Thursday, July 28, 2011

St. Vinny's the DJ

$0.99 a song on iTunes.
$12 for an album.

And then I go to the neighborhood thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul's, where I can get an album for $1.49.

St. Vinny's is legendary - you can find anything there. And when I need a music mix-up, I like to head over there.

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of music or sounds that are either...
     a) instrumental
           - classical (Baroque, Copland, Yo-Yo Ma)
           - pretty stuff
           - weird new agey stuff from the 70s
           - folky music (Scottish or banjo)
     b) sound CD's
     c) NPR
     d) books on tape
     e) and a few other more recent happy songs

And that's about it.

So what have I been listening to lately from St. Vinny's?

One CD I got a while back was Songs from a Secret Garden (1996) by Secret Garden. I had no idea what it was when I bought it. It looked.... pretty. And it was! It was gorgeous. Simply incredible, soothing music. My favourite song goes by the album title, Songs from a Secret Garden. If you're feeling any stress at all, check it out. Secret Garden, the band, is an Irish-Norwegian "duo" (thank you Wikipedia). It sounds classical but it's not. Bit more recent than that. Wish I knew how to describe sounds, but it simply is my favourite way to end an evening. I'd fall asleep to it but it has a lively song near the end that would disturb my sleep-intentions.

This was purchased quite a while back. But just today I got three new ones.

The first album was this one, Wild Sanctuary: Alpine Meadow by Bernie Krause. Over an hour long soundscape of, well, being in the Alpine Meadows. Bernie Krause traveled around the meadows around Gray's Lake Wildlife Refuge in Idaho capturing these sounds, follow spring as it moved. As they put it, "the soundscape is an example of a rich June evening chorus in a western alpine meadow." It's a good listen, I'm going to try sleeping to it tonight.

The last CD was Crossing to Skellig by Philip and Pam Boulding, a delightful married-duo who make incredible music and craft, if I am correct, their own instruments. Well, at least I know Philip has made well over 2,000 instruments - many of those harps and dulcimers. This one, when I bought, even came pre-shrink-wrapped and new. My favourite track has to be number three, Fairy Dances from Magical Hill. Simply adorable! Anyways, a charming mix of Celtic instruments and songs.

I'm just keeping reviews short because I don't really know how to describe songs.

But I love what St. Vinny's does for my ears. For cheaper than getting certain one songs on iTunes, these days, I can get entire albums of music I wouldn't otherwise hear. And for the peace and sense of calm I get from these albums, I'd say it's well worth it.

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