Music for the Right Hemisphere

  • Music for the Right Hemisphere

    Posted by Samuel Ford on October 11, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    “Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” – Leonard Bernstein

    There are currently only 4 pieces of music in the ‘Things That Matter’ section, I think as a community, likely containing many musicians, we can do a little better.

    So please share your favourite sonatas, cantatas, tunes, grooves and fugues. Any music that will get our right hemispheres humming along.

    I’ll start, I’ll try to stick to 3 pieces:

    1. Kalimankou Denkou – From the album ‘Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares’ (The mystery of the Bulgarian voices). Sounds like ancient ancestors calling you back home.

    2. Fugue in A Minor (BWV 543) – Bach. Performed by Matthias Havinga. This will get your hair standing on end if you have any.

    – and I’m going to cheat and add a piano transcription of the same piece (transcribed by Liszt, performed by Violetta Khachikyan). I think the voices are clearer on the piano than on the organ, though it has less oomph. This performance also includes the prelude to the fugue.

    3. Verklärte Nacht, Op.4 – Shoenberg. The first time I heard this was on the fantastic ‘Sea of Faith’ documentary by Don Cupitt. It was paired with a telling of Nietzsche’s fall into madness and I’ve always thought it fitted incredibly well. Make sure you have a tight grip on your sanity going into this one.

    I’m finding it very difficult not to add more – but I’m going to stop there. Please share some of your favourite music!

    Paul replied 6 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Don Salmon

    October 15, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Well, this is unimaginably simple music, and the elitist music snob in me (classically trained composer/pianist) is concerned. But since it’s the non judgmental right hemisphere we’re connecting to, perhaps the simple C, G and F major chords will be acceptable:>))

    This is a piece I improvised to my wife, Jan, reading Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”

    • Samuel Ford

      October 16, 2022 at 1:51 am

      Thanks for sharing Don, nothing wrong with simplicity when it’s done right – enjoyed the poem very peaceful. Have you any other pieces online that you’ve composed?

      • Don Salmon

        October 16, 2022 at 5:07 pm

        Here’s the music/videos we have up now:

        I’m in the midst of preparing over 50 new ones, some directly addressing the different forms of attention that Iain describes.

        A few of the videos we already have up deal with different ways of attending. The “Attention Game for Greater Calm” is about evoking the Silence underlying BOTH kinds of attention. The video “How to Use Breathing Videos” has a section near the end where Jan (my wife) leads you through narrow and wide focus attention, typically correlated with left and right hemispheres.

        I’d love to do more attention games. I have some speaking videos where I lead people through some experiments with attention. if you have any suggestions, let me know and I can make a video about it.

  • Euan Duncan

    October 17, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Bach’s Cello Suites, Nos. 1-6, as performed by Jean-Guihen Queyras.

    I also enjoy a lot of electronic music, particularly the grand, almost cinematic tracks you might find in a space opera. Some speak of hope, others of vast unknowns.

    • Samuel Ford

      October 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, I remember being blown away by the Interstellar and Dune soundtracks, both scored by Hans Zimmer I think.

  • Paul

    November 20, 2022 at 12:46 am

    Hi Euan, Don, Samuel

    Lovely to listen through the music above. Beautiful.

    Here is a track from Virginia Rodrigues which features on her album ‘Nós”. She is a Brasilian from Salvador do Bahia, a city steeped in the traditions of the Candomblé. This song, Eligibo (Uma Historia de Ifa) is beautifully converted from its warlike original by Rodriguez into a soothing lullaby.

    It speaks of a city of light and is a song that resonated with me very strongly at a pivotal moment in my life.

    Anyway, lovely to meet you all.