Have you ever wondered why we almost always ask what type of music someone listens to when we first meet them? My simplest answer to this would be because "We are what we listen to".
I honestly really believe that you can determine pretty accurately someones character by the music they listen to. Music can have an incredibly powerful effect on our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and can immediately affect our every cell causing shifts in mind and body. I feel it's important for our overall wellbeing as with everything in life to find balance in the music genres we listen to and aim to expose ourselves to new music. There is so much variety out there that you could never get bored. Be adventurous!
Funny little story for you...
At the time my mum was going into labor and was about to give birth to me, my dad had just arrived from the restaurant he owned back then, in order to come witness "the miracle of life". As he walked in the labor room, he noticed that the doctors there -being very Greek- had bouzoukia (a Greek instrument and genre of music) playing in the background. He instantly went to my mum, told her to wait as she was and stormed out the door. 10 pretty agonising (for my mum) minutes later, my dad walks back in, pleased to see that I was still hiding in my cave, hands a cd to the doctors and asks them to play that instead. He had driven back to the restaurant, picked up a Pavarotti CD and brought it, in order for me to come into this life listening to classical music.
It most definitely didn't make me a musician or even give me a sense of rhythm but it surely helped me love classical music and most specifically Pavarotti. More than that though, I strongly believe, that my patience and my open-mindedness, partly at least, come from that first glimpse into this wonderful experience we call life.
Sharing is caring and even though some of these songs you surely know or have heard of before, I would like to share with you some of the songs that inspire Mirka and myself. Some bring joy in our lives, some tears, some fill our bellies with butterflies and some take us back to precious memories, but all keep a special place in our hearts.
With no specific order here we go...
1. "I am" by Fia
"I am so much more, I am one with source I am limitless, infinite, powerful Abundant, complete from the start, creator of all"
Because we all are! We are all so much more that what we might think we are. Fia reminds herself and us that we are all beings of infinite power, filled with love, joy and the unique ability to shine a little brighter each day. Her voice is an inspiring and gentle push to accept all that we are and live our fullest lives!
2. "'O sole mio" by Luciano Pavarotti
The voice of this man comes from magical realms of love and carries with it a sound that can penetrate the human soul. His love of life, his child-like, wondrous character and his most generous heart have made him an inspiration and legend for many of us. May his voice fill the hearts of us all with such love and joy for years to come.
Also if you haven't seen the documentary I most certainly recommend you do. It's heartwarmingly beautiful!
3. "Pern" by Yann Tiersen
It was hard to pick one song out of this album as it has been the vinyl I've played most times in the last couple of years. The album presents a series of solo piano works paired with field recordings from the French island Eusa in Breton language or Ushant in English.
It is a beautiful journey, a story I love listening to that carries with it a certain cathartic sadness that will leave you inspired and light. Yann Tiersen has been a favourite musician of mine for many years and as the creator of La Valse d'Amélie I doubt he'll ever be forgotten.
4. "Words remain" by Josh Garrels
I was listening to Gustavo Santaolallas' Motorcycle Diaries - also a great soundtrack - and somehow ended up doing research on one of the instruments he uses which is a mix between a Ukelele and a Mandolin, wonderful sound. That search though led me towards this gentleman called Josh Garrels. His mostly folk/Christian music doesn't quite appeal to me but this song is one of my favourites out there and really brings a sense of enlightenment every time I hear it.
5. "Somewhere over the rainbow" by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole
I'm not sure there are words to describe how this song and video makes me feel every time I watch it. Goosebumps and a huge smile!
We love you IZ!
You've made our world a more wonderful place!
6. "Baba Hanuman" by Krishna Das
Krishna Das, a student of spiritual seeker and teacher Ram Das left behind his rockstar dream in order to share his natural talent of chanting and his Kirtan practice. “I will sing for you in the west” he had promised his beloved Guru Maharaj-ji and so he's done so for almost 20 years. I have not had the honour to see him live but I hope I will soon. Wonderful music :)
7. "Divenire" by Ludovico Einaudi
This song is a musical journey upwards, towards light. It's a musical story of love, brief loss, hope, passion and enlightenment.
A few years back Ludovico was performing live in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam where I was lucky enough to find tickets to see him live, an incredible experience for sure. Nothing though prepared me for what would happen the next day, as he announced in the morning that he would be playing a live concert on a boat cruising the canals of Amsterdam. Thanks to my friend Don, I found the boat midway and jumped on. Being on a 15 people boat with my best friend, Ludovico and his musicians was quite possibly one of the most incredible experiences of my life!
8. "Don't stop me now" by Queen
One of the greatest bands in the history of music and at my personal top 3! Freddy's magnetising energy and his out of this world voice together with the bands natural team spirit helped bring to life songs that will be sang until the end of humankind. It was near impossible to pick just 1 song by them but "Don't stop me now" simply makes us want to get up and dance like there's no tomorrow. Wonderful!
In case you haven't seen the movie, we would most certainly recommend it, Rami Malek does a wonderful job being Fredy and the music just makes this a greatly uplifting movie to watch!
9. "The sun" - LCAW Remix by Parov Stelar ft.Graham Candy
I've had the pleasure to see Parov Stelar perform live and they were so much fun. I think I didn't stop dancing/jumping around for a single moment during that concert. They've been a favourite of mine for many many years, together with Fat Freddy's Drop, Quantic and Nightmares on Wax all of which I most certainly recommend seeking out and seeing live if you can!
10. "Follow the sun" by Xavier Rudd
This mostly shirtless man is drop down gorgeous, has an amazing talent, wonderful voice and writes some of the most humane, loving songs. All about oneness, acceptance, gratitude and love! What's not to love about him. His whole band as well just comes together and brings forward this powerful energy that makes you want to smile throughout their every song. We also just love Australians sooo... enjoy :)
11. "Stand by me" by Tracy Chapman
See, I had to include Tracy Chapman in this list as she is quite possibly one of the most inspiring voices out there and as I was going through her songs, I came across this. Now I know it's not her song and it's been covered like a million times but this song brings back wonderful memories! One of which is Lion King (the original of course). I somehow still remember the 1st -or maybe it was the101st - time I ever saw that movie and will never forget how it made me laugh and cry. So here it is, one of my favourite female voices and one of my childhood memories in one song!
12. "Trusty and true" by Damien Rice
Here's a little known secret about me... I absolutely LOVE Damien Rice! He is by far my favourite singer-songwriter and I'm so proud of that. I know he's not the most uplifting or inspiring one on the list and this song is not even close being my favourite of his but it's his least "sad" one. I have cried endless tears to many of his songs, I have a tattoo on my leg inspired by one of his lyrics and he is my go-to every time I feel sad. I love everything about this man, proper man crush! If you ever need to let the tears flow, try "Cold water" and if you want to get some anger out play "Rootless Tree", trust me, it helps!
13. "Dream a little dream of me" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Last but most definitely not least comes this stunning duet by 2 people that inspire our every cell with their magical voices. They both deserve their unique spot in this list but being able to listen to both of them in one song just makes it so worth it! 2 unique voices that made musical history and co-created so many wonderful songs like this.
I hope these songs inspire you as much as they inspire us and that you find some resonance within them. They all hold a special place in our hearts and I'm glad I could share them with you.
Love & Joy,