I’m convinced that my love of music is inherited from my mother. Had she been given a chance to learn a musical instrument when she was young, she would’ve been a wonderful musician by now. If you play her a tune, give her a couple seconds and either a piano or a harmonica, she can replay the same tune with one or two ‘improvisations’. I don’t inherit that musical keenness, but I do have a strong affinity towards music. Every night, I sleep to the wonderful classical music from Klassik Radio, broadcasted all the way from Germany into my Roku Soundbridge and even though I have to listen to some lively music when I am about to sleep (because of the timezone difference), I always manage to have a nice deep rest.
My taste in music has evolved along the years – when I was a teenager, I used to listen to a lot of pop rock – then came the ‘Putumayo’ years, when I listened to a lot of world music, from Salsa to Celtic, from African to Nordic. There was also a period when I was fanatically following every Cafe del Mar albums that came out, which coincided with my interest in lounge music. Recent Cafe del Mar albums were disappointing, so unfortunately I will let them go. I still listen to a lot of lounge and world music but these days, I listen to whatever sounds good – if you look at the songs in my iPhone, you would probably think, “What the … ?”. 🙂 In it, you will find Norwegian artists like Odd Nordstoga, Thomas Dybdahl, Kings of Convenience and Herborg Kråkevik amongst Lighthouse Family, Hed Kandi albums, classical songs, Gospel music, Tom Wopat, French songs, Verve jazz albums, and of course some Putumayo world music.
I’m not writing to show off my musical collection though – I thought I’d share a couple of gems with you if you want to listen to something different:
For some fantastic music that you won’t find in record stores, have a visit to Mercedes-Benz’s Mixed Tape. They release a new compilation every month, filled with music from amateur artists from all over the world – free! You don’t have to feel bad about downloading the album! You will hear accoustic music, hip hop, rock, lounge, and genres that you usually don’t listen to. The latest album, Mixed Tape 28, is a surprising mix of songs – my favourite is Bocca Grande’s Procedere – a mixture of hip hop and some classical piano tunes. I suppose the music will sound exceptionally sweeter and smoother if you listen to them in your brand spanking new Mercedes-Benz, eh? 🙂
Apart from disco tunes from Hed Kandi, gospel songs from Max Lucado’s Fearless Worship, I am besotted by an old Mexican song, Perfidia, as performed by Kronos Quartet. In Kronos Quartet’s Perfidia, the melody is performed through the sound of a blown leaf – almost a ghostly whistling sound. The music evokes a nostalgic image of a dusty village in Mexico or somewhere in the Mediterranea, where the townsfolks are having their siesta, and a lonely scraggy dog lazily looking up to greet you as you walk through the main street. Unfortunately I can’t find any sites on the Net that have the full song – some have the 30-second snippet that doesn’t do the song any justice. I don’t have Kronos Quartet’s album, actually – the song is part of the album compiled by José Padilla, one of my favourite DJ from the Cafe del Mar days. The album is aptly titled – Bella Musica 4.
I can get a bit intrigued by songs – some years ago I was charmed by the soundtrack of Cinema Paradiso that I pretty much collected every version of the love song by various musicians. Haha. Another song that intrigued me and made hunt for it was a traditional Swedish song called Fjäriln’ Vingad Syns På Haga. I heard it in between the audio commentaries when I took the canal tour in Stockholm in 2006. The song, along with Monica Zetterlund‘s Sakta Vi Gå Genom Stan became the soundtrack of my trip to Sweden. I hunted it and found a great jazzy version in the iTunes Store by Arne Domnérus. I didn’t buy the whole album – only the song. Whenever I want to be transported back to the canals of Stockholm, I listen to the song again and close my eyes, and I am there again, amongst the blond Scandinavian gods and goddesses. 🙂
PS, Whilst writing this blog entry, I found out that Kings of Convenience‘s latest album is out now! Aaaaargh!! I’m so excited! I wish I could get it down here in Australia!!!!
It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony. – Benjamin Britten