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

Dec 25 2009

Music & Video – Claymation Joy to the World

Published by under Music,Videos

I haven’t seen the Claymation Christmas Special on TV for years, but it’s one of my favorites. The Claymation version of Joy to the World is a work of beauty, shifting colors and clay collages…

Merry Christmas!

2 responses so far

Nov 19 2009

Video & Music: Trace Bundy Playing Pachelbel’s Canon

Published by under Music,Videos

Something about Pachelbel’s Canon is profoundly healing to the heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s performed in a classical style or in it’s most syrupy New Age version with dolphins in the background — it always works its soothing, healing magic.

Thought you might especially appreciate this unique one-man performance…

2 responses so far

Sep 14 2009

Music & Video – Rabbi Shergill – Bulla Ki Jaana Maen Kaun

Published by under Music,Poetry,Videos

I was introduced to this video by Johnny Mg Kwlmann, a delightful musical rendition of the recently featured poem by Bulleh Shah:

To Me, I Am Not Known

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Sep 07 2009

Music & Video – Rodrigo y Gabriela – Tamacun

Published by under Music,Videos

Something to get your toes tapping today. Give a listen!

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Aug 24 2009

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – Secret Language

Published by under Music,Poetry

Secret Language
by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks

Every part of you has a secret language
your hands and your feet
say what you’ve done
and every need brings in what’s needed
pain bears its cure like a child

— from Secret Language: Rumi A Celebration in Song (Music CD), by Ramananda

/ Photo by Per Ola Wiberg (Powi) /

I’m back. I want to start by thanking everyone who sent good wishes for my mother’s health.

The past couple of weeks have been among the most difficult of my life. Because of my mother’s brain cancer, she has been losing functionality and making erratic, potentially dangerous decisions, so we came to the difficult decision that we needed to check her into a nursing home. Having to face that choice was in itself wrenching since my mother has always been a very independent woman. Then I had to rush to establish power of attorney and take over her finances, track down all her bills, go through her paperwork, all while dealing with insurance and medical bureaucracy and, of course, visiting with my mother, comforting her, helping her to get settled in to her new environment. Then, in the midst of that, my uncle, a sweet, quiet man, died of a heart attack! The whole period felt like an intense meditation on aging, loss, and death — with way too much bureaucracy thrown in. (Some day America will get a sane healthcare system.)

But, through all of that, I was also blessed to have some profoundly moving conversations with my mother. Even amidst her surface mental confusion, she still speaks with an inner wisdom about what she is going through as she knowingly approaches her own death.

I may write more about this in the future, but it is all still a little too raw in my thoughts right now. And I still have paperwork to fill out. 🙂

Here is what I posted on Facebook recently:

Went to help my dying mother:
forms, frantic phone calls.
And sweet, meandering talks
on how to wrap up a life.

Back home, the last of summer’s roses.

I’ve been listening again to Ramananda’s CD “Secret Language: Rumi – A Celebration in Song.” Lines of Rumi poetry set to liquid grooves, with tabla, sometimes a breathy flute. When I first listened to the CD a few years ago, I didn’t at first “get” it. It was one of those CDs I had to listen to two or three times before I found myself saying, Wow, this is wonderful! Strangely, most of my favorite CDs are that way…

…every need brings in what’s needed
pain bears its cure like a child

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Afghanistan & Turkey (1207 – 1273) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Jul 31 2009

Music & Video – One Love Around the World

Published by under Music,Videos

One love, one heart,
Let’s get together
and feel alright…

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Jul 20 2009

Music Links

Published by under Music

If you receive the Poetry Chaikhana via email, you may have noticed that the links to listen to the music selections stopped working last week. CDBaby changed the format of their web site, and the “Listen” links in the Poetry Chaikhana emails no longer work. As a temporary solution, I have changed the links to take you directly to the CDBaby web page for the CD, and there you can click to listen to individual music samples. But I’m not satisfied with that as a permanent solution — too many steps.

When I have the time, I may have to completely redesign how the music selections work in conjunction with the Poetry Chaikhana. And it’s possible I’ll need to change to using for the music selections, instead. I like supporting the smaller company and the independent musicians and artists CDBaby represents, but it looks like I’ll be able to get the whole process integrated into the emails more easily with Amazon.

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