At the moment I am listening to The Blue Danube. It is justly famous for the use Stanley Kubrick made of it in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it also stands on its own as a piece of music of surpassing loveliness and grace. It brightens the atmosphere of a room. It freshens the air. If there was ever a piece of music that could persuade me to learn to dance, it is The Blue Danube.
I am not a musician, though. Far less am I even remotely schooled in any aspect of music as science or art. So I will not bore you with what (coming from me) could only be stilted nonsense. Instead, Here are a few other pieces of music that I happen to like, along with a few bits of information related to them that I happen to like.
My current favorite song is “This is the Day” by The Cranberries. I am a fan of the band, particularly on the strength of To the Faithful Departed. The latter is one of my favorite rock albums of all time. A little while ago I stumbled across “This is the Day” on the band’s Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. It took my breath away, and still does. And I like the video, although I have no idea what the heck is going on here. I mean, the flying critter is just bizarre.
I am of the opinion that Dolores O’Riordan (lead singer and primary composer for The Cranberries) is more Catholic than she lets on. “This is the Day” is one reason I hold this view; so are “Electric Blue” and “Salvation” from To the Faithful Departed. Not to mention, of course, her duet with Luciano Pavarotti of Ave Maria. On a related note Dolores is reputed to have been one of Pope St. John Paul II’s favorite singers. 😃 That just goes to show that the Holy Father had excellent taste in music!
Another of my favorite singers is the quirky folk/pop artist Ingrid Michaelson. Her music is almost always a pick-me-up, even when it is less than chipper. I was dismayed to discover recently that her first album Slow the Rain is beginning to become hard-to-get. It is no longer available in the Google Play Music Store, nor on iTunes. I am really happy that I already own it, because it is a wonderful album. I will have to be careful to hang on it.
Speaking of out-of-print music: it seems that I am one of the few whose copy of James Ward’s More Piano Please was working long enough to be able to get it ripped to MP4s. Apparently the masters for the album were lost before it could make its way to CD. Ward re-recorded the album a while back, but the sine qua non of MPP just isn’t there on the redo. That cassette from 1985 was never easy to find (unless you were attending Covenant College back then…), but it was the soundtrack for many a late-night study session for lots of students. I’m glad I ripped the thing before the tape wore out!
This post makes me think that maybe I’ll indulge in a little narcissism someday and share lists of my favorite bands, musicians, singers, and songs. We’ll see.