Development of Language and Music

Evidence Rebuts Chomsky’s Theory of Language Learning
by Paul Ibbotson and Michael Tomasello

All of this leads ineluctably to the view that the notion of universal grammar is plain wrong. Of course, scientists never give up on their favorite theory, even in the face of contradictory evidence, until a reasonable alternative appears. Such an alternative, called usage-based linguistics, has now arrived. The theory, which takes a number of forms, proposes that grammatical structure is not in­­nate. Instead grammar is the product of history (the processes that shape how languages are passed from one generation to the next) and human psychology (the set of social and cognitive capacities that allow generations to learn a language in the first place). More important, this theory proposes that language recruits brain systems that may not have evolved specifically for that purpose and so is a different idea to Chomsky’s single-gene mutation for recursion.

In the new usage-based approach (which includes ideas from functional linguistics, cognitive linguistics and construction grammar), children are not born with a universal, dedicated tool for learning grammar. Instead they inherit the mental equivalent of a Swiss Army knife: a set of general-purpose tools—such as categorization, the reading of communicative intentions, and analogy making, with which children build grammatical categories and rules from the language they hear around them.

Broca and Wernicke are dead – it’s time to rewrite the neurobiology of language
by Christian Jarrett, BPS Research Digest

Yet the continued dominance of the Classic Model means that neuropsychology and neurology students are often learning outmoded ideas, without getting up to date with the latest findings in the area. Medics too are likely to struggle to account for language-related symptoms caused by brain damage or illness in areas outside of the Classic Model, but which are relevant to language function, such as the cerebellum.

Tremblay and Dick call for a “clean break” from the Classic Model and a new approach that rejects the “language centric” perspective of the past (that saw the language system as highly specialised and clearly defined), and that embraces a more distributed perspective that recognises how much of language function is overlaid on cognitive systems that originally evolved for other purposes.

Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved
by Jon Hamilton, NPR

There’s no single module in our brain that produces language. Instead, language seems to come from lots of different circuits. And many of those circuits also exist in other species.

For example, some birds can imitate human speech. Some monkeys use specific calls to tell one another whether a predator is a leopard, a snake or an eagle. And dogs are very good at reading our gestures and tone of voice. Take all of those bits and you get “exactly the right ingredients for making language possible,” Elman says.

We are not the only species to develop speech impediments
by Moheb Costandi, BBC

Jarvis now thinks vocal learning is not an all-or-nothing function. Instead there is a continuum of skill – just as you would expect from something produced by evolution, and which therefore was assembled slowly, piece by piece.

The music of language: exploring grammar, prosody and rhythm perception in zebra finches and budgerigars
by Michelle Spierings, Institute of Biology Leiden

Language is a uniquely human trait. All animals have ways to communicate, but these systems do not bear the same complexity as human language. However, this does not mean that all aspects of human language are specifically human. By studying the language perception abilities of other species, we can discover which parts of language are shared. It are these parts that might have been at the roots of our language evolution. In this thesis I have studied language and music perception in two bird species, zebra finches and budgerigars. For example, zebra finches can perceive the prosodic (intonation) patterns of human language. The budgerigars can learn to discriminate between different abstract (grammar) patterns and generalize these patterns to new sounds. These and other results give us insight in the cognitive abilities that might have been at the very basis of the evolution of human language.

How Music and Language Mimicked Nature to Evolve Us
by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Curiously, in the majority of our interaction with the world, we seem to mimic the sounds of events among solid objects. Solid-object events are comprised of hits, slides and rings, producing periodic vibrations. Every time we speak, we find the same three fundamental auditory constituents in speech: plosives (hit-sounds like t, d and p), fricatives (slide-sounds like f, v and sh), and sonorants (ring-sounds like a, u, w, r and y). Changizi demonstrates that solid-object events have distinct “grammar” recurring in speech patterns across different languages and time periods.

But it gets even more interesting with music, a phenomenon perceived as a quintessential human invention — Changizi draws on a wealth of evidence indicating that music is actually based on natural sounds and sound patterns dating back to the beginning of time. Bonus points for convincingly debunking Steven Pinker’s now-legendary proclamation that music is nothing more than “auditory cheesecake.”

Ultimately, Harnessed shows that both speech and music evolved in culture to be simulacra of nature, making our brains’ penchant for these skills appear intuitive.

The sounds of movement
by Bob Holmes, New Scientist

It is this subliminal processing that spoken language taps into, says Changizi. Most of the natural sounds our ancestors would have processed fall into one of three categories: things hitting one another, things sliding over one another, and things resonating after being struck. The three classes of phonemes found in speech – plosives such as p and k, fricatives such as sh and f, and sonorants such as r, m and the vowels – closely resemble these categories of natural sound.

The same nature-mimicry guides how phonemes are assembled into syllables, and syllables into words, as Changizi shows with many examples. This explains why we acquire language so easily: the subconscious auditory processing involved is no different to what our ancestors have done for millions of years.

The hold that music has on us can also be explained by this kind of mimicry – but where speech imitates the sounds of everyday objects, music mimics the sound of people moving, Changizi argues. Primitive humans would have needed to know four things about someone moving nearby: their distance, speed, intent and whether they are coming nearer or going away. They would have judged distance from loudness, speed from the rate of footfalls, intent from gait, and direction from subtle Doppler shifts. Voila: we have volume, tempo, rhythm and pitch, four of the main components of music.

Scientists recorded two dolphins ‘talking’ to each other
by Maria Gallucci, Mashable

While marine biologists have long understood that dolphins communicate within their pods, the new research, which was conducted on two captive dolphins, is the first to link isolated signals to particular dolphins. The findings reveal that dolphins can string together “sentences” using a handful of “words.”

“Essentially, this exchange of [pulses] resembles a conversation between two people,” Vyacheslav Ryabov, the study’s lead researcher, told Mashable.

“The dolphins took turns in producing ‘sentences’ and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s pulses before producing its own,” he said in an email.

“Whistled Languages” Reveal How the Brain Processes Information
by Julien Meyer, Scientific American

Earlier studies had shown that the left hemisphere is, in fact, the dominant language center for both tonal and atonal tongues as well as for nonvocalized click and sign languages. Güntürkün was interested in learning how much the right hemisphere—associated with the processing of melody and pitch—would also be recruited for a whistled language. He and his colleagues reported in 2015 in Current Biology that townspeople from Kuşköy, who were given simple hearing tests, used both hemispheres almost equally when listening to whistled syllables but mostly the left one when they heard vocalized spoken syllables.

Did Music Evolve Before Language?
by Hank Campbell, Science 2.0

Gottfriend Schlaug of Harvard Medical School does something a little more direct that may be circumstantial but is a powerful exclamation point for a ‘music came first’ argument. His work with patients who have suffered severe lesions on the left side of their brain showed that while they could not speak – no language skill as we might define it – they were able to sing phrases like “I am thirsty”, sometimes within two minutes of having the phrase mapped to a melody.

Chopin, Bach used human speech ‘cues’ to express emotion in music
by Andrew Baulcomb, Science Daily

“What we found was, I believe, new evidence that individual composers tend to use cues in their music paralleling the use of these cues in emotional speech.” For example, major key or “happy” pieces are higher and faster than minor key or “sad” pieces.

Theory: Music underlies language acquisition
by B.J. Almond, Rice University

Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) advocate that music underlies the ability to acquire language.

“Spoken language is a special type of music,” said Anthony Brandt, co-author of a theory paper published online this month in the journal Frontiers in Cognitive Auditory Neuroscience. “Language is typically viewed as fundamental to human intelligence, and music is often treated as being dependent on or derived from language. But from a developmental perspective, we argue that music comes first and language arises from music.”

– See more at: http://news.rice.edu/2012/09/18/theory-music-underlies-language-acquisition/#sthash.kQbEBqnh.dpuf

How Brains See Music as Language
by Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

What researchers found: The brains of jazz musicians who are engaged with other musicians in spontaneous improvisation show robust activation in the same brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax. In other words, improvisational jazz conversations “take root in the brain as a language,” Limb said.

“It makes perfect sense,” said Ken Schaphorst, chair of the Jazz Studies Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston. “I improvise with words all the time—like I am right now—and jazz improvisation is really identical in terms of the way it feels. Though it’s difficult to get to the point where you’re comfortable enough with music as a language where you can speak freely.”

Along with the limitations of musical ability, there’s another key difference between jazz conversation and spoken conversation that emerged in Limb’s experiment. During a spoken conversation, the brain is busy processing the structure and syntax of language, as well the semantics or meaning of the words. But Limb and his colleagues found that brain areas linked to meaning shut down during improvisational jazz interactions. In other words, this kind of music is syntactic but it’s not semantic.

“Music communication, we know it means something to the listener, but that meaning can’t really be described,” Limb said. “It doesn’t have propositional elements or specificity of meaning in the same way a word does. So a famous bit of music—Beethoven’s dun dun dun duuuun—we might hear that and think it means something but nobody could agree what it means.”

 

Music and Dance on the Mind

There is rhythmic entrainment that is orchestrated rapport, contributing to what some refer to as a hive mind. Taken together, this is collective identity and experience, collective thought and perception in sync with collective behavior. Most of us modern Westerners never experience it, with our obsession with individual identity and activity. But in earlier societies it would have been much more common.

Over at Ribbonfarm, Sarah Perry has written about this and similar things. Her focus is on the varieties and necessities of human consciousness. The article is “Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture“. It’s a longer piece and packed full of ideas, including an early mention of Jaynesian bicameralism.

The author doesn’t get around to discussing the above topics until about halfway into the piece. It’s in a section titled, “Hiving and Rhythmic Entrainment”. The hiving refers to Jonathan Haidt’s hive hypothesis. It doesn’t seem all that original of an understanding, but still it’s an important idea. This is an area where I’d agree with Haidt, despite my other disagreements elsewhere. In that section, Perry writes that:

Donald Brown’s celebrated list of human universals, a list of characteristics proposed to be common to all human groups ever studied, includes many entries on music, including “music related in part to dance” and “music related in part to religion.” The Pirahã use several kinds of language, including regular speech, a whistling language, and a musical, sung language. The musical language, importantly, is used for dancing and contacting spirits. The Pirahã, Everett says, often dance for three days at a time without stopping. They achieve a different consciousness by performing rituals calibrated to evoke mental states that must remain opaque to those not affected.

Musical language is the type of evidence that seems to bridge different aspects of human experience. It has been argued that language developed along with human tendencies of singing, dance, ritual movement, communal mimicry, group bonding, and other social behaviors. Stephen Mithen has an interesting theory about the singing of early hominids (The Singing Neanderthal).

That brings to mind Lynne Kelly’s book on preliterate mnemonic practices, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies. Kelly goes into great detail about the practices of the Australian Aborigines with their songlines, which always reminds me of the English and Welsh beating of the bounds. A modern example of the power of music is choral singing, which research has shown to create non-conscious mimicry, physical synchrony, and self-other merging.

Eric Mankin, in the comment section of Perry’s article, mentions a book: Keeping Together in Time by  William H. McNeill. It’s about the history of coordinated rhythmic movement as collective ritual, from dances to drills. McNeill argues the important role this has played for groups, communities, and societies. He calls it “muscular bonding” because of the viscerality of the experience, as if the individuals involved physically expand into a larger sense of group-self and fellow-feeling.

It really gets me thinking. If Julian Jaynes was onto something with his bicameral mind, such things as group-oriented vocal and physical entrainment could explain how it could be possible. Not just vocalizations but voice-hearing as well might at times have had a group-oriented aspect, something hard for us to imagine.

One of the perplexing things is how could the early civilizations, lacking in much advanced technology and knowledge, have been able to build vast pyramids. Even today, it would require the most powerful cranes in the world to move the largest blocks of stone that were somehow moved into place in building those ancient structures. Obviously, there were some brilliant minds to help accomplish this, but there also must have been immense organized labor of a kind we never see in the modern world.

Strangest of all, this labor appears not to have been slavery, with no bureaucratic centralized government organizing it all or obvious physical infrastructure to make it possible. There was some kind of social commitment and obligation that compelled large numbers of people to take group action involving back-breaking, life-threatening labor toward a goal that required multiple generations to achieve.

Jaynes brings up one possibility in his book,

Another advantage of schizophrenia, perhaps evolutionary, is tirelessness. While a few schizophrenics complain of generalized fatigue, particularly in the early stages of the illness, most patients do not. In fact, they show less fatigue than normal persons and are capable of tremendous feats of endurance. They are not fatigued by examinations lasting many hours. They may move about day and night, or work endlessly without any sign of being tired. Catatonics may hold an awkward position for days that the reader could not hold for more than a few minutes. This suggests that much fatigue is a product of the subjective conscious mind, and that bicameral man, building the pyramids of Egypt, the ziggurats of Sumer, or the gigantic temples at Teotihuacan with only hand labor, could do so far more easily than could conscious self-reflective men.

If the impairment or lessening of “the subjective conscious mind” allows for impressive physical feats and stamina (along with higher pain threshold), that could explain some of the power unleashed by group rhythmic movements and vocalization. McNeill quotes A. R. Radcliffe about the Andaman islanders: “As the dancer loses himself in the dance, as he becomes absorbed in the unified community, he reaches a state of elation in which he feels himself filled with energy or force immediately beyond his ordinary state, and so finds himself able to perform prodigies of exertion” (Kindle Locations 125-126).

This is why armies can march long distances with little rest in a way that isn’t normally possible for an individual walking alone. As armies have their chants, the oarsmen on boats had their sea chanties and to similar ends. The songs of field laborers, slave or otherwise, would have served the same purpose as well. The individual, no matter how tired, is buoyed up by entrainment to a group activity.

Imagine an entire society organized along these lines. Imagine nearly all activities being done as a group and individuals rarely left alone.

That was what impressed me in reading about the early Roman Empire, as it seems that everything was a social experience, from going to the doctor to going to the bathroom. And the Roman Empire was many centuries following the hypothetical collapse of what Jaynes considered fully bicameral societies, even though traces of bicameralism apparently were still quite common at that time. A society dominated by the bicameral mind wouldn’t merely have been highly social but beyond social as identity itself wouldn’t have been individualistic. Bicameralism, according to theory, wasn’t about individuals relating for individual consciousness as we know it simply would have been nonexistent, not yet part of their sense of reality.

In singing with a choral group or marching in an army, we moderns come as close as we are able to this ancient mind. It’s always there within us, just normally hidden. It doesn’t take much, though, for our individuality to be submerged and something else to emerge. We are all potential goosestepping authoritarian followers, waiting for the right conditions to bring our primal natures out into the open. With the fiery voice of authority, we can be quickly lulled into compliance by an inspiring or invigorating vision:

[T]hat old time religion can be heard in the words and rhythm of any great speaker. Just listen to how a recorded speech of Martin Luther King jr can pull you in with its musicality. Or if you prefer a dark example, consider the persuasive power of Adolf Hitler for even some Jews admitted they got caught up listening to his speeches. This is why Plato feared the poets and banished them from his utopia of enlightened rule. Poetry would inevitably undermine and subsume the high-minded rhetoric of philosophers. “[P]oetry used to be divine knowledge,” as Guerini et al states in Echoes of Persuasion, “It was the sound and tenor of authorization and it commanded where plain prose could only ask.”

Poetry is one of the forms of musical language. Plato’s fear wasn’t merely about the aesthetic appeal of metered rhyme. Living in an oral culture, he would have intimately known the ever-threatening power and influence of the spoken word. Likewise, the sway and thrall of rhythmic movement would have been equally familiar in that world. Community life in ancient Greek city-states was almost everything that mattered, a tightly woven identity and experience.

We aren’t as different from ancient humanity as it might seem. Our societies have changed drastically, suppressing old urges and potentialities. Yet the same basic human nature still lurks within us, hidden in the underbrush along the well trod paths of the mind. The hive mind is what the human species naturally falls back upon, from millennia of collective habit. The problem we face is we’ve lost the ability to express well our natural predisposition toward group-mindedness, too easily getting locked into groupthink, a tendency easily manipulated.

Considering this, we have good reason to be wary, not knowing what we could tap into. We don’t understand our own minds and so we naively underestimate the power of humanity’s social nature. With the right conditions, hiving is easy to elicit but hard to control or shut down. The danger is that the more we idolize individuality the more prone we become to what is so far beyond the individual. It is the glare of hyper-individualism that casts the shadow of authoritarianism.

* * *

Musical Language
from Radiolab

Study: Music, language’s common evolutionary roots lie in emotion
by Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times

Speaking in Tones: Music and Language Partner in the Brain
by Diana Deutsch, Scientific American

“Music, Language, and the Brain” by Aniruddh D. Patel
by Barbara Tillmann, Psychomusicology Journal

330. Did Music Originate as a Behavioral Adaptation? — 1
(pt. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8)
by Victor Grauer, MUSIC 000001

Piraha Indians, Recursion, Phonemic Inventory Size and the Evolutionary Significance of Simplicity
by German Dziebel, Anthropogenesis

Musical protolanguage: Darwin’s theory of language evolution revisited
by Mark Liberman, Lanuguage Log

Music and the Neanderthal’s Communication
from PBS

Steven Mithen – The Singing Neanderthals
by Andreas Bick, silent listening

Steven Mithen: The Singing Neanderthals
by John Henry Calvinist, The New Humanities

The Singing Neanderthal
by Barbara J. King, Bookslut

The origins of music, part 2: Musilanguage
by Eugene Hirschfeld, Marxist Theory of Art

Synch, Song, and Society
by William L. Benzon, Human Nature Review

Survival Dance: How Humans Waltzed Through the Ice Age
by Heather Whipps, Live Science

Working in a team increases human pain threshold
by Ian Sample, The Guardian

Rhythm without the blues: how dance crazes make us feel a step closer
by Ian Sample, The Guardian

Synchrony and Cooperation
from Changing Minds

To like each other, sing and dance in synchrony
by Kaj Sotala, Less Wrong

It’s All in the Timing: Interpersonal Synchrony Increases Affiliation
Michael J. Hove & Jane L. Risen, Social Cognition Journal

Dance and Drill
by Erik Buys, Mimetic Margins

Moving images–Dance and repetition make your eye and heart sing, a book review
By Roberta Fallon, Artblog

Laban’s Movement Choirs vs. Nazi Soldier Parades and Propaganda Imagery: Spectacle or Gemeinschafstanz?
by Marjie Shrimpton, academia.edu

Moments of Geopolitical Choreography: Performance of Cultural Ideals in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Beyond
by Allison Bohman, The College at Brockport

Human Swarming and the future of Collective Intelligence
by Louis Rosenberg, Singularity

Ancient Greek Dance
by Michael Lahanas, Hellenica

Ancient Greek Dance
from Carnaval.com

War dances in Ancient Greece
from VSLM

Iris Dement in the Parking Ramp

I had a funny experience at work tonight. I’m working in one of the ramps in downtown Iowa City. In fact, I’m in my booth at this very moment. A snow storm is beginning and so it is very slow.

Earlier, a lady drove into the lane next to mine in order to use one of the self-pay stations. She had music playing which I recognized as Iris Dement, a fairly well known folk snger who is married to Greg Brown, both of whom live around here. Iris Dement has a distinctive singing style and I’d rate her voice as one of my top favorites.

The lady apparently had trouble with the self-pay machine. She backed up and pulled over into my lane. After handing me her ticket, I asked her about her listening to Iris Dement. She then asked me how I knew about her music. I told her that I’d seen her play live.

Her response was that she was Iris Dement and indeed she was. I didn’t immediately recognize her out of context. Plus, remembering faces isn’t one of my stronger abilities. So, I chatted for a moment with her. And that was that.

The incident amused me. I could recognize Iris Dement’s voice from hearing a small snippet of music, but I didn’t recognize Iris Dement herself when she was at my window talking to me. Part of the amusement also had to do with her listening to her own music. The thought didn’t occur to me that it might be Iris Dement herself driving along with an Iris Dement song playing in her own vehicle.

I admire an artist who can appreciate their own art. I’m fond of how Philip K. Dick analyzes his own fiction in his Exegesis. It always seems odd to me when a musician claims to not listen to their own music or a writer claims not to read their own writing, claiming to just produce it and never give it another thought. I find it nice to know that an artist I like apparently also likes her own art.

Anyway, that is my amusing anecdote.

Double Rainbow: original, parodies, interviews.

My last post with the videos of singing “babies” reminded me of something I’d been meaning to post. Both of the videos in that post came from Schmoyoho’s YouTube channel (one of the Gregory brothers). One of the other recent videos from that channel is an auto-tuned version of the viral video about a double rainbow. It amuses me.

Another amusing take on the Double Rainbow viral video is this one by Sarah Gregory:

I’m not an avid follower of viral videos, but I was impressed by the original Double Rainbow video. It went so viral that even the mainstream media picked up on it. I heard an interview on NPR. What I find interesting about it is that the guy in the original video is so genuine in his expression of emotion. He truly is blown away by the double rainbow. Even in his interview on NPR, he sounded like a real person and not someone seeking his moment of fame. That was what initially impressed me. Among all the fake news and pretentious journalism, on rare occasions like this something geninely real slips into the mainstream media.

On the amusing side, the Double Rainbow guy (AKA Guy Vasquez) used to be a cage fighter.

Here is the original video and some interviews:

Always Summertime (sung by Sarah Gregory)

I just wanted to post something less serious. I find this song rather catchy. In case you’re unfamiliar, Sarah Gregory is married to one of the Gregory brothers. She, along with the brothers, are the creators of Auto-Tune the News which is an awesome series of videos. I recommend it as your primary source of news.

If you enjoyed the accompaniment of the babies, the following is an earlier video featuring the babies.

Pink’s Newest Album Funhouse

Pink’s Newest Album Funhouse

Posted on Jan 11th, 2009 by Marmalade : Gaia Explorer Marmalade
I feel like commenting on a musician I don’t normally give much attention to.  I just came across Pink’s new album Funhouse.  I was merely curious, but was rather surprised to really enjoy some of the songs.  Here is one song from that album that is more low-key than some of the others.
 
 
I was trying to pinpoint who her voice and style reminded me of.  There is the obvious influence of No Doubt, but she can be edgier than Gwen Stefani.  Its funny that one of her influences is supposedly Mariah Carey… I just don’t get that.  Anyways, from the above song, I can hear a hint of Bonnie Tyler which also amuses me.  I’m trying to imagine Pink doing ’80s Rock Opera.  Something about her singing does remind me of Freddie Mercury for a reason I can’t entirely explain.  Maybe its because she seems to have a Rockstar presence like he had, but Freddie Mercury had more of a depth of sorrow in certain songs that I don’t think she can match.

Here is one of her more rocking and playful songs which is the one that first caught my attention, and its a good video.  Its supposedly her biggest hit so far in her career.

 
I also get a sense of other aspects to her singing.  I hear some folk-rock in certain songs and I think she could even do alt-country if she gave it the slightest effort.  I’m not sure what is, but I hear something familiar in songs like the following.  There is the slight gravelly voice that is reminiscent of any number of other female vocalists.  I almost want to say Melissa Etheridge, but I’m not sure that is quite right.
 
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1 day later

Terrill said

Wow Marmalade! The diversity of this singer/songwriter reminds me of Tom Waits – you just never know what to expect. As for alternative country… I don’t know. My exposure is really limited and mostly includes a group No Horses. she seems pretty tame compared to their work. Maybe I just need to listen to more alternative country but to be honest… I like the slow mellow stuff with lots of emotion like Glitter in the Air.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

1 day later

Marmalade said

I just wrote a long response and of course it disappeared.

Basically, I don’t know the merit of my analysis of Pink. This blog is based on listening to only one of her albums, but have been listening to some of her other albums for comparison. As for Alt-Country, I didn’t mean much by that as I’m not an expert there either. It seems a broad category. I just listened to No Horses and she isn’t anything like them for sure. Maybe what I meant by the Alt-Country reference is that some of her songs sound like something that could be sung in the style of Alt-Country.

On Rhapsody, Pink is categorized as Pop and Contemporary R&B. I was just comparing her newest album to some of her earlier work. I like the new album more. There is afair degreeofvarietyin thestyles she useson it. Like No Doubt, she has some of the Ska Punk influence. I’m listening to Ska Punk right now andPink definitely has a cleaner Pop sound, but her newest album has less of a Pop sound than her earliest music.

 
 

Music and Movies of Oz

Music and Movies of Oz

Posted on Dec 27th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
I was just watching some of The Wizard of Oz again.  For some reason, I never think of it as a musical.  It does have music, but the songs seem more spread out than a typical musical.  Watching it again I was as impressed as ever. 

Much of it touches upon favorite tropes in our culture.  I wonder why our culture has such an obsession about young girl characters that are excitable and have wild imaginations.  LIke Anne of Green Gables, she is raised by an older couple who aren’t her parents and she gets in trouble with a crotchety old neighbor lady.

There have been many fictional works (both books and movies) spawned off of the original books.  In particular, I enjoyed the movie Return to Oz and the tv series Tin Man.  I also just watched the musical Wicked and thought it well done.

Of course, when The Wizard of Oz is mentioned Judy Garland immediately comes to mind.  She does a good version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but here is my favorite version.

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Comedy Horror Musicals

I’ll sort of keep with the theme of my recent blogs, but lighten up the mood a bit.  One thing I’ve come to enjoy more and more is a good musical.  It was either The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Jesus Christ Superstar that first made me fall in love with musicals.  Even so, I still don’t like the classic musicals to any great degree.

I’m glad that the musical is getting a modernized revival, but there is a particular category of musical that is quite surprising in its popularity.  The category I speak of is the comedy horror musical.  Its about as lighthearted and silly as horror can get and still vaguely be called horror.

Maybe it isn’t surprising at all when considering the modern musical’s origin in opera.  There are plenty of tragic operas, but as far as I know operas aren’t known for their comedy.  In my meager research, it seems that the comedy horror musical was an American invention, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show might’ve been the first.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629/

http://www.rockyhorror.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Shop_of_Horrors_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091419/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibal!_The_Musical

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115819/

http://www.cannibalthemusical.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweeney_Todd:_The_Demon_Barber_of_Fleet_Street_(2007_film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408236/

http://www.sweeneytoddmovie.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repo!_The_Genetic_Opera

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0963194/

http://www.repo-opera.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_of_the_Paradise

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071994/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Frankenstein_(musical)

http://www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com/

http://www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com/

http://www.evildeadthemusical.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poultrygeist:_Night_of_the_Chicken_Dead

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462485/

http://www.poultrygeistmovie.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_More,_with_Feeling_(Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0533466/

http://www.buffymusical.com/

One other that might be added is Wicked: The Musical. But I’m not sure as I’ve never watched it. Even though its about the Wicked Witch of Oz, it sounds more like a tragic romance story.

Then again, most of the musicals I put in my blog aren’t very horrific. Cannibal hasfew scenes ofpartially realistic ripping and eating of flesh, but its pretty silly for the most part. Sweeney Todd might be the least funny of these, but its definitely over-the-top… althoughmost horror movies are over-the-top I guess. I’ve never watched all of Repo. It looks like it could get a bit graphic.

By the way, you can watch a recording of the entire live performance of Wicked. Its on Youtube and you’ll find it at the link I provided in my previous comment. I just watched it and it doesn’t fit with the others. There is a Wicked Witch, but she is portrayed very sympathetically. I would recommend it thouhbecause it shows what happened before Dorothy ever visited Oz.

Favorite Spiritual Songs

Favorite Spiritual Songs

Posted on Dec 21st, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
 
 
Access_public Access: Public 4 Comments Print // Post this!views (196)  
Tagged with: song, spiritual, favorite, vocal
Marmalade : Gaia Explorer
about 2 hours later

Marmalade said

I posted these songs in response to Nicoles thread in the God Pod.

Favourite Spiritual Music

In that thread, I also linked to these three chants.

Trance Tara by Jonathan Goldman

Medicine Buddha by Jonathan Goldman

Hare Krishna by Vaiayasaki Dasa

about 9 hours later

Centria said

Thanks for posting these, Mr. Ben. I will listen to some of them. (some of them I already know and they’re great.)

Marmalade : Gaia Child
about 13 hours later

Marmalade said

You’re welcome. Which ones do you already know? I was already familiar with these songs, but I decided to pick some versions I hadn’t heard before.

I think I might’ve heard Johnny Cash sing gospel before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard him sing I’ll fly away. I’m not big into choirs, but as backup singers for Johnny Cash it works out quite well.

BTW the Jerry Garcia video has its embedding disabled. If you just double-click on it, you’ll be brought directly to the video on Youtube. He has a better version of this song on The Pizza Tapes album.

about 13 hours later

Centria said

I’ve loved “I don’t know how to love him” since first hearing it in the 60’s or 70’s at our church. In fact, can probably sing you (even though off-key) the whole Jesus Christ Superstar album. Also the Johnny Cash I’ll Fly Away. Maybe some of the others, but will need to click to find out! (but need time to do that…)

  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 21, 2008, 10:39 AM:

  Can be Christmas music, or other music that makes your spirit soar or pause in awe…Nordic Chamber Choir – O Magnum Mysterium (M. Lauridsen)

Love and light,

Nicole 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 21, 2008, 7:45 PM:

  In the specific terms of spirituality, I do enjoy something like Jesus Christ Supestar… and also I love the sweet melancholy sounds of some of the more religious mountain ballads… likewise with certain gospel songs. Less directly in terms of spirituality, I find that any emotionally-moving music can put me in a spiritual mood.  For instance, I sense that at the bottom of almost any love song is the longing for that which is beyond us… which for me implies God… especially songs about frustrated love because no love in this world can ultimately satisfy us.

On the other hand, most music that is intended as religious usually doesn’t inpire much of a spiritual sense in me.

Marm 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 21, 2008, 8:00 PM:

 

I Don’t Know How to Love Him

 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 21, 2008, 8:03 PM:

  Yep, that is the one.  I’m trying to think of some more specific examples.  I’ll see if anything comes to mind.  I know there are a bunch of spiritual mountain ballads that are utterly beautiful, but offhand I can’t think of the name of any. 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 21, 2008, 11:03 PM:

  Okay, here ya go.  I collected together some favorite songs of mine that inspire a sense of the spiritual for me.  You can find them in my most recent blog.Favorite Spiritual Songs 

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Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

arpita [no longer around] said Dec 21, 2008, 11:04 PM:

  …don’t have a favorite i don’t think… but i like these a lothttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfSV_k3MhCw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADrEUUxniAw&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY5wxOhlPig&feature=related 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 22, 2008, 12:08 AM:

  arpita – I liked the second one, but I loved the third.  That is one of my most favorite mantras.  There is an interesting cd by Jonathan Goldman called Trance Tara.  I couldn’t find it n Youtube, but here it is on Last FM.  Even my friend who doesn’t like mantras enjoyed that cd.  Another interesting cd by Goldman is Medicine Buddha. Its funny I hadn’t thought of mantras when I saw this thread.  I guess I don’t normally think of mantras as music, but essentially they are.  My first experience with mantras I believe was with a group of Hare Krishnas when my brother was interested in that religion.  The Hare Krishnas always seemed like nice people to me, and for that reason I have fond memries of their very well known mantra.

My favorite version of it comes from a cd titled Kirtan Rasa by Vaiayasaki Dasa.  Some of his Hare Krishna chanting can be found in this video.  I enjoy his passion.

Marm 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 22, 2008, 10:42 AM:

  Marmalade, I’m listening to your selection. Really loving Down to the River to Pray – what a pure lovely voice, wonderful harmonisation and very heartfelt too.For some reason the embeding was disabled on Man of Constant Sorrow (was that it?)

How about O Brother, Where Art Thou – I’ll Fly Away? (I was listening to the Soggy Bottom Boys version of Constant Sorrow and was led there…  though I see you have the Johnny Cash version with the Baptist Catholic Methodist – ? wow! 🙂 – Choir)

There is something really heart-warming about this music, isn’t there?

Thanks so much!

Love,

Nicole 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Child  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 22, 2008, 11:41 AM:

  Of all those songs, Down to the River to Pray might be the one I enjoy the most.  However, I do love Let the Mystery Be. Iris Dement is on the top of my list of favorite singers.Yeah, that is the version of Man of Constant Sorrow that wouldn’t embed.  There is a shorcut you can use when that happens.  If you double-click, it will bring you directly to the video on Youtube.  Jerry Garcia has a version that I like more which is on The Pizza Tapes album.  There are many good renditions of this song.

I did have in mind the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou.  All the songs in that movie are quite lovely.  I chose to share the Johnny Cash version because I like his voice.  I’d heard he’d done gospel, but I think that might be the first time I heard him sing I’ll Fly Away.

Marm 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 22, 2008, 10:18 AM:

  arpita, I really liked the second one, which is a Bogoroditsye Dyevo, the Russian Orthodox version of Ave Maria – other settings I enjoy very much are (all three have such a totally different interpretation eh? you’d never know it’s the same prayer) -Russian church music is all a cappella, so lovely…

Bogorodice, Djevo, radujsja / Sergej Rahmanjinov

(though my favourite part of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers is the Nunc Dimittis – Nyne Otpushchaeshi – Rachmaninov Vespers)

Bogoróditse Djévo (Arvo Pärt )

The Tara Mantra is very beautiful as well, very moving

Thank you so much! Now, on to Marmalade’s music, this should be fun!

Peace,

Nicole 

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Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

arpita [no longer around] said Dec 22, 2008, 10:58 AM:

  hi Nicole
thanks for linking the Rachmoninoff… actually i was going to link that originally – for Boroditse devo … (since the choir i belong to has been singing that – and it is so beautiful … but when i found the chant – it was so sublimely simple that i posted that instead… 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 22, 2008, 12:41 PM:

  Your choir is doing the Rachmaninoff, arpita? Wonderful! I think of all the music I have sung in choirs over the years, it was his Vespers that absorbed me the most completely (even more than Handel’s Messiah or Brahm’s Requiem) – even years later, I find myself completely under its spell without notice.Marmalade, I agree, all the music in Brother Where Art Thou is great. It was really that movie that helped me get as fond of bluegrass as I am now.

Love,

Nicole 

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Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

nimrod [no longer around] said Dec 22, 2008, 1:51 PM:

  Brahms’ German RequiemMy partner and I were vacationing in Zurich.  It started to rain one day while we were out strolling.  We decided to duck into a nearby church to get away from the downpour.  As we opened the doors, the sound of what turned out to be a 40-voice choir rehearsing the Requiem poured out onto the street.  Even though I was swept away by the beauty of the music and my tear ducts were clamoring for attention, I remained a dry-eyed manly little fellow. 

They went on to rehearse the next piece for their concert which turned out to be –of all things!–that chestnut of all choruses, the Robert Shaw Chorale setting of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  That’s when the water works erupted.  I guess I was a little more homesick that I realized! 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 23, 2008, 10:22 AM:

  This is a glorious work, nimrod, full of light. Like Faure’s Requiem, there is nothing dark or depressing about Brahm’s German Requiem, though it has some very intense and thrilling interpretations of the texts from Hebrews 13, 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 4 (original German below).My favourite movement in this regard is #6. It was very exciting to sing in concert, a lot like being on a rollercoaster or in the midst of a waterfall 🙂

I like this video because it shows the translation of the words as they are singing. Best of all, Bryn Terfel is the baritone!

Brahms Requiem – Mvt. 6, part 1
Brahms Requiem – Mvt. 6, part 2

Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt, sondern die zuknftige suchen wir.
Ebr. 13,14.

Siehe, ich sage euch ein Geheimnis: Wir werden nicht alle entschlafen, wir werden aber alle verwandelt werden; und dasselbige pltzlich, in einem Augenblick, zu der Zeit der letzten Posaune. Denn es wird die Posaune schallen, und die Toten werden auferstehen unverweslich, und wir werden verwandelt werden. Dann wird erfllet werden das Wort, das geschrieben steht: Der Tod ist verschlungen in den Sieg. Tod, wo ist dein Stachel? Hlle, wo ist dein Sieg?
l. Korinther 15, 51-55.

Herr, du bist wrdig zu nehmen Preis und Ehre und Kraft, denn du hast alle Dinge geschaffen, und durch deinen Willen haben sie das Wesen und sind geschaffen.
Off. Joh. 4,11.  

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  Alluvja :  Love In Action  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Alluvja said Jan 27, 2009, 2:45 PM:

  I just only now found this thread.
Some wonderful music.
I  (have) Brahms requiem, I’ve heard Faurés but I’m not so knowledgeable about it as you seem to be.
Great thread Nicole, thxs.
 
Edited PS:  I did post this under your relevant post of  December and linked it to reply to post , so I’m not quite sure why it appears here and not under the appropriate post. 

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  Mr. : Mr. Prophet  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Mr. said Dec 24, 2008, 1:13 AM:

  I like music that is spiritual in flavor and sentiment but not necessarily religious per sey. Joan Osborne’s “What If God Were One of Us? or U2’s “In The Name Of Love” are some pop music examples. I have also written stuff that is spiritual without being religious. 

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  Marmalade : Gaia Explorer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Marmalade said Dec 24, 2008, 2:08 AM:

  That is the way I am, Mr.  I wonder why some people are moved by “religious” music and some aren’t.  I wonder if it has to do with what we experience as children or at other pivotal times of life.  I grew up in small alternative churches that didn’t offer much in the way of traditional choral music.  I pobably heard more folk-type religious music.  It also probably helps that I spent years living in South and North Carolina.Marm 

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  Mr. : Mr. Prophet  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Mr. said Dec 25, 2008, 11:42 AM:

       Marmalade,     I think thatwhat you know from your past and what you grew up with plays a part. I also think that what you are exposed to as you grow to be your ownperson does as well. I am familiar with Gospel  music having listened to a lot of Soul music and its roots when I was younger. I am also familiar with Choral music having been in the school choir during elementary and middle school before puberty changed my voice.

     I do like some Gospel and Choral music. I like “Oh Happy Day” for Gospel and “The Grapes of Wrath”, Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Amazing Grace” for Choral. I like particular songs more than particular artists. I write music in various genres as well.

     It may just be me but I believe that all music is spiritual in nature. It is emotion channeled. Hearing a great song for the first time is akin to a deeply moving religious experience. 

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  Ua : Human  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Ua said Dec 27, 2008, 11:24 AM:

  From a very young age music was the door in which the spirit walked through to open my soul.  From Led Zepplin Houses of the Holy to TOOL; vibrations have centered me, sent me, questioned me, shown me my infinite oneness and my complete isolation in this bag of cells. When my daughter was very young maybe five or six months the Dali Lama was in San Diego.  A friend owned a herb store and was very involved with the Free Tibet movement, because of this she had seven of the Dali Lama’s monks staying at her house.  They all came by the store to give her thanks while we were visiting.  They asked if they could chant welcome to my daughter.  I held Chloe while the monks circled us and began chanting.  Their voices…. I can’t put into words what it’s like to stand in the center of that vibration.  By far musically and spiritually I have never experienced anything like that.  Almost like every cell in my body had ears and heard the chant in a different voice but at the same time in perfect unison.  

I wish I could post each of these songs for your  pleasure but alas I lack the skills.  I know most of these songs are on youtube so please enjoy…….

1) Ben Harper with The Blind Boys of Alabama- Satisfied Mind (actually check out the whole album, There Will Be A Light)

2) Ben Harper- With My Own Two Hands

3) Bob Marley- Misty Morning, Kaya, Rasataman Chant…. OK I might as well just say…. Bob… Nuff said 🙂

4) Grateful Dead- Ripple

5) Jimmy Cliff- Many Rivers to Cross

6) Ray Charles & Willie Nelson- A Very Good Year (From the Genius Loves Company album)  
7) Down to the River to Pray (Yup, that’s a good one! Oh Brother Where Art Thou truly a great soundtrack.  Voices of Angels for sure) 
8) Pearl Jam- Insignificance

9) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Eddie Vedder- The Long Road (Please listen to this song!  Ali Khan has a voice that is truly inspired and even though I didn’t know what he was saying for the longest time this song moved me to tears and when my grandfather died I must have played this song a hundred times.)

I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do and look foward to playing your selections also.  

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 27, 2008, 5:18 PM:

  Ua, Mr and Marmalade, thanks for keeping the thread warm…Joan Osborne – One of Us

U2 Pride (in the Name of Love)

Ben HarperSatisfied mind

Bob Marley Misty Morning

Bob MarleyKaya

Bob Marley Rastaman Chant

Grateful DeadRipple

Jimmy CliffMany Rivers To Cross

Pearl JamInsignificance

Nusrat fateh ali Khan & Eddie Vedder – The Long Road

Love you muchly (especially wonderful to have you back Ua!),

Nicole 

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  Ua : Human  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Ua said Dec 29, 2008, 9:06 PM:

  Yea… Links!  Thank you!!!   Nicole, I never really left; just observed for awhile.  I love seeing how these conversations wander, twist, dance and evolve.  Seeds growing into trees harvesting soul food for sure.  Sometimes the greatest lesson for myself is to simply watch others come to understandings… It gives me faith in all of us.  

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Dec 30, 2008, 8:11 AM:

  Observing is good, Ua, yes, I love the way you put it,Hugs,

Nicole 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 4:57 AM:

  http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=d63COahIpVM 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 5:20 AM:

  At present my favourite piece of music is “You Raise me UP”- Josh Groban It changes from time to time, another is Return to Innocence by Enigma and another is “Lifted” on the album Ocean drive by the Lighthouse Family.  

Mantras by Hein Braat is good and very uplifting too 

Love and light

Tai 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 5:55 AM:

  Ha Tai, are we on the same wavelength? we post in same place again same time 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 5:52 AM:

  forgot to say that last one is by Deva Premal 

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  Mirenithil : Here, Now  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Mirenithil said Jan 26, 2009, 5:40 AM:

  A lot of Hawaiian music. A lot of it’s so joyful and uplifting; a lot more of it is mellow and relaxing. One of my favorite groups is named Hapa, and their song Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai is one of the joyful ones entirely in Hawaiian. The instrumental-only track Justin’s Lullabye by the same band is one of the most soothing things I have ever heard and was an immense comfort to me in a time of need two years ago. Keali’i Reichel also has a lot of stuff that’s wonderful. Another song that makes me want to get up and dance with the world is “Live A Little” by the Hawaiian Style Band, as is “Spread A Little Aloha (Around the world)” by the Mana’o Company. I also have to mention Bruddah Iz’s (Israel Kamakawiwo’ole) version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It’s as pure a song of the joy of living and thanksgiving as I’ve ever heard without being explicitly religious. 

Rod Stewart also has songs that make me want to just get up and dance for the joy of living (and that, to me, is spiritual.) Particularly “Rhythm of my Heart”. “Forever Young” is a blessing set to music. 

Bach, Vivaldi, and the like also strike me as deeply spiritual, though. 

And, yes, got to love “Return to Innocence” by Enigma. Wow, that one’s amazing. 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 5:55 AM:

  The first time I heard Return to Innocence I went tingly all over, you could say it was “one of those moments!”  I had a similar reaction to Phil Collins “Somthing in the Air Tonight” – long time ago now. 

New Age music is great especially “And So to Dream” by Mike Rowland. 

Somewhere over the Rainbow is one of those special songs….. 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 5:59 AM:

  I’ve been thinking for a while to post here, yes Jenny we did it again! I love music all kinds another favourite is a version of Pachelbel Canon, arranged by Kevin Kendle – Album Pure Peace – New World Music. 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 6:02 AM:

  Pachelbels is one of my alltime favourites. My son Rowen knew I loved it and had it played at his wedding which was really sweet and when it started playing he looked across at me to see what my reaction would be. I also love a few of Phil Collins. I’ll fish around in Youtube and find my favourite. Groovy kind of love 

It has a really special meaning for me. Back in 1988 when I was very unhappy it kept coming on the radio and when I turned on the radio and when I walked into shops it would be playing every time I felt really down and I took it to mean there is a person on the other side of this existance that loves me unconditionally and it felt like a promise that someone special would be there for me. 

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=uCexfCIC79M 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 6:11 AM:

  Must have been a great day Jen. Vivaldi – the 4 Seasons is a good one too. 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 6:16 AM:

  Yea Yes Vivaldi too yes and it was a great day 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 6:17 AM:

  When I used to massage I always played Enya and some other beautiful nature music 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 6:23 AM:

  Hows this one for awesome though   …Carmina Burana by Carl Orff http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=C0i9uWNDvDg 

In Canberra one year it was turned into a huge outdoor opera with huge fires and hundreds of performers from children to old people all using the fire theme in candles and fire sticks. held down near the lake in the middle of winter. . Stunning it was. Fire operas were held 3 years running and we went to them all and they were incredible. 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 6:39 AM:

  Hey, I’ve got Enya too on my favourites, haven’t got her new one, but mum has, must borrow it!  I have The Memory of Trees on CD, rest on tape.  Do you like Clannad too….hauntingly beautiful music. Must check out your youtube after dinner, just been preparing some home made veggie soup.. 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 26, 2009, 6:42 AM:

  I got the new Enya for christmas. I like Clannad too. 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 6:49 AM:

  I have a very soothing CD with water, birds song and monks singing – excellent for using for relaxation – can’t remember the name of it now, could be one I’ve taped from a friend, must find it and listen again. I’m drumming with a friend from our group at 2pm, we need the practice, drumming can be very uplifting and energising 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 26, 2009, 8:08 AM:

  Tai, Jenny and Silverpony, so wonderful that you have been enjoying this thread. Music is such a big part of my life that I was hoping for an active ongoing discussion on everyone’s favourites, and now it looks like it’s happening.  I first got to appreciate the beauty and joy of Hawaiian music on my first visit there in 1986. The language itself is so lovely and flowing. I just found this song on youtube: 

Keali’i Reichel sings Kawaipunahele 

I have loved the Carmina Burana for years, and was thrilled when I got the chance to sing it in a big combined choir (not as big as that performance for the Prince of Wales though, what a great show that must have been). It was fun learning to pronounce Latin in the old German style, satisfying to sing the choruses.My favourite aria from it is Dies Nox et Omnia, baritone solo, but I couldn’t find any version on YouTube I liked. 

The choir I’ve just started singing with will be doing a lot of very gorgeous music, a bit off the beaten track (except for the Ave Verum by Mozart), and yes some Vivaldi, his “Credo” – one of the ones I find most entrancing is  

Versa est in Luctum

though it’s sad – the words mean 

My harp is tuned for lamentation,
and my flute to the voice of those who weep.
Spare me, O Lord,
for my days are as nothing.

Love, 

Nicole

  

 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 26, 2009, 9:35 AM:

  Most beautiful video and such soothing Hawaiian music. I would like like to sing more in a group. Our drum teacher may teach us some African songs to sing along with the drumming. 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 26, 2009, 10:55 AM:

  African songs and drumming are a magical combination. You must get so much joy from your drumming group! how about the Native Flute? It has such a warmth and resonance 

Spiritual Flute: The Beauty of Nature 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 27, 2009, 5:22 AM:

  Thats beautiful. I spent ages listening to over 10 different versions of the Allelujah Chorus. Thats also stunning. Good idea for a group. I keep thinking of more. The music of Taize is lovely too but I couldnt decide which one to link to. I particularly love their earlier music which had no instruments or just guitars. There is a wonderful book called Brother Roger and it tells about how Taize got started. I think it has become too commercial now though. But I think my current fav music that raises my spirits and transports me is Deva Premals song that I linked to earlier

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=d63COahIpVM

and this version is really ethereal. 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 27, 2009, 5:47 AM:

  Just coming to post a tibetan singing bowl youtube link! http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BckaOwrn1ok&feature=related The Music of the Spheres 

I found it was very heart related, the guy playing the bowls was really in the flow..

Found this when watching the images and crystal singing bowls Nicole 

Will go check out your link Jen 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 27, 2009, 9:11 AM:

  Tai, sorry you were having trouble with that link, singing bowls are awesome. Is this anything like what you were trying to post? 

The Music of Music of the Spheres 

Jen, I love singing Taize/playing the flute – it brings us into a beautiful space of worship.

There are so many great Taizes, but this is one of my favourites: 

 

And in honour of Mozart’s birthday anniversary,

 

 

 

 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 27, 2009, 10:07 AM:

 
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.The other is Good. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
Hi Nicole, that was the right one! I found this on the spiritual flute link (one of the comments on the music) I rather liked it…
The flute was magic, haven’t caught up with the other links yet. Just so much beauty to drink – my cup is full!
Love Tai
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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 27, 2009, 10:23 AM:

  I love that parable, Tai. So, may your cup run over with joy and bliss! 🙂 Here’s some more Mozart – Lang Lang is such a phenomenon, do you know of him? 

 Lang Lang Mozart Piano Concert nr24 c-moll Kv491 (part1/3) 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 27, 2009, 10:51 AM:

  I doKNOW him now -very rousing, I shall put all that power and spirit into making the tea ! 

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  Jenny : Life Weaver  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Jenny said Jan 27, 2009, 2:09 PM:

  Hi Tai and Nicole, I love this group. Enjoyed Mozart. Happy Birthday M.Heres something a bit different but also enjoyable and touching. 

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=R0xoMhCT-7A

Have a great day. Gotta go to work.

Hugs Jenny 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 27, 2009, 4:13 PM:

  Jenny, Alluvja,


Have a good day at work, Jenny.That’s a lovely, warm rendition of What a Wonderful World, great pictures in the slideshow too.

Alluvja! Good to see you. Your post appears in the right place on my screen – maybe you have the “unthreaded” or “newest first view? Or it could be another glitch due to the new format.

I would like to know the Faure Requiem better. There is nothing like having to perform music to motivate one to learning it really well 🙂 so maybe I will have a chance to sing it one day.

I love this part of that Requiem, it is so ethereal, makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up 🙂

Faure: Requiem (In Paradisum)

In paradisum deducant te angeli,
in tuo adventu
suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te
in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
aeternam habeas requiem.
 

May the angels lead you into paradise,
May the martyrs receive you
In your coming,
And may they guide you
Into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the chorus of angels receive you
And with Lazarus once poor
May you have eternal rest.

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 28, 2009, 5:00 AM:

  That song and the singer were so gentle, peaceful and full of love Jen, greatLove Tai 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 28, 2009, 7:45 AM:

  I hear from our friend Albert that 2009 is Handel year in Australia. I love the Messiah, but here’s something just as magnificent from Handel’s Zadok the PriestDarn! That didn’t work 🙂 let’s try this

http://ckuik.com/Zadok_the_Priest_-_Georg_Friedrich_Handel 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 28, 2009, 10:57 AM:

  Just had my late afternoon burst of Zadok before making tea and unstacking the dishwasher – haved a blessed day
Tai 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 28, 2009, 12:31 PM:

  Thanks, Tai, just about ready to go to work now, I’ll leave you with this Dougie Maclean song (sweet strings accompanying)Dougie MacLean – Broken Wings 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Jan 30, 2009, 9:26 AM:

  so soft and gentle, a little sad…
 
for some reason I thought of Cat Stevens – Moonshadow
 
I listened a while agot to a 10min Youtube of the lotus sutra, it was quite an experience, it sort of vibrated in the chest – it was a tone, more than anything – interesting… 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 30, 2009, 10:12 AM:

  Yes, I could see why Moonshadow might have come to mind… The lotus sutra sounds like quite an experience.

This one has very lovely images too…

Relax – Buddhist Meditation Music – Zen Garden … 

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  muji : messenger  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

muji said Jan 30, 2009, 11:32 AM:

  I received Nicole’s invitation to this celebration. She said to bring classical music. I was going to post “Oh Well” by the very old Fleetwood Mac when they were still led by Peter Green who was going through his Jesus phase. But, the video was removed by Warner Brothers for copyright infringement!To me, “spiritual” is anything that moves me closer to my center, toward wholeness or nothingness. “Oh Well” is one of the most paradoxical pieces of music you’ll ever hear. It begins as raucous instrumental blues rock that stops on a dime, and after a cowbell (!) Peter Green sings without backing:

“I can’t help about the shape I’m
I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin
But, don’t ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to
Oh well…”

Cowbell, more revved up guitar and another stop and cowbell…

“Now, when I talked to God
I knew He’d understand
He said ‘Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
But, don’t ask me what I think of you,
I might not give the answer that you want me to’
Oh well…”

Cowbell, raucous guitar and a climax that segues into seven minutes of pseudo classical Spanish guitar with recorder and cello, completely instrumental. There’s Nicole’s “classical music”!

This was my “spiritual music” when I was a teenager. This, some other music by Peter Green, and George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album. It’s now forty years later and I’ve found other music that moves me in different ways. But, the important element has always been MOVEMENT.

I was in a workshop once conducted by John Pierrakos a co-founder of Bioenergetics. It was my first with John, a 76 year old Greek man with incredibly vibrant energy. John was one of the most real, the most emotionally honest people I’ve ever met.

At the start of the workshop, one of the women put on some new age CD, the typical ethereal stuff, until John arrived. As soon as John did arrive, he IMMEDIATELY said to “Turn that off! It’s keeling the energy!” And, absolutely EVERY time we grew silent, withdrawning our energy, holding our breath and leaving our bodies, John would confront the forty of us and plead for us to help him while he worked to unblock one of us individually.

One particular moment I’ll never forget. John had a woman over a roller, a two-foot diameter cylinder that was used in the work he did. It’s similar to the exercise balls around now, but more stable. Someone would lie face up onto the cylinder with the middle of their back, the area where the diaphragm attaches to the spine, contacting the cylinder. Feet would be planted on the floor and arms outstretched to open the heart. The head would be allowed to hang loosely.

John hovered over this woman, who he had instructed to breathe very deeply, and squeezed her throat muscles. It looked like he was strangling her. You could feel the fear in the rest of us. There was a silence. John looks up at us and says “BREATHE! Feel this yourselves! I’m an old man, I need your help…don’t keell the energy!” We obeyed and within a minute, the woman cried out as loudly as she could with the cry of a BABY! Every single one of us IMMEDIATELY began to sob. What she’d been holding in resonated with what we all hold in to different degrees. Our ACTIVE participation helped HER release and her release helped US release. I’ll never forget the oneness of that experience. And, that oneness is what I see as “spiritual”.

ANYTHING that facilitates this, any kind of music, an understanding look, a crisis…it really doesn’t matter what, anything that facilitates MOVEMENT can help us experience transcendant wholeness. 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Jan 30, 2009, 4:25 PM:

  What a powerful and moving experience that was, muji. There are so many, many ways and kinds of music and experiences that can lead us further into wholeness, I most heartily agree!

Thank you so much for this post. It’s tremendous.

Love,

Nicole 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 3, 2009, 8:33 AM:

  I find “Out of the Depths” (De Profundis) very moving – it’s by Terry Oldfield
 
 
It’s on the New World Music label
“the lapping waves of sound that ride Terry’s flute and the alluring siren-like vocals of Imogen entice you deep beneath the surface, where whale song provides an emotive counterpoint for a haunting lyrical plea.  This compelling musical prayer of heart felt communion alternates with cascades of enthralling beauty and joyous freedom, unfolding a feast of glorious sounds
Voted Album of the Year – think it was 1993
 
this is the blurb off the back of the CD!
  
picture of Ocean Creature Playing Image 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Feb 3, 2009, 9:53 AM:

  Great music and wonderful picture. I love whales!Now let’s see, whale music:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=p_o6NQX7lmE

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=xo2bVbDtiX8&feature=related

Love,

Nicole 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 3, 2009, 10:23 AM:

 
 
have a happy day – I wonder what those whales were talking about… 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Feb 4, 2009, 8:08 AM:

  Love your dolphins. They are delightful. Yes, who knows what philosophical discussions we were listening in on from the depths of the ocean? :)Here are dolphins to the sounds of Pink Floyd:

Echoes – Pink Floyd part 1  

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 7, 2009, 11:05 AM:

  in deep appreciation to dolphins and the ocean
 
 
 
One of my dolphin CD’s “Harmony” by David Sun – New World Music
 
 
 
“This delicate, imaginative music links the playful, complelling voices of Dolphins with the soothing sounds of their watery world.  The effect is powerfully comforting, inspiring and restful, drawing on upon the Dolphin’s renowned healing powers to balance the listener…
 
 
 
above moving dolphins from guess where, photobucket.com
 
 
 
Love and light to all dolphins 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Feb 8, 2009, 8:12 AM:

  Sounds like a wonderful CD, Tai,I just discovered this today, isn’t it lovely?

Ocean



Peace,

Nicole 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 9, 2009, 2:58 AM:

  the music took you to a deep ocean, where the waves just moved forever
 
 
 
I saw this video too on the same page – called Water by Keplerne1
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22idB502CTI&feature=related 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Feb 9, 2009, 9:30 AM:

  Exactly, the endless waves of being, Tai, you know it.Unfortunately the video you linked is showing up as unavailable.

Tai, I’m an absolute nut for Ralph Vaughan Williams’ music, and this is one of my very favourite performances of one of my favourite songs by him. It is very oceanic, no wonder they used it in the score of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 🙂

Ralph Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis




image
 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 18, 2009, 3:54 AM:

  It sounds like waves rising and falling, beautiful ….. it was a shame about my video not working.  If a video shows as feature related does it mean that it isn’t shown for very long on youtube.  I still haven’t worked out all the technical stuff! 

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  Nicole : wakingdreamer  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Nicole said Feb 18, 2009, 8:54 AM:

  Yes, that’s right, you can hear the waves… oh too bad, I wish you could have seen it. I don’t know what “feature related” means, this video has been on youtube for a long time though…May I share another favourite? Another fantasia, this time on a much more familiar song

Fantasia on Greensleeves – Ralph Vaughan Williams

Hope you can see the video, lots of beloved trees 🙂

Hugs,

Nicole 

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  Taikunping : nature  

Re: Favourite Spiritual Music

Taikunping said Feb 19, 2009, 4:49 AM:

  Hi Nicole, that was beautiful, just like walking up on Bickerton Hills….I love Greensleeves, it was one of my favourites on the recorder and guitar when I was learning – don’t think it would sound quite the same on my drum!
 
A good way to start my day.
 
The loading and unloading is getting a little slow, would you like to start another music thread?