Music

On 10-FEB-2018, Icelandic musician and film score composer Jóhann Jóhannsson passed away at the young age of 48.  Words are still failing to describe the atmospheres his music created and the depths in which I would be lost within them.  I was able to attend two concerts that came through MN over the years and must now be content with their lasting impressions.

  • 6/30/2009 at the Southern Theatre
  • 5/8/2010 at The Cedar

Of the 15 albums and musical scores I have had the privilege of listening to, these are my favorites and ones that provide inspiration when writing or putting an end to the day.

  • And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees
  • Arrival
  • Englaborn
  • Orphee
  • The Theory of Everything

More information and complete music catalog is on the official website at: http://www.johannjohannsson.com

When I see the evening sun
gracefully fall into the forest

and the last rays sweep across the sky
I hear the slow progression of cello and violin

as the music makes room in me for these rare
moments and feelings of peace.

I have been down that road
many times in this life

hoping that what is unknown and unseen
would change, a different result would be waiting

but after years of chasing shadows
and fleeing from truths steeped in stars

I found you waiting beneath the setting sun.

Awakened by raven screams
from the top of trees above
the rocky shoreline,
I briefly let go of the
dream I was lost within.

I wait. Hoping for its’ return.

Perhaps the ravens were the dream.

When the integration process started
there were no words exchanged,
no way to communicate until
we discovered the universal
language of dreams and music.

Perhaps the ravens were the dream.

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A Winter Light, by John Haines

We still go about our lives
in shadow, pouring the white cup full
with a hand half in darkness.

Paring potatoes, our heads
vent over a dream—
glazed window through which
the long, yellow sundown looks.

By candle or firelight
your face still holds
a mystery that once
filled caves with the color
of unforgettable beasts.


Photo below shared from Alaska Dispatch News which features a piece about writer/musician John Luther Adams and being influenced by John Haines.
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From TWENTY POEMS, Unicorn Press, 1973

When the nearest stars are observed
and the furthest ancient light is discovered
we see what became the past far removed
from the beginning.

If we remove ourselves from physical bonds
and trivial thoughts, what used to be feeling
transforms into knowing that what is felt and tasted
is no different than the first particle sent into the void.

If we allow the light and dark matter
to return back to us, to remind us
of our own beginning we see and
hear the music of energy and motion.

If we extend our imagination
and slow the waves of energy
we see infinite colors and
and the building blocks

of a concept still mystifying
the child standing in awe in the empty fields.

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Some recent music, delving into new music and artists, as well as favorites, including a release by Hildur Gudnadottir, one of my favorite Icelandic musicians.

  1. Seven Lions – Worlds Apart (2014)
  2. Seven Lions – The Throes of Winter (2015)
  3. Celldweller – End of an Empire (Chapter 03: Dreams) (2015)
  4. Celldweller – Transmissions: Volume 01 (2014)
  5. Porter Robinson – Worlds (2014)
  6. Hildur Gudnadottir – Saman (2014)
  7. Shigeto – No Better Time Than Now (2013)
  8. Eraldo Bernocchi, Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie – Winter Garden (2011)
  9. Animattronic – Pirates of the Galaxy (2015)

Recently I discovered the wonderful music of cellist Zoe Keating. She is a champion of the arts and independent musicians. On February 19th, her husband passed away from cancer. With her music filled with such emotion and expansive energy, listening to it now has a new light.