Tracks where the piano – and occasionally the organ make all the difference – featuring artists like Tom Waits • James Leg • The Belfast Cowboys • Lou Reed • Joe Jackson • Wilco • World Party • Nina Simone
New year new start huh?!
Yeah – that didn’t exactly work out for me either – but – but – it’s the end of January and I’m feeling kinda – what’s that word – I used to use it all the time… it’s odd isn’t it – when you don’t use something for a while it removes itself – giving up space to something more popular – but I’m trying to remember now – what was it – oh yeah – Optimistic!…
I’m here looking for energy – I’m looking for deep groove – I’m looking for repetition, but not lame repetition – not something that just repeats and takes me nowhere.
I’m looking for a shepherd – a guide, a sonic soulmate that lifts me up and creates the universe while I write it all down…
And sure – the track may not be for you – and if that’s so – feel free to skip it too – but if the blues, jazz, awesome piano playing and rock solid grooves make you smile – then stick this on repeat
“My track Sunrise or Sunset was inspired by the creative flow of working from home, being chill and not knowing if the light through the curtains is Sunrise or Sunset but the moment is bliss.”
I see you – sitting at your keyboard – fingers at the ready, mind cycling with ideas and entry points – starting and stopping as each sentence leads to a dead end.
The idea of what you want to say teasingly present but unformed, elusive and hard to grasp…
I’m writing this at the end of March – typically the time when students are turning their minds to final exams and beginning to get into a writing groove. I know this because April and May are peak streaming months for instrumental music.
You’d think that with the Covid 19 nightmare things would be a little different this year – but apparently no – students may not be going into school, but assignments are still in place and exams are looming.
Habits are weird aren’t they – the ones that are good for you are hard to establish and easy to break while the ones that are bad for you – well – yes – hello smack habit!…
You know – sometimes – I’m guessing more times than we care to admit – you just have to do the fucking work.
You have to continue showing up – moving the muscles – doing whatever manifestation it is you do – but doing it – even when it brings you no joy.
And that’s a weird ass thing isn’t it?!
Written specifically for the Essay Writing Music album from music2work2 – to my ears, Getting Back Together is the least likely track to become popular with the essay writing crowd but – 150,000 streams in the last year or so would indicate that it does the job pretty well.
The whole idea of this playlist was to find piano tracks that enveloped you in ethereal melodies and wrapped you up warm in cloud like comfort – Raplapla is a stunning example of what we were looking for.
Some tracks just have a way of bringing you into a specific state of mind – I wasn’t thinking of the music to grieve to playlist when I heard this but I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards.
I’m a sucker for beautiful piano – I should be as that’s the kind of piano I like to write and play. Ludovico Einaudi is a genius and this track with its 29+ million streams is a good example of why.
Propellers. I don’t know why, but it’s all I can think about with this piece. Like an old biplane – or even a world war II fighter, like a spitfire or a hurricane.
It’s the tone of the piano that grabs me here – big and dark and and faintly foreboding – kinda like the steel tube you’re sitting in.
Yann Tiersen is one of my favorite pianist / composers – what he did with the score of Amelie was amazing – one instrument – a myriad of emotions – sheer genius.
As an artist you never know what tracks are going to resonate with the public – of sure, you can be part of a Nashville songwriting team and construct a track for an audience but even, you’ve no real idea whether it’ll “fly” or not.
So you want a cascading piano to paint every bit of sadness in your soul? Yet you also want it to have an element of hope?
Originally written for the music to grieve to playlist – it’s kinda disturbing that it should arrive on this playlist too!
I love it when you think you know a track only to have your expectations exceeded as the composer take you in a completely unexpected direction.
This track was the original inspiration for the entire playlist. Actually the original idea had been kicked around a few years back and I had worked up a theme at the time but when i came back to it it didn’t really resonate.
Loss – when it’s still visceral – when you still think you can call them – when you’re still discombobulated and not sure when it will end.
Loss – when it colors your every move and burns hot in your heart.
Have you ever had your family break apart?
There are a hundred different feelings you go through, none of them good, but the emotion that lingers long after everything else has faded, is sadness.
There is a hopefulness to this track – particularly at the end where it’s all about imperfect and perfect cadences resolving positively around the G major root. The reality of grief is that life does go on, and while the grief may never fully subside, it does fade and we do get to feel good again.
It’s the birdsong and background sounds that get you at the beginning – the scrunching through gravel accompanied by the sparsest piano chords and the whole mood is set.