I saw a wizard yesterday. 🎵

A fiddler playing a Celtic reel live. The sound was like a a clear brook spilling over rocks, like a diving falcon.

I’d not seen real live wizardry, until I saw his fingers moving on the strings. Brilliant. Just spectacular.

I wish I’d recorded his playing, but it was a concert and against the rules. Still, would’ve been worth breaking the rules for. Hopefully the magic will live in my soul, even if I can’t hear its sound again.

Not the concert I heard. But behold that fiddling wizardry.

🎵 Now listening. Turrican Soundtrack Anthology, vol. 2 by Chris Huelsbeck, and the rest of the Turrican Anthology soundtracks.

How have I not encountered this music/game/composer before? These soundtracks are magnificent. The first track of Turrican II (“The Final Fight”) alone is worth the price of the whole album. Instant buy!

🎵 Now listening: The Necks, “Body”, sole track from album of the same name (2018). Heard on 106.7FM; the DJ played the 56-minute album in its entirety, uninterrupted, on his 1-hour program. (Where can one hear this happening, except on independent community radio? Hearing a wonder like this makes me proud to be a financial supporter. 📻)

Drone

Vangelis has always been my favourite music artist.  I listened to his music incessantly in my late teens/early 20s, and while I don’t listen to him as much nowadays, he’s a mainstay and remains my biggest single-artist collection to date at 16 albums (all the other artists average at 3-5 albums).

Many of Vangelis’ compositions contain a distinct musical sequence: a slow, deep drone-like bassline, overlaid with luminous, tinkling, treble notes.  It’s most distinctive in “Rêve” (Opera Sauvage), “Antarctica Echoes” (Antarctica OST), and “Abraham’s Theme” (Chariots of Fire OST).  It also appears in different permutations in “Summit” (China), “Monastery of La Rábida” (1492: Conquest of Paradise OST), “Come to Me” and “P.S.” (Voices), “Dawn” (The City), “Love Theme from Blade Runner” and “Rachel’s Song” (Blade Runner OST), and “Spotkanie Z Matką” (Blade Runner 25th Anniversary).

I’ve heard this sequence nowhere else except in Vangelis’ music.  Until recently, when I started listening to drone and white-noise generators at myNoise to help me concentrate, and came across this particular noise generator.  It produces a drone that sounded uncannily like the one I heard in Vangelis’ music.  That URL above links to the custom sound I’ve tuned to sound somewhat like that tinkling sequence in Vangelis’ music.

I’d never ever noticed before that Vangelis uses drone sequences in his music.  Now that I recognize what it is, I’m hearing it in every single composition.  This explains why whenever I’m feeling stressed or blue, I always turn back to Vangelis to soothe my soul.  His tunes are so melancholy but very beautiful, and very comforting and calming.  It’s because of the melodious drones.  And no one composes music like Vangelis

It’s currently a stressful time.  I’m listening to lots more Vangelis these days.

A song of death and salvation.

This is my favourite song out of Josh Garrels‘ latest album, Home.  From the first I heard those melancholy lyrics, I thought it was a song of the Prodigal Son, on the way back to God, longing and hoping for salvation and renewal.  The lyrics don’t entirely match, but that was the strong, first impression.

But now, when I watched this new music video and actually read the words, it struck me that it’s also a song about death and remembrance.  A son returning home to visit the grave of a long passed father, saying a final goodbye again.

The beauty of Garrels’ music is that there are different ways of interpreting his lyrics, and each reveals a different facet of God and faith in God.  It’s one, and it’s also the other.