Tag Archives: Video

Music Monday III

28 Nov

Every Monday, I post a song or piece of music that I like. I ask you to close your eyes for three minutes and simply listen to the music that I have posted. Listen to it for the sake of listening to music, for the sake of being moved by music and for the sake of experiencing the world through your ears, not through your eyes.

You may like or hate the songs that I post, but one thing is sure: in closing your eyes and listening to music, a new world will unfold in your mind. It is the world of the imagination. 

Happy listening.

(Don’t forget to close your eyes…)

 

 

If there are songs or pieces of music you love, please share them with me and other bloggers by posting their title in the comments section. That way, we can all open up our musical horizons together!

 

Music Monday

14 Nov

When was the last time you listened to music?

No, I don’t mean watched a music video on YouTube, but listened to music, without having any visual distractions.

When was the last time you listened to music without knowing anything about its composer/singer?

No, I don’t mean not knowing the latest gossip on Rihanna, but not knowing who the singer is, how well the band is doing in the charts, how many awards they have won, what everyone’s opinion is of them, or even what they look like.

When was the last time you listened to music for the actual pleasure of listening to music?

No, I don’t mean the pleasure of having the hum of the radio as you drive to work; no, not the fun of blasting your favourite songs as you do the cleaning; but sat down and listened to music for the sake of listening to music.

When was the last time you were moved by music?

No, I don’t mean laughing at the latest pop lyrics or being frustrated by the bad grammar in hip hop; but got goose bumps, had your body temperature rise, stood transfixed or even cried from music.

 

When I was a teenager, I bought a Franz Ferdinand album, having seen their name in a magazine. I listened to the album every day and loved the music so much that I soon knew all of the lyrics by heart and even started learning to play their songs on the guitar. I loved their music and listened to it with a passion, but I had no idea who Franz Ferdinand were. I didn’t know how many people were in the band, I didn’t know where they came from, I didn’t know how old they were, I didn’t know how long they’d been around, and I didn’t even know what they looked like. When I went to their gig, I discovered for the first time the people behind the melodies and words.

Nowadays, we watch music videos and often judge songs by the quality of the special effects, the artists’ appearance and their attitude.

We know about the private lives of most artists and such gossip leads us to make judgements on their work.

In most cases, we know what the musician looks like, dresses like and acts like, which evokes certain associations in our mind as we listen to their music.

I recently went to a concert without any prior knowledge of the composer, his life or his music. For the first time in years I closed my eyes and got carried away in my own world while listening to music. I enjoyed the music for the beauty of the music itself.

And this made me realise that listening to music for the music itself is not something we do often nowadays. We listen to a song because it got stuck in our head, or because the singer looks pretty in the video, or because it reminds us of a place/period/person, or because the band is considered cool, or because the album is advertised on all billboards, or because we simply don’t know many other songs.

If you love music, I ask you to take part on a journey of discovery with me.

Every Monday, I will post a song or piece of music that I like. Although there will inevitably be the artist’s name and song’s title, I will post these songs as YouTube videos that contain no moving images. I will give no background information about the song or artist, and will not tell you what I feel or think while listening to the music.

I ask you to close your eyes for three minutes and simply listen to the music that I have posted. Listen to it for the sake of listening to music, for the sake of being moved by music and for the sake of experiencing the world through your ears, not through your eyes.

You may like or hate the songs that I post, but one thing is sure: in closing your eyes and listening to music, a new world will unfold in your mind. It is the world of the imagination. With no videos to tell you how to interpret the sounds, you will construct your own associations and build your own fantasies. The music will have an effect that is personal to you, because it will have spoken to you through the power of your own imagination and emotions.

You are free to research as much or as little about the artist whose music I post, but please only do this after having listened to the song.

Happy listening.

(Don’t forget to close your eyes…)

 

I would love to know what you felt/thought/saw while listening to the song.

And if there are songs or pieces of music you love, please share them with me and other bloggers by posting their title in the comments section. That way, we can all open up our musical horizons together!

Happiness Project – Week 1

10 Nov

It’s been one week since the start of my happiness project. I am proud (and happy!) to say that I managed to do 9 of the 15 activities on my list:

1) (Go for a walk every day)

I went for a walk every day. However, some of these walks were simply to get from A to B, whereas others were evening walks specifically to calm down and clear the mind. I realised just what a positive effect the latter have on my state of mind and my ability to wind down at the end of the day.

2) (Wake up at the same time every day)

I started waking up earlier. Much earlier. So early that my working day was finished by 1pm. And this is thanks to the fact that I…

3) (Go to bed before midnight, or preferably at 11pm)

Went to bed before midnight. Once I even went to bed at 10pm! On other days I managed 11.30.

5) (Do some sport every day)

I did sport…but only three times in the week. I danced in my living room, blasting Britney Spears and Black Eyed Peas music (into my headphones). I felt like I shook out all of the negative energy that had been building up in me over the past few weeks. I also did one yoga practice and went to one dance class. It’s a good start, but I feel like I need more.

7) (Buy myself something pretty to wear)

I went to a special clothes sale where I bought myself some very nice skirts and dresses for a very nice price. I haven’t worn any of them yet (still in the wash!), but it feels nice to have renewed my wardrobe a bit.

10) (Go to a new place in the city every week)

I went to an art gallery, to which I had wanted to go for months. It’s only a fifteen minute walk away from my home, so it was about time that I finally got there! Although I didn’t find the exhibition particularly interesting, I enjoyed looking through the gallery catalogue and finding out about various artists and photographers. It made me want to take photos, draw and create.

11) (Try a new recipe every week)

Today I tried a new recipe for a healthy cake. Half of it is already eaten! I also revisited a recipe that I hadn’t done for over a year. It reminded me that I love cooking; I love giving myself a whole afternoon to make something, to create something that will bring happiness to the ones I love and to learn something new. My cooking sessions are also accompanied by music and singing; today I discovered two singers that will definitely go onto my playlist.

12) (Buy a juice making machine, and drink fresh fruit juice at least three times a week)

Although I did not buy a juice-making machine or make fresh fruit juice, I did eat fruit every day, which I haven’t done for a long while. I immediately felt, and tasted, the magic of natural vitamins. I could feel my body rejoicing in having received this healthy energy.

14) (Go to one new social event a week – alone)

I went to a singing class. I met friendly and open people, I had a lot of fun and I sang out loud on my own in front of a group of strangers! I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t even care about being out of tune and off beat. The singing class filled me with loads of positive energy and I realised that music is a sort of meditation for me: while singing or playing an instrument I am so concentrated on my activity that I forget everything else. I lose track of time, my mind clears of all thoughts and I simply let go.

***

Aims for week 2:

-Do not make ‘other people’ and excuse for not doing any of the set activities on a given day – there is always a way to make time for the things we would like to do.

 -Meditate. What’s holding me back from doing sport, considering I used to do dance, aerobics, yoga and jogging regularly? Why do I feel guilty giving myself the opportunity to do something I enjoy? Why do I resist setting aside time to pamper myself? I know I want to sing and continue learning to play the guitar…so why do I not take the step to do so?

I leave you with an awesome song that I listened to quite a few times this week. I think you’ll understand why it’s part of my ‘happy’ playlist.

 

Week 2 of my Happiness Project starts now! (Oops, it’s already past my bedtime!).

It Will Change My Life

27 Sep

“You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out and say ‘I’m gonna build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that has ever been built’. You don’t start there. You say ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid’. You do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.”

This week, I watched a video that blew my mind. Posted by Marcella Purnama in a post about wisdom, this video will probably change my life.

I would like to share it with you.

The Extraordinary Ordinary

23 Jan

“If I died today, I’d be happy with the life I’ve had,” my friend said at the age of eighteen. “I’ve had everything I needed: a good education, a roof over my head and food in my belly”. Her words have stuck with me since. At that age I had never heard anyone be grateful for such ‘basic’ things; most of the young people around me measured their happiness in clothes, in popularity, in money, in parties, in status, in partners. In my school, students avoided being ‘average’ at all costs. Now, this trend is spreading like a disease across the continent.

In Western society, being ‘happy with what you’ve got’ is often interpreted negatively as ‘settling for less’. Leading a life of calm contentment and simple pleasure is considered as lack of ambition, laziness, cowardliness and generally being a bore. We have become obsessed with the idea of ‘a life worth living’, which has come to mean living fast, achieving lots, having wild adventures and ‘trying everything once’. With so many opportunities and options open to us, we have come to believe that the way to enrich our lives is to fill them up with as many things as possible. “Quantity, not quality” seems to be society’s current motto.

The American golfer Walter Hagen famously said: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”. He recognised that we should make the most of life, but his vision of the way in which this can be done is very different to what we witness today. His quote evokes a life of slow and calm movement. The pleasure he portrays of ‘smelling flowers’ is one that represents the simple pleasures of life. Hagen is encouraging us to appreciate the everyday things, and in doing so to turn something ‘average’ into something amazing.

Those who have tried this know that it takes effort, patience and courage to love the smaller things in life. Yet the rewards are much greater. When we realise that even plain objects are beautiful, that even ordinary events are meaningful and that even (so called)  ‘unexpeptional’ people are precious, we learn that everything we experience is a gift. Nothing and no-one is average – everything and everyone is exceptional. When we see the miracle in everything around us, we begin to love everything around us. Calm contentment and simple pleasure become our saviours; they are what give us energy, hope and happiness.

Most of our life is made up of what we call ‘everyday’, ‘mundane’ or ‘routine’ things. Therefore, we may as well make friends with these constant companions. When we stop taking things for granted, we realise that the ordinary is actually quite extraordinary.