Finally back at home after two whole weeks away – one week on vacation, flowing into a work meeting in New Brunswick, followed by a couple of days in CT.
One thing that I noticed on my trip was how my music choices changed as I got away from work and real life. I drove up to Portland and stayed there over night and then caught the ferry across to Yarmouth, NS at 8am Sunday. It was an early start and followed a lot of hectic activity to get things settled before I left. As soon as I got in the car to drive to the ferry, I chose (subconsciously, I think) my “ambient” playlist rather than the usual rock, punk or techno that seem to be in heavy rotation usually.
I stayed with this genre and audiobooks through the whole trip with the exception of when I was working out in the hotel gyms. I really feel like this music choice contributed to my mellow attitude throughout the past two weeks – so maybe I should try and stick with this to keep my stress level and blood pressure down.
In case you are interested, here are some of the artists I consider “ambient”:
Rhian Sheehan – fantastic NZ musician I discovered by accident in Wellington. He has a new CD out and I can’t say enough good things about him. Ordered the CDs from Amazon, because I’m still old-fashioned that way and the Virgin Megastore is no more.
Mary Bue – was in my classes at UMD and I used to see her at Amazing Grace on my way back from the beach with the boys. Great musician and I see she’s put out a couple more CDs and moved to Seattle. I need to check her new stuff out.
Jordan Reyne – another random Wellington find; NZ has some great music that is worth seeking out. I was listening to her “Passenger” CD. She describes her music as “industrial tinged folk music”.
Low – another Duluth connection. I don’t know Alan and Mimi, but we were friends with Scotty / starfire who worked for them (don’t know if he still does). I saw Low the last time they played Webster Hall and it was an outstanding show.
Peter Gabriel – specifically the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack.
Ali Farka Touré – If you don’t know his music you should. He was a Malian guitarist, literally from Timbuktu, and one of the greatest guitarists ever.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – again a magical singer and musician. I found (randomly again) a CD of remixes of his work called Star Rise and all its tracks are great.
Verve Remixed series – remixes of classic Nina Simone, Hugh Masakela, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan tracks.
Check some of this out if you don’t know it! Perhaps it will calm you down too.