Archive for the 'Music' Category

Dec 16 2015

Favorite Christmas CDs

Published by under Music

Here are some favorite Christmas CDs I’ve been listening to this year:

Handel’s Messiah
Still elevates my spirit every time I listen. To me, this music still evokes something holy about Christmas.

Nutrcracker Suite
The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy perfectly captures that quiet, barely contained excitement of Christmas Eve.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by The Vince Guaraldi Trio
Skating evokes that sleepy wintertime magic. Linus and Lucy. Schroeder’s Fur Elise.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Cyrus Chestnut & Friends
Takes Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas music and adds some spice and playfulness. Skating played on harmonica. Fur Elise as samba.

Downe in yon Forrest, by Kemper Crabb
Medieval and Renaissance Christmas music with a speedy tempo and a some unexpected flair. This one has grown on me to become a real favorite.

Noel, by Joan Baez
Joan Baez’s soaring voice singing Christmas carols. Christmas Eve, with a lit candle, listening to Noel — a perfect moment.

— What are you listening to this year?

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Mar 17 2014

Music: Andalusian Music – Oud & Guitar

Published by under Music

A little music for you today…

This music is a mixture of Arabic/North African and Spanish influences. We tend to think of Spain as being a land of Catholic uniformity, but let’s not forget that much of the Iberian peninsula was ruled by Muslims for several centuries. Prior to the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain in 1492, Spain was a land of rich and complex mixing of cultures and religions — Christian, Muslim, and Jewish — that produced amazing heights in science, philosophy, art, music, poetry, and mysticism.

This music is a sweet reminder to us. Enjoy.

One response so far

Jun 20 2012

Video & Music: Bach – Performed by Wood, Gravity, and Ingenuity

Published by under Music,Videos

A wooden ball rolling through a long marimba-like track beneath a forest canopy — playing Bach. Art, engineering, the beauty of nature. Stunning.

2 responses so far

Nov 08 2011

Music: Hor Vi Neevan Ho, Noori

Published by under Music,Videos

Shared by a friend. Sweet Pakistani grooves. Give a listen…

2 responses so far

Aug 01 2011

Video & Music: “Take Five” with a Twist

Published by under Music,Videos

Following this morning’s post on Sachal Sarmast, a friend from Pakistan shared this video with me from Sachal Studios — a reinterpretation of the classic jazz piece “Take Five,” made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Even if you don’t know the name of the song, you’ll probably recognize the melody. But something about hearing it played with sitar and tabla just makes you want to smile… and maybe get up and dance!

I found a related article on the NPR website you may want to check out: Pakistani ‘Take Five’ is the Best Selling Jazz Thing on iTunes

Apparently this has become one of the top selling musical downloads on iTunes. Once you’ve listened to it, you’ll see why.

In recent years, the movie industry in Pakistan has been struggling. And many of the country’s best studio musicians once employed in the industry have been forced to find new outlets for their talents. This is one of the more delightful examples. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Maybe it’s worth a trip to iTunes…

One response so far

Apr 13 2011

Music & Video: Amir Khusrow Dehlawi Qawwals

Published by under Music,Poetry,Videos

A few qawwals for you — the ecstatic devotional Sufi music of India and Pakistan — composed by Amir Khusrow Dehlawi, the “father of qawwali music.”

The first is performed by the late master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. If you’re not familiar with his music, then you have to give a listen. And if you are familiar with his music, then you know to give a listen…

A translation of the words sung:

You’ve taken away my looks, my identity, by just a glance.
By making me drink the wine of love-potion, You’ve intoxicated me by just a glance;
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles in them, Have been held tightly by you with just a glance.
I give my life to you, Oh my cloth-dyer, You’ve dyed me in yourself, by just a glance.
I give my whole life to you Oh, Nijam, You’ve made me your bride, by just a glance.


And next, a song of Amir Khusrow Dehlawi performed by Niyaz, with lead singer Azam Ali. Also a must listen…

A translation of the words:

Arise and prepare to rejoice
Let the wine take root in our cups
As would a flower in the soil
Let us become intoxicated with bliss
For till when shall we dwell in sadness
Those drunk with love
Will break this unending wheel of sorrow
For the treasures of the beloved
belong to those celebrating with us.

2 responses so far

Mar 01 2011

Video: I Thought of You, by Ryan Woodward

Published by under Music,Videos

I think this is lovely, a dance in sketches…

2 responses so far

Dec 28 2010

Video & Music: Satinder Sartaj – Sai

Published by under Music,Videos

A friend recently introduced me to this music video by Dr. Satinder Sartaj. Soaring Sufi vocals, uplifting words. And if you pay attention to the video, you realize that he features Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians… a vision of universal spirituality.

I am unable to understand
what name to give
this Player of swirling universes…

I hope you enjoy!

3 responses so far

Nov 11 2010

Video: Shivo Ham! Nirvana Shatakam by Shankara

Published by under Music,Poetry,Videos

It’s been too long since I’ve shared a video with you. This was sent to me by a reader, and I thought I’d pass it along. This is Shankara’s Nirvana Shatakam mantra, sung so sweetly by Uma Mohan. Watch for a few minutes and bring an easy, gliding meditation into your day…


Shankara, Adi Shankara Shankara

India (788 – 820) Timeline
Yoga/Hindu : Advaita/Non-Dualist

The video’s text is in Italian, but here’s an English translation:

I am not mind, not intellect, not ego, not thought.
I am not the ears, the tongue, the nose or the eyes, or what they witness,
I am neither earth nor sky, not air nor light.

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I am not the breath of prana, nor its five currents.
I am not the seven elements, nor the five organs,
Nor am I the voice or hands or anything that acts.

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I have no hatred or preference, neither greed nor desire nor delusion.
Pride, conflict, jealousy — these have no part of me.
Nothing do I own, nothing do I seek, not even liberation itself.

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I know neither virtue nor vice, neither pleasure nor pain.
I know no sacred chants, no holy places, no scriptures, no rituals.
I know neither the taste nor the taster.

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I fear not death. I doubt neither my being nor my place.
I have no father or mother; I am unborn.
I have no relatives, no friends. I have no guru and no devotees.

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Free from doubt, I am formless.
With knowledge, in knowledge, I am everywhere, beyond perception.
I am always the same. Not free, not trapped — I am .

I am knowledge and bliss.
I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Truly, I am Shiva, pure awareness.
Shivo Ham! Shivo Ham!

2 responses so far

Jul 12 2010

Music & Video: Arieb Azhar / Bullah Shah – What’s on the Tongue Must be Said

Published by under Music,Poetry,Videos

The link to this video was recently sent to me, and I immediately wanted to share it with you.

The poetry of Bullah Shah set to a sweet, sleepy groove. Na Raindee Hai… What’s on the Tongue Must be Said…


6 responses so far