I go through phases where besides the time spent teaching and dancing in the studio, I barely listen to music. I enjoy the inner silence and the outer background noise of cars and frequent yelling matches outside in the streets (although I can never tell if it is happy enthusiastic cries or a fight- both are entirely plausible in Tangier). I don’t feel the need to fill space with anything but this unique sort of white noise and my own thoughts swimming among it.
However, there is something about winter- the month of December especially- that starts to give me this pressing need for a daily soundtrack. I don’t know if it is caused by that strong nostalgia for Christmas music playing wherever you turn or if it is the fact that everything outdoors naturally becomes more silent, therefor my need for personal quiet lessens. It is most likely a mixture of the two, but either way I find myself once again compiling playlists, browsing my enormous library of music, playing Christmas carols while I bake up a storm in the kitchen and other winter-y songs while I get dressed, dance around the house in the mornings and walk to work.
A new seasonal soundtrack always helps as well if I’m in a choreography rut and need something to help with that first original impulse to dance. You never know what kind of new movements some new sound may inspire and really, this is not only applicable to dancers. A soundtrack attuned to the season could also inspire new brushstrokes, poetic words on paper, shapes molding from clay or unique flavors melding together in a pot on a hot flame. Music can weave through everything and effect the sway of creativity.
Sparked by my new music discoveries for the beginning of this month and the end of the last, I have been doing a fair amount of solo improvisation in the studio every week. Trying to keep those dancing reflexes strong, ever-growing and inspired by more moody, soft and subtle influences.
In case you are in need of some new influences as well, below is the playlist that has been inspiring my movement and mindset as of late. I have also created a little improv teaser of some flowy-ness that came about while listening to the first song on the list, all shared with you in hopes that maybe you can gain a little bit of new wintertime inspiration as well.
Put this soundtrack on in the background and either get cozy under a blanket, watching snow (or rain, if you’re in Morocco) fall outside in rhythm to the soft beats, or get some heat going in your body and see how the music moves you.
Plastic Flowers - Dear Criminals (Live avec le Choeur JFP)
I Need A Forest Fire (feat. Bon Iver) - James Blake
Familiar - Agnes Obel
White As Diamonds - Alela Diane
Neverland - Takénobu
Our Way To Fall - Yo La Tengo
Should Have Known Better - Sufjan Stevens
Intern - Angel Olsen
Nothin’ - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Gold Shadow - Asaf Avidan
Old Money - Lana Del Rey
Human - Aquilo
Through the Trees Pt. 2 - Mount Eerie
Friends ft. Bon Iver and Kanye West - Francis and the Lights
Pass Them By - Agnes Obel
Listen to the whole thing on 8tracks
(sorry, I don't have Spotify in Morocco,
but you can definitely find these tracks there and compile what you like!)