SoundTrax: Silently Sleeping
In the age of the playlist, everyone has access to collections of songs hacked together due to arbitrary similarities. But what does that accomplish other than aid our forever shortening attention span, while making the idea of an album obsolete? SoundTrax is here to provide you with playlists that are more thought out, but still provide you with that instant gratification.
As much as we love music’s belters and crooners, I often feel that not nearly enough attention is given to instrumental pieces, at least in the mainstream industry. In the classical world, instrumental music is viewed as the highest art form there is. But this playlist focuses on instrumental music for an entirely different reason; sleep. I find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep to music with vocals, especially if I happen to know the lyrics. My mind latches on to certain words, and even when I try to concentrate on sleeping, I inadvertently find myself humming the hook a few minutes later. So, for this weeks edition of SoundTrax, we’ve picked eight instrumental tracks that will help slow your breathing, calm your heart rate and shut your eyes. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, kids.
To start, one of my favorite composers Frédéric Chopin sets the mood with his famous Prelude in E Minor, a beautiful piano tune that is taken at a slightly slower than normal tempo for this recording. This flows well into the haunting over-driven guitar riffs from Radiohead‘s Hunting Bears.” The continuation into minor, ominous melodies is picked up by OurStage artist Jobnil who provides a simple, delicate, twisted guitar arrpegiation that is so fluid and lush it becomes easy to lose your sense of direction while listening. Before things get too dark, Dave Matthews Band and the late LeRoi Moore keep things grooving with warm saxophone melodies highlighted by intricate guitar and rhythm sections. The playlist reaches its climax with Lisa Winship‘s moving piano improvisation based on the themes of a standard Bach fugue, carrying over nicely as piano player Moshechi provides a light, airy, piano composition that will surely give you some sense of balance. To close out this weeks playlist, talented guitarist Kaki King evokes some eerily delicate sounds from her hollow body and Alan Jarvis‘ lovely composition puts us to sleep (in a good way).