Tag Archives: music


So, I like loud music. Period. Not all the time, but enough of the time I probably annoy others.

Partly because I actually love feeling the music in my body, the percussion and resonance soothe me. It’s a side effect of having been a serious band geek as a kid.

Also partly because the music seeps in more quickly when it’s loud, so I use it to drown out the rest of the world and it’s intrusive energies. Plus there is a little hearing loss from having two screaming babies on top of decades of loud music, though all things considered- really not much hearing loss.

Anyway, today I invoked loud for another workout. I again was able to leave work early, and I’m pushing myself at every opportunity because I really do want to feel better. I’m still on the fence emotionally, so every effort is counting big time. I am doing my best to maximize my climb back up at every possible opportunity. It still seems to be excruciatingly slow progress.

The two tracks that seemed to help the most are linked below.

They helped me in many ways. I was able to focus on speed on the treadmill, and both tracks have messages that help me focus mentally. The Prodigy track utilizes a mantra I have benefited from, and had a good message about making a new better world. And keep hope alive- that’s pretty self explanatory. They are both in my personal music collection, and they were not the only tracks I listened to, but just the ones that seemed to help the most today.

So other than some Jello legs from two intense workouts in a row, I’m starting to feel better. It’s still going more slowly than I’d like, but I’ll keep pushing until I get back to normal.

If I could eliminate certain feelings it’d be easy. But I still have certain things eating at me and I’m not sure if they’re old ingrained patterns resurfacing (despite previous efforts to kill them), or if I’m picking up on other’s similar patterns. Either way I can’t seem to kick them out permanently yet. I’ll keep trying like I always do.

May you have good exercise, stable mental health and feel generally good. May you have several someones you can rely on when things get difficult for you. May you always have tools readily available to help solve whatever problem you are facing.

Om Shanti

Chasing the rain away.

Watch “Devil’s Dance Floor” on YouTube

We’re on about a week of cloudy days here in KC, with several having been rainy as well. I appreciated the cooler temperatures, but would love to have the sun back, and thus I’m reaching for something enjoyable.

A conversation yesterday at work stirred my desire to listen to some Hypnogaja, but a few of their songs lean toward dark and depressing, so I followed up with some Flogging Molly. Their song Devil’s Dance Floor (above) is my all time favorite workout song because I really get moving when the song kicks into full swing, so that definitely helped today.

I’ve never seen many live shows, and thus can name all of them.

By the time I graduated college I had seen: Hypnogaja, Paul McCartney, James Galway, Wylde Nept, and a few non-descript small time groups.

As an adult I have seen: America, Kaleo, Kongos, Dropkick Murphy’s, Flannigan’s Right Hook, and Nothing But Thieves.

Needless to say I would not be offended by getting to see a few more live shows. For now, I continue to enjoy recorded music, as I have an ample supply of that, which regularly grows even larger.

My kids however have not developed an appreciation for a large array of music yet, so I have to be more careful of my choices when around them.

I’m not sure why I show that respect though, except that I love them….

Today I was greeted after work with a teething 1.5 year old and a just plain loud and complainy 5 year old. It was almost like they were competing to see who could be the most obnoxious.

Lunch had been made, but they hadn’t eaten for dad and older sister. It wasn’t until I sat to eat something that they both decided they wanted to eat…. or should I say be fed. I ended up with 2 children squaking at me like baby birds, competing for bites of my meal, which was leftovers of what they had already been offered.

So I literally got 1 in 3 bites, sharing the rest with each of them in turns. It was quite comical, and I commented to Nathan and a friend that I think I now understood why my mom always said “monkey see, monkey do” & “kids, cats & puppy dogs”. It’s definitely one of those afternoons.

As much as I had hoped this afternoon would go a bit differently, I’m still grateful for the time with my children. If only I can figure out how to turn their volume down a few decibels.

May you all have peaceful fun with kids, good music to listen to, and great times with friends and family.

Siva Hir Su

Music fills my soul.

As much as my hands are a manifestation of God’s providence,  music is a manifestation of God’s grace filling my soul. 

I love music, all music.  I always have. I remember being 4 or 5 years old with a tiny keyboard picking out a musical run I’d heard in my head,  perhaps from a commercial or something. I played that handful of notes over and over again asking my mom if she recognized it. She never did,  but I loved those notes.  To this day I don’t know what they’re from,  but I could probably recall them with enough focus. 

When I was in 5th grade I begged to be in band.  My options as tested by the instructor were flute or trombone.  My parents decided of the 2, flute was ok. They rented me one with a disclaimer.  I could earn the ability to remain in band,  and possibly a new flute of my own, if I could play 3 songs well by Christmas. I could play about 6 songs well and a few others ok by Christmas. Their reward was a beginner’s level flute. 

2 years later I began piano lessons. A year after that,  earning my own upright Baldwin spinnet piano.

I had discovered that not only was music an excellent escape from bullying,  it was also a feel good use of my time. I spent hours and hours practicing because I could be alone, and every song I perfected made me feel really good about myself.

I also began to feel the music.  It didn’t matter if I was playing it or hearing it, the music would resonate with my being in a way I have trouble explaining. I love to feel the rhythm of a piece,  it resonates with my heart strongly. When I really get into music my body literally moves to the music, sometimes very subtly and gently,  and sometimes very big and excitedly.  Usually depending on where I’m at or what I’m doing.

Music is something I don’t have to think about.  By the time I was in high-school, I was learning whatever instrument Mr. Franz, my band teacher, needed filled.  Regularly competing and receiving high marks for my performances. I learned Piccolo, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone (tenor was preferred, but I could play alto too), Clarinet, and Bells. I later learned on my own for  fun to play Djembe drum and harp.

I played solos and in duets, trios, and quintets. I loved music,  all music,  and even with hours and hours of practicing,  I couldn’t get enough and would listen to a wide variety of music when not playing.

This continued on into college,  first year I majored in music with Flute as my focus. I played bassoon for the orchestra and piano as an extra studio instrument. 

Then Aural Skills took it’s  toll. One dreaded class, that was essentially learning to sing without accompaniment. I devoted ALL of my practice time (8 to 10 hours a day, several days a week)  to trying to pass that class. Apparently all of my musical skills, and none applied to my voice.  I barely squeaked by (pun intended), and that was with a very generous professor that did his best to help me every way possible. Unfortunately, it was required to pass 2 years worth to graduate with a BA in Music. So that’s when my music career ended and my art career began. 

Yet, to this day I still love music. I listen to music more hours of my days than not.  I even sleep to music. Nathan and I have a combined music collection of approximately  67 gigs, of  which I’ve listened to most of it many times over. I have an additional few dozen CD’ s that have yet to be converted to digital files. We literally could listen to music non-stop for over a month.  My spa friendly collection alone  is nearly 3 days worth of music- I know because I used to have it on repeat in my office, and it took about 3 days to cycle back through. 

If that’s not enough,  I’ve paid for ad free listening on Pandora & I’ve downloaded several new albums through my Google play account.  I own a small fortune in music because it’s that important and influential to me.

I sleep usually to my spa friendly music or mantras.  If I were to note the most preferred it would include:  Enya, Lorenna Mckennitt, Enigma, David Lanz, James Galway, Zamphier, Richard Clayderman, Liquid Mind, Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur, Bethoven, Bach, Brahms, and the Pure Moods compilations, just to name a few.

During waking hours my music preferences are so diverse that I tend to choose based on my mood. This is mainly due to my ability to feel the music,  but also because there’s just so darn much to choose from. 

There are 2 exceptions to my liking of  all music:  really old country music like Patsy Cline, & traditional Gospel like the Gaither family.  I will tolerate those if someone else is playing them,  but my father ruined enjoyment of them.

So then mood based listening. What does that look like?

Well if I’m down I reach up, but can usually only reach so far. So depression leads to angry music. My favorite “angry” music bands are:  Hypnogaja, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Apollo 440, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphey, Black Flag & Black 47, and similar artists. 

If I’m looking for upbeat, fast music (I use for exercising)  some of those same bands apply (I really like Devil’s Dance Floor by Flogging Molly as part of my workout),  but I can also add in: Kongos, Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, Less Than Jake, Sublime, Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, the Skatallites, and a whole slew of 80’s one hit wonders, or current pop hits.

If I’m looking for mellow-jazzy-love music: Norah Jones (my go to girl), Adelle, Dido, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Alice Coltrane usually make the list. 

If I’m wanting to groove (dance) I usually then have to ask myself: new or old or traditional? 

If the answer is old, we’re talking: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Parker, or similar. 

If the answer is new, I’m usually referencing EDM. Though I’ve never been to a rave or an EDM event of any kind,  I love to move to electronic music.  My all time favorite is Moby, with Apollo 440 close second. I like BT,  David Guetta, Rob Dougan “Rob D”, Eiffel 65, Robert Miles, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, and Lindsey Stirling to name a few.

My ultimate favorite subset of EDM though is Fusion, the electronic music that blends old world ethnic sounds with current beats and electric influences. The artist(s) I’ve know the longest, which Nathan and I used for our wedding music 7 years ago,  is Afro Celt Sound System.  I absolutely adore their music, and highly recommend all their albums.   Along those lines though is music from Beats Antique, Delhi 2 Dublin, Amethystium, Omar Faruk, Punjabi MC, Bally Sagoo, PBN, & many others. I often dance to music in this category in our livingroom,  bumping my confidence and mood up significantly,  while traumatizing Anya to no end. Insert maniacal laughter here! 

So then, if my answer is traditional,  I generally mean Irish Celtic music.  I love dancing to that genre. For music like that,  I love to see live performances.  I’ve been to performances by Wylde Nept, Flannigan’s Right Hook, and The Elders, which I’ve walked away with albums from most of those performances.  I also really like The Chieftains, Celtic Women, Clannad, The Dubliners, The Pogues, and as I mentioned earlier Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, and Black 47.
Finally there’s all my other music that sometimes will take me 20 minutes to decide what I actually want to listen to. Some of my all-time favorites are: 

U2, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Green Day, Dido, Eurythmics/Annie Lennox, Nirvana, Dixie Chicks, Fleetwood Mac, America, Billy Joel, Nine Inch Nails, Sound Garden, Savage Garden, the Piano Guys, Kaleao, Daniel Ratliff & the Night Sweats, and many, many others.

As you can see, I love lots of music. I can honestly say I don’t think I’d survive life without it. It fills my soul with a many varied beautiful sound. I am grateful for the experience of being able to make music occasionally,  but even more studio to be able to honor other musician’s skills and worldly contributions. 

 God(s) grant me the strength to keep going in this life, and keep my ears good to listen to the many varied beautiful musicians gracing our planet  with their amazing music.