we’re talking about) have the power to lift you right up and over into a shared soul where creativity lives. I’m lucky to be able to see/hear live music (mostly baroque and classical) here, and as with the Gould video, being able to watch the musicians create on the spot is so revealing in terms of the expression and intention that go into the performance.

    Speaking of Goldberg, just yesterday I and 2 buddies were hacking through an arrangement of the Variations for 3 flutes, C, alto, and bass, and it was a messy but invigorating experience. Been playing something since I was a kid, sax, clarinet, and flute, still taking lessons from the best local pros who’ll have me, and still enjoying the challenge of getting better on an instrument.

    As to a memorable concert, here’s some video of a performance that knocked me out last year, some Handel, some Scarlatti, some Bach, beautifully played and sung; if you advance the video to about 48 minutes there’s a simply gorgeous rendering of the ‘Air on a G String’.

    https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/video/nybi-alchemy-fire

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    NotMax says:

    @mrmoshpotato

    Not too shabby.

    Howzabout some Gryphon?

  104. 104
    cope says:

    I have a nice 12 string guitar and a nice electric with a decent amp. Both sit mostly unplayed as my old fingers and old brain have forgotten most of the songs I used to play (folk, blues, rock mostly). I have started playing along to some YouTube videos of songs I like but, for whatever reason, I just don’t have the concentration to work at it studiously enough to get any better.

    Any song that I like makes me feel good and I like songs across a wide spectrum of styles. As for go-to performers or bands that can always perk me up, Leo Kottke is probably at the top of a pretty long list…not that I could EVER play any of his pieces.

    Note to self: play some guitar tomorrow after you turn your latest pepper crop into hot sauce.

    Self: will do.

  105. 105
    Kattails says:

    @Louise B.: Oooh-ooh me too!! (jumps up and down). Lauridson. Kings College Choir singing O Magnum Mysterium at a Christmas Eve service in a soaring medieval chapel, I should look up the architecture. Lux Aeterna; Les Chansons des Roses; Sure on This Shining Night. Ralph Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending. Just heard the other night as we (here) were saying goodby to Schlemazel and it was perfect, sh*t where’s my note @ the recording, the violinist so delicately understood the high notes disappearing into the air that I will forever associate this with him taking leave of us and that it was OK. That he is OK.
    I have an old upright piano taking up space. Tried lessons but simply don’t have the time, but it was such a thrill when something actually worked. I live close enough that if I don’t get to the Marlboro Music festival next summer someone needs to slap me. Mitsuko Uchida is the artistic director. Her recording of Schubert’s Piano Sonata D. 960 and the 3 Klavierstucke is beautiful.

  106. 106
    Don says:

    @Msb: If there is a more sublime 15 minutes than time spent listening to Spem in Alium, I don’t know what it might be. Thanks.

  107. 107
    prostratedragon says:

    I’ve played flute, guitar, and recorder, and sung in the church choir where we sometimes did some major music. The Faur#&233; Requiem was a favorite. Thinking of this right now:

    “Dido’s Lament: When I am laid in earth,” Henry Purcell, sung by Jessye Norman

    Dido was a legendary Berber queen and founder of Carthage. The Wikipedia article on her has a speculation that is interesting for our times:

    In Italy under the Fascist regime, her figure was demonized, perhaps not only as an anti-Roman figure but because she represented together at least three other “unpleasant” qualities: feminine virtue, “Semitic race”, and North African civilization. As an innocuous example: when Benito Mussolini’s regime named the streets of new quarters in Rome with the characters of Virgil’s Aeneid, only the name Dido did not appear.

  108. 108
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: Woah!

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    @mrmoshpotato

    Have had a warm spot for that album since it came out. They swing a mean sackbut.

  110. 110
    dimmsdale says:

    @JanieM: Great stuff! thanks for posting, love all the Brandenburgs (in particular these late period-instruments versions)–they look like they’re having fun, and being able to watch the communication among the players is inspiring (at least to me). Glad to know about Arcade Fire!

    Here’s a version of the Brandenburg 5, I especially like the harpsichord solo section, really expressive playing of what can be a fairly gymnastic rendering.

    Invariably listening to inspired music, e.g. from this thread, makes me want to go practice. So I’m off. Night, all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWQKLsAobKE

  111. 111
    prostratedragon says:

    I first heard this when I was 6. I knew what “pretty” was, but this taught me what “beauty” is.

    Symphony no. 7, Beethoven, Reiner, Chicago.

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    redactor says:

    Piano and guitar. Somebody said that the thing about Mozart is that the notes are easy, but the music is hard. Cannot disagree.

  113. 113
    JanieM says:

    @dimmsdale: Thanks back atcha. I will listen to the Brandenburg 5 tomorrow — heading off to bed now.

  114. 114
    BretH says:

    Daughter played violin for 5 years before deciding she wanted to play trumpet. I had been following her lessons and asked her teacher to keep coming and teach me.

    3 years later and I’m getting better enough to enjoy the sound I make although the real fun has been just learning something new at 60.

    Music for airports, Brian Eno.

  115. 115
    StringOnAStick says:

    Cello as a kid, then mandolin until I started having finger and thumb pain issues due to the high string tension so now I play ukulele and sing folk and some jazz. My husband is an excellent jazz guitarist and we both got into gypsy jazz, which is tough music and likely why I had to give up mandolin. I’m doing well with it on ukulele though. My husband ‘s latest tang ent is modern flamenco so I’m contemplating taking vocal lessons for fado, if I can find a teacher.

  116. 116
    patrick II says:

    Moonlight in Vermont
    Ronstadt and Sinatra . Enough said.

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    Kattails says:

    so inspired by the links many thanks. One last but I’m shit at linking, so google it. The Lark Ascending, Hillary Hahn violin, at the George Enescu festival. Was crocheting while listening/watching. Had to put handwork down the performance was crystalline, mesmerizing.

  118. 118
    prostratedragon says:

    @Kattails: Is this the one?

    “The Lark Ascending,” Vaughn Williams, Hahn

    Back in the day a Taiwanese office mate and I heard this piece while on coffee break. She exclaimed, “This is Chinese music!”

  119. 119
    Ivan X says:

    @eclare: Oh yeah, me too, except for me it’s just more industrial music – no one did disciplined rage like prime-era Ministry.

  120. 120
    dlw32 says:

    I used to play but lost track of it in college. I do recall that even strumming nonsense was relaxing.

    My son is a drummer in a band… or three bands really. I spent much of the summer listening to him play in one of the bands: the Noah G Fowler Trio (there are of course, four performers in the group…) in the Carlisle PA area. That was a unique pleasure.

    Here’s the thing that blows me away… because I’m old of course. When I was a kid to get your music published would seem impossible. I’ve already purchased a full album by one of the bands he plays with and a song with another. It’s amazing.

  121. 121
    sheldon vogt says:

    @Msb: Hope you had the chance to experience Janet Cardiff’s exhibit.
    https://ascmag.com/blog/johns-bailiwick/janet-cardiff-thomas-tallis-and-spem-in-alium

  122. 122
    JimV says:

    Trumpet in high school, taught myself harmonica and guitar in college and after. Blues is the only music I understand on an instinctive level and can play along with to records on first hearing. The parts of other music which I like best could as well be parts of Blues songs. Some early Beatles songs were semi-Blues, e.g., “Ticket to Ride”.Sadness is what music expresses best for me.

    I got a letter this morning, how do you reckon it read?
    It read, come home, come home. Woman you love is dead.

    So I packed up my suitcase, and made it on down that road.
    And when I got there, she was lying on the cooling board.

    I folded up my arms. Lord, I looked away.
    I said, “I love you, love you darling. We’ll meet on Judgment Day.”

    … “Death Letter Blues” by Son House

    I tried to write her a letter, but I laid that pencil down.
    My heart’s in sorrow, and the tears keep rollin’ down.

    …”Heart in Sorrow”, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.

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