The occasional observations of Carolyn Kephart, writer

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Soul's Secrets

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory. ~Shelley

Recently, a discussion board I frequent asked its members what sorts of music they had on their players. I looked over my Sandisk files and made a list, starting with what inspires me most.

World and ethnic: Milongas, taksims, kizombas, fados, cumbias, rumbas, reels. Klezmer, gitana, Griot, gidayu, sirtos, llanera. Gamelans, kotos, ouds, sitars. One of my most favorite songs is Baaba Maal's 'Lam Tooro,' that always makes me think of swaying camel-back on the Silk Road.

Baroque: Bach, Corelli, Couperin, Rameau, Purcell, Handel, Hayden, Lully, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Telemann, Vivaldi. I'm wild about harpsichords.

Renaissance: Dowland, Frescobaldi, Machaut, Monteverdi, Gibbons, Praetorius, Gabrieli. I collect versions of Dowland's lute song "Can She Excuse My Wrongs."

Ambient: Air, Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan, Shadowfax, Enigma, Sasha and Digweed, Paco di Lucia, Ottmar Liebert, Strunz and Farah, Infected Mushroom, Jazzanova, Gotan Project, De Phazz.

Blues: King (Freddy, B. B., Albert), Musselwhite, Mayall, Clapton, Guy, Hammond, Hooker, Sumlin, Wells, Allison, Vaughn, Mahal, Mo'.

Jazz: Chet Baker, Charlie Mingus, Cal Tjader, Jack McDuff, Ponty, Corea, Metheny, Davis, Monk, Keith Jarrett when he isn't vocalizing.

Celtic: Altan, Lunasa, Celtic Nots, Liz Carroll, Natalie MacMaster, Slainte. I'm pretty picky with Celtic, and like it modal and traditional.

Classical and opera: Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Bartok, Dvorak, Satie, Debussy, Faure, de Falla, Tchaikosky, Schumann, Schubert, Puccini, Verdi; not much Mozart. I have a huge fondness for Beverly Sills and Joan Sutherland, and collect versions of favorite arias.

Bluegrass: Ranges from old (Bill Monroe, etc.) to new (String Cheese Incident, Bela Fleck). I collect versions of 'Salt Creek,' and my favorite so far is the guitar duet with Doc and Merle Watson.

Rock: Eighties alternative (stuff that never made it to the commercial airwaves, alas), Motown, Fifties classics, Sixties icons (Stones, Who, Hendrix, etc.), Seventies punk.

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