Writing from a place of pain is incredibly valuable. Writing can be release, personal therapy, a way of overcoming a struggle or trauma. At a few times in my life, I’ve written from a place of sadness or pain, and the writing has helped me.
However, I write best when I’m happy or relaxed. Joy, exuberance, or contented peace are usually more inspiring to me than sadness or pain. Not that I always have to be a good mood to write (it’s about discipline, not just feelings), but being happy certainly helps to boost my creativity.
Music is one of my greatest sources of inspiration; and so here I’m sharing some of my favorite “happy” tracks. These are pieces of music (mostly instrumental) that fill me with joy and help me to get into writing mode. Enjoy! Continue reading
Not a long post this week. I just wanted to share this reminder that in the hustle of the holiday season, take a moment to sit down, reflect and relax, and be thankful. Whether you’ve finished all your decorating or not, whether you’ve reached your daily word count writing goal or not – just take a moment to be calm. Continue reading
Because it’s almost Christmas, and because it’s been a while since I’ve posted some Nordic music on my blog, I thought I’d put together a short little Scandinavian Christmas playlist. Enjoy!
Sissel Kyrkjebø – “O Helga Natt” – Norway
Frostrósir – “Fegurð Heimsins” – Iceland
Tarja Turunen – “Maa On Niin Kaunis” – Finland
Secret Garden – “Fionnuala’s Cookie Jar” – Norway (and Ireland)
God Jul, Hyvää Joulua, and Merry Christmas!
After nearly 20 years of composing and performing, the Norwegian-Irish New Age group Secret Garden is going back to the basics, as it were. Secret Garden’s latest album is titled Just the Two of Us, and features Rolf Løvland on the piano and Fionnuala Sherry on the violin.
Even though Rolf and Fionnuala have performed with other musicians, singers, and orchestras for all of their other albums, a duo of piano and violin was always at the heart of their music. For their ninth album, they created a simpler, more intimate experience for their listeners.
Every melody on this album is a delicate resculpting of tunes that would be familiar to long-time Secret Garden fans: “Awakening,” “Song from a Secret Garden,” and “Papillon” are some of my favorites on this album. Two new pieces are featured for the first time here: “En Passant” and the title track “Just the Two of Us.”
There aren’t any of Secret Garden’s upbeat Celtic jigs or songs with full choirs on this album. This easily could have been called “Ode to Simplicity,” as one of the tracks on the album suggests. I feel that Rolf and Fionnuala achieved what they set out to do – create new life while revisiting the past.
If you’re looking for a soothing instrumental album, full of variety but without any jarring musical surprises to interrupt relaxation or enjoyment, then I would highly recommend Just the Two of Us.
Secret Garden’s website
“Song from a Secret Garden”