So we're going back to our roots this week - soulful, sad piano music designed to put you in a reflective state and allow the melody to work its magic. Igor Longhi is most definitely a magician!
The whole idea of Music to Grieve to - in fact the whole Music to playlist community - came from the idea that listening to sad music was good for you. As a pianist composer myself I was deeply affected by the death of my father and had ended up writing an album of melancholic solo piano tracks (some of which you can find on this list!) We started marketing them to the Grief community and the Music to Grieve to playlist became a natural extension of that - leading into the development of other behavioral / emotion based playlists. It's been quite a journey.
That's one of things I love about this track - the journey that it takes you on. It's such a simple hook, the opening eight note melody sitting on top of those beautiful minor arpeggios and straight away you know you're in a somber place. And yet - the right hand has a promise of something more, of something developing - as the track continues the melody develops, it grows in complexity and variation and you're following it - familiar yet curious until you're two and half minutes in and it grows again.
Now you're up the register - the right hand picking out the theme while the left hand grows in intensity - you know something's coming - the right hand starts to flow and you feel yourself going with it - the counterpoint creates that magic movement that regardless of how bad we feel, we recognize as energy - and then all hell breaks loose! The right hand is in full flow - the left hand in strident octaves tells the story until, quite suddenly, we find ourselves back at the start.
The thing about listening to sad music is that I want my emotions to be manipulated - I want to be swept up in a piece, to be taken somewhere, anywhere, anywhere that isn't where I was - alone, down, deep and dark and depressed.
It's tracks like these that act as engines, as conductors on that emotional journey - and most of the time - when you arrive at the end - you're no longer in the same place - you have been moved - your emotional state has changed - and regardless of how much, when you're coming from the dark place - any change is better than none!
You can learn more about Igor Longhi here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.