Monday, October 29, 2012

My Playlist of Endless Loop, or "Play It Again, Sam"

I have this thing where I'll listen to one song over and over again. I think it comes from being a musician and practicing the same piece again and again, but there are some songs that always leave me wanting more.

One is Stephen Paulus's "Pilgrim's Hymn" performed by the University of Utah Singers:

I love this song. It's serene, subtly dramatic, and the harmonies are beautiful. I'll often put this song on repeat when I know I'm going to be doing a lot of editing.

The next is Ralph Vaughn Williams's "Orpheus with his Lute":

Pardon the counter-tenor. I actually think he does a terrific job singing it. There's something deeply sorrowful about this song, even if it's not explicit in the text. It's exquisite and haunting. Also, I just love the Orpheus story so much.

Moving from classical to pop, I present you with Adele. Maybe you've heard of her:

I've gushed about how much I like her and specifically "Someone Like You" here, but she deserves a second mention. This is about as perfect as any pop song could ever hope to be. It's simple, straightforward, and soulful. I love that it's just her and a piano.

Back to classical. This is one of the two greatest pieces of music ever written:
Beethoven wrote this when he thought he was about to die. Once again, it wins on simplicity. Beethoven was at the height of his craft when he composed this, but he decided to keep it basic and beautiful.

And then virtually any song by Jack White fits in this category. This morning I kept repeating "Hypnotize":
I don't know why some songs do this to me while others don't. All the ones up to this point had pretty slow tempos, but here comes another fastie:

I have literally run to this song for hours upon hours. I put it on repeat and the time flies. It also makes me inexplicably happy.

And the last is like the first. This is an arrangement of Bizet's "Agnus Dei":

Miserere may be my favorite word in Latin. Or maybe lacrimosa. Anyway, this song takes me to a deeply peaceful place. The harmonies are palpable, and I love the tone quality of this choir.

Anyway. I don't know why I choose to listen to these particular songs for hours at a time, but I do. I like them. By the way, if you want to share in the experience of trance-like listening, just type "repeat" into the URL after "youtube."

For example, this is the regular URL for the last video:

And this is the looping URL:


1 comment:

  1. Wow. I am so liking your blog, your posts, your musical suggestions.

    Nice to meet you, Mr. Alfonso X. Lacrimosa is beautiful. This documentary, minute 54:30, hear that word in one of the most moving pieces ever composed.