At the start of this year I made some Spotify mixtapes, intending to do one a month – turns out that is harder to keep up with when you are leading a church!
The last 3 months have been brilliant and full-on. It’s been such a joy (re)connecting with Kairos people: gathering, listening, regrouping. We’ve been trying to slow down as a church, to make space to pray together and to rest. I think we’re relaxing a bit and dreaming some more.
All through this time I’ve been chucking songs into a playlist. It started as 10 for April then grew, my soundtrack for the first 3 months at Kairos. It needs deleting, posting or maybe just leaving alone.
I’ve gone for the posting. I’ve attempted grouping songs together so there is a bit of progression. Things start a little bit ravey, hit a more soulful groove then becomes more and more jazz-shaped before shifting between some of my favourite recent ambient tunes and Christian worship songs.
You could listen to the whole 2 hours, skip the parts that aren’t your thing or hit shuffle and see what comes up.
Bonus playlist – summer tunes.
Want something more upbeat? Here’s some older music that gets played on the summer days round the house or in the car.
At the start of the month I got a job. That pretty much defined the rest of March, announcing news, looking at the vicarage, planning, painting getting ready.
Its Good Friday today, the last few Holy Weeks and Easters have been full of great, exciting, church work. The next few probably will be too. But this week has been different. I’m between roles and only just beginning to reconnect with Kairos. Much of this Holy Week has been spent painting our new house and dreaming about our life there.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve found myself drawn more to the round-the-table intimacy of the Last Supper this year, where Jesus washes feet, calls his followers friends, breaks bread with his betrayer, all just hours before he will be arrested, tried and crucified. The choral song in the middle of this playlist contains words used in a Catholic service remembering that night. It starts: Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where charity and love are, there God is. I love this version, recorded by Ola Gjeilo.
Other music this month: I got to see Rivers and Robots, one of my favourite bands, last week and they did a brilliant version of the song I’ve included. I’ve been listening to a lot of Etherwood’s piano led drum and bass. I’ve discovered and loved Hammock and Ambient Jazz Ensemble. I’ve had their albums and the Bright City ‘Still’ record on a lot. Three of the other tracks are first singles off albums that I’m looking forward to. At the end I’ve thrown in a couple of older classics – which I’ve used in alternative holy week services and events in the past.
I hope you enjoy the music, have a brilliant Easter!
Second mixtape of the year. February has my birthday in it so is a month I always enjoy. In Harrogate there have been signs spring might come soon. Its also seen beginning of Lent, the Christian season of “bright sadness” that focussed on making space for the eternal and beginning to anticipate Easter. As the month ends this year my part of the world is gripped by freezing temperatures and snow. Exciting and fun but also a sign that winter’s bite is not over yet!
Here’s a mix of upbeat and reflective music, ending with a prayer. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
What have you been listening to this month?
In December Spotify sent me a playlist of the songs I’d played most last year. There were some surprises (and some skewed results due to my son’s taste for minecraft parodies) but it was fun to listen to what I’d been listening to.
Music stays with me, and songs become attached to certain moments. Like fragrance, I find song can instantly take me back somewhere, remind me of a person or lift me out of my current place. Music helps me appreciate the world, concentrate, get distracted and worship.
I used to love making mixtapes, to give to people or to play in our car (it is only our most recent car that plays cds not tapes. We are in automobile terms old fashioned.)
So I’ve decided to start some mixtape playlists, a few of my favourite pieces of music from each month to share with you, if you’d like to listen.
Here is January’s tape. The new year started fairly reflectively for me (as it does often) lots of looking back and desiring space, silence, prayer, but gradually I’ve got going and I think that is reflected in the songs. One or two are favourites from 2017 and a few are things I have heard for the first time this month.
I hope you enjoy this with me! What have you been listening to?
“It’s like being at base camp and looking up at an unconquerable mountain; can’t dwell on the difficulty, you have to just start the journey, One step follows the next which leads the way to the next. There will be missteps but as long as the vision is whole, the mountain will fall.”
Like what I’ve been hearing from the new DJ Shadow album, love this quote from him on the creative process.
I found the quote on Pitchfork.
Rivers and Robots are one of my favourite discoveries from last year. I love their creative, indie-inspired approach to worship music. Their new video is a brilliant take on the “lyric video” idea.
If you like this then you’ll be glad to know they are giving their newest album away on Come & Live!
One of the band, Jonathan, wrote a great post on creativity recently. It’s well worth a read.
I personally think this has everything you could want in a music video: space, samples, stock footage and some pretty awesome moves. Love it!