Question of the day (13th September).

Hi people! 🙂

What are you listening to?

My answer:

Currently nothing really. But as for what I’ve been listening to a lot lately and have been listening to a lot today as well, it’s a new radio station I’ve discovered a few weeks ago thanks to my iPhone and the TuneIn Radio app. On my computer I use Radio Sure and I thought that I already knew of all the Welsh language radio stations that exist out there, but turns out that there was one that was not on Radio Sure, but is on TuneIn Radio, that I had no idea about, and I’m glad I finally learned about its existence as, similarly to Cymru FM and BBC Radio Cymru, I’ve already made some interesting music discoveries thanks to it. It’s called Blas Folk Radio Cymru, and, just like its name suggests, it plays folk music and it’s generally very traditional folk music, no folk rock, folk pop and other such fancy stuff. As is usually the case with radio stations, I don’t necessarily like all the music that they play, but there seems to be a whole lot of harp music and generally a lot of instrumental music. And so because even though I have my iPhone I still like to listen to my favourite stations during the day on the computer, and am not going to use TuneIn on the computer, I decided to add |Blas Folk Radio Cymru to the Radio Sure’s database and it is in it now. So yeah, there have been and probably are still going to be some nice Welsh music discoveries for me.

How about you? 🙂

 

Sława Przybylska – “Kroki Oczekiwane” (Expected Steps).

Hey people!:)

Huh, I’d never ever think that this lady could be featured in my song of the day series, and I think if someone told me that she will, I’d find it very amusing! 😀 Sława Przybylska became popular in late 1950’s and is probably most famous for singing the Polish version of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”. At least that’s what I most associate her with. She’s absolutely not my style, I generally am not a fan of Polish retro music, a lot of it feels exalted and overly sentimental to me and I find this annoying, it just doesn’t speak to me. However…

I decided to share this song with you for one very specific and very special reason. The lyrics!

As you may know from one of my latest post, the book I was reading very recently was an anthology of excerpts from literature from across multiple genres, mostly Polish literature, about cats! Some of the texts in there really spoke to me, like an excerpt of “Honorable Cat” by Paul Galico, about a cat who scolds her owner for that despite he can speak multiple human languages, including extincted ones, he doesn’t understand her language. I really regret I can’t find at least a little excerpt of this excerpt somewhere online in the original form so I could share it with you.

Among the things that particularly moved me was a poem, which as it turned out later from a note below was actually a song, and which was written by Kazimierz Szemioth. The author of the anthology – Anna Bańkowska – also mentioned that it was sang by Sława Przybylska. That made me think I’m not going to like the song as much as I did its lyrics,so first I tried to look up if there are some other versions of it that would be more digestible for my brain. But as I couldn’t find anything noteworthy I thought it would be a real shame if I gave up on the original song without listening to it, when it has such beautiful, moving lyrics.

Indeed, the musical arrangement didn’t strike a chord. But still, I think she sings it in a very expressive way and the only problem here is that it’s just not my style. But the more I listen to it, the more I love the lyrics, so finally I thought I’ll share the song, as well as my translation of the lyrics, with you. I’d like to be able to make it sound a bit less raw in English, and it’s certainly not a poem anymore, haha, as I wasn’t even intending it to be, but oh well… I just want you to have a feel of it. Also I must say that since I’ve read this, I am even more glad that Misha is not an outdoor cat and cannot go in and out as he pleases, this has been so for many reasons as you know, but now I’ve realised I’d probably be in at least equal distress than the girl in this poem if I were to wonder where he is and when he’ll come home, every night.

   Can you hear how this clock is chiming?

It’s 8 PM already, and it’s raining so much

And he is not here, no

She is waiting, jumps up at every sound

So empty when he has gone somewhere

And she is feeling so bad

It must be him, oh no, it’s rain

Skeins of clouds in the window

Maybe it’s him? And again it’s not

It was only the whistling of the wind

Maybe it’s him? And again it’s not

It was only the whistling of the wind

 

She has been alone in the world for so long already

Only he wants to stay with her

He doesn’t laugh at tears

So why is she looking at the wet roof?

Shall her dearest come back this way

Like an apparition in strange dreams?

 

Whose steps is she awaiting so much?

Who of us will guess?

Is it true, that he should have come today

Or is he just deceiving her so?

Is it true, that he should have come today

Or is he just deceiving her so?

 

He’s come back, he’s come back, but so pathetically wet

His fur was crinkled, he shivered

And his paws were cold

He’s come back, he’s come back, through the wet, cold roof

And is purring quietly, while she

Has him in her arms again

 

She’s not alone anymore, when he’s asleep here next to her

He will be purring her to sleep until the morning

And here’s the song:

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

What is something that is making you feel good, these days? 🙂

My answer:

Misha’s presence is always making me feel good. Right now he’s sleeping on the wardrobe and he has spent almost the entire day with me.

The cooler weather is making me feel good, too. The summer heat has been quite exhausting for me, and for Misha too, also for my Mum and I think for a lot of people as it was really a long time and at times felt insanely hot, and I’m really glad that it’s cooler now, it feels very pleasant outside.

The fact that my Dad’s at work so I don’t have to deal with him for a few days 😀 – he’d had quite long holidays recently and now he’s gone back to work yesterday. It gets unpleasant and stale when you’re spending so much time with someone and you’re not really on the same wavelength at all.

Music. I’ve been listening to lots of great music, but that’s nothing new. Also my great speaker and headphones that I’ve got myself recently and that I use with my iPhone. I really love my computer speakers as well, but, as I always listen to something quietly at night, it wasn’t as much of a pleasure listening to something at night on them, with all the accompanying hum of my desktop computer.

Food always makes me feel good as well. Today we had very yummy chocolate budyń with Mum. Mum makes it on her own, it’s not the instant, shop-bought budyń. I think I’ve explained somewhere on here earlier what budyń is, but if you don’t know, it’s kinda like a creamy Polish pudding. Only Mum put a bit too much chocolate into it, and while it was extremely delicious, it was really, really sweet, and neither of us was able to eat a lot. 😀

Books make me feel good. Right now I’m reading a very amusing Polish book, which is basically an anthology of different texts from mostly Polish literature, but not only, from different time periods and genres, all about cats! I’ve just started it today in the morning but I think it’s going to be very enjoyable for me. And the last book I read was “Harriet and the Cherry Pie” by Clare Compton, a lovely English children’s book, the style and plotline of which reminded me very strongly of Noel Streatfeild, and I like things like these. Since the main character lived in her great aunt’s cafe, there was lots of food involved.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

What makes a song a good song to you?

My answer:

Sometimes it’s hard to say why I like a song. But some factors that play a role are: what instruments are in it, my favourite instrument is harp, almost all harps, but especially Celtic harp, but I also like all sorts of guitars (nearly all plucked string instruments really), flutes and piano from the more commonly used ones and a lot of others, also I don’t mind synth music or not typically. Sometimes electrical guitar can badly trigger my sensory anxiety if played a certain way but generally I love a good guitar riff, and not only just riff. The vocals, I don’t really know if there are some clear patterns to what kinds of vocals I usually like and what I usually don’t, I only know I usually dislike coloratura sopranos or voices with a similar hue – I spontaneously made up a word to describe them as a teen because I didn’t know if there was any actual way to describe them and I called them thick, as in a thick fluid, perhaps because that’s how they feel to my synaesthetic brain –
and some types of tenors, no matter in what genre, but there are always some exceptions to the rule, for example Maire Brennan from Clannad (has been featured on my blog) has a very thick singing voice but I rather do like her, though I prefer her singing in the lower registers because then she’s less thick. I tend to like light and clear lyrical sopranos as well as slightly husky and deep altos, and strong baritons, and I can like tenors too if they have enough depth and strength and expressiveness but not too much of the latter, as I always appreciate expressiveness in music, but too much exaltation is awfully annoying and a really bad thing for music in my very personal opinion. If there’s harp in a song/piece of music, it’s very bad if there’s also some rhythmical beat at the same time, ugh, it’s a profanity and the results are rarely any good, it sounds kinda cliche. I like lyrics that I can relate to, or that are intriguing, or funny, or very quirky, even so quirky and odd that no one can really understand what they’re about. There’s something refreshing in odd, even nonsense lyrics when all you hear all the time in “normal” music is: “Oooooh yeeeeeeeah yeah yeah I luuuuv yaaaa baaaaby” or the like. No, I don’t mind lyrics about love whatsoever, but it’s depressing that, according to what I once read somewhere, well over 50% of lyrics (don’t remember now how much exactly) is about love (though I hope they were only talking about English-language pop music). It also doesn’t make me feel as much of a connection when a song is about love as I’ve never experienced romantic love nor the sexual stuff that people often mistake for love, my fazas are a little similar but not the same. Elaborate, folklore-themed are always welcome. I love creative lyrics and those that are raw and honest or at least appear to be so. But usually lyrics are not the primary thing in a song for me, and if I like the music, I am often happy for the lyrics to be anything, unless I find them somehow really awful or completely not in line with what I think then it might be more of a minus and make me like the song less. Also I of course listen to a lot of music in foreign languages, so I’m not one of those people who have to understand a song to enjoy it. Sure, lyrics help me or at least hugely motivate me to learn and it can be so rewarding to see my progress in a language by being able to understand more of the lyrics of a song over time, but I’m happy not to understand a word. I’ve been a fan of a Polish radio programme called Strefa Rokendrola Wolna od Angola (English-free Rock’n’roll Zone” on Polish Radio Programme 3 where you can listen to all sorts of rock music (not necessarily just rock’n’roll) in all sorts of languages, including minority or just rarely heard of languages, any language you want except English and except Polish, unless sung by non-natives or Poles singing in a different language. And I usually don’t understand very much of the songs but still like listening to them. I also enjoy the childish and primitive language play with lyrics – where you either try to understand, or your brain understands on its own, some bits of the lyrics in another language as if they were singing in your language or any of the languages you know. – English speakers who speak only English might be confused right now, so I’ll say it’s like when you listen to a song, you try to pick up on as many words that sound similar to words in your own language. Both I and a lot of people I know often have such an illusion even without trying, when listening to music in a language we don’t know well or not at all, that some of the words or even whole phrases are in a language that is familiar. Brain doesn’t like things that aren’t familiar so I guess it’s logical in its own way. For example, Zofijka is convinced that in the song Sofia by Alvaro Soler he says “poo” in Polish, and then “Bibiel” a couple times. I often hear absolutely crazy things, although my capacity of understanding strange things in English music has been lessening as I become better at it which is sad. My favourite artist in this regard is Julie Fowlis who sings in Scottish Gaelic, in whose songs I’ve managed to hear Polish phrases like: “Make pancakes for me, make coffee for me, make pancakes for me and buy me a great-great-grandma”, “The poo has fallen out”, “Shame, Billy”, “You knave”, “James is marrying”, “Oh, I’m not deaf, son” etc. etc. etc. these are just a few bits I remember at the moment, there were a lot of totally absurd and bizarre ones.

And yeah, language. Language makes a song good. Sometimes the only thing that makes me like a song when I think of it is because it’s in one of “my” languages.

And the general feel and vibe, you could say energy. Or in any case, a bad feel and a bad overall harmony can make me really dislike a song and have a bad sensory reaction to it. My brain just doesn’t agree with some sounds and combinations and sequences of sounds.

That’s all that comes to my mind, though it’s possible there are some other factors too.

You? 🙂

Órla Fallon – “Morning Has Broken”.

Hey people! 🙂

It’s not morning here anymore, not even for my always jet-lagged brain 😀 – today it happened to be very early – but I hardly post anything in the morning and I would like to share this song with you, so why care about timing, especially that there are so many different timezones and you don’t have to view this today but could be any other day, in the morning or not.

I’m sure most people know the Cat Stevens classic, and yes, unsurprisingly, this song is a cover of it. I don’t really like the original, for no particular reason really, it just doesn’t really speak to me. And yes, it’s probably too common for me to like it, lol. This cover by Órla Fallon is so beautiful though, I fell in love with it instantly when I heard it.

Órla Fallon is one of the former member of an Irish all-female group called Celtic Woman, she was a singer and a harpist there. I really love her harp, and her voice, makes for a very angelic combination. I do not like however that from what I’m observing right now, Órla is stretching more towards the country end of the folk music spectrum, and away from the folksy, Celtic, pure folk, that she was doing with Celtic Woman and solo.

I think she makes this song sound exactly as it should sound – sweet, refreshing and happy in a deep, calm way. – Synaesthetically, this song in her version has a very vivid and distinct raspberry flavour to me, and I love raspberries so it’s just so cool. I think it’s especially Órla’s harp that makes it so perfect. I wonder if other people see it similarly. So here it is, and I hope you enjoy.

Alys Williams & Cherddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig Y BBC – “Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir” (When The Night Is Long).

Hey people! 🙂

I haven’t posted Welsh music in ages! SO I thought I’d post something finally today. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you might remember Alys Williams, I posted a few songs by her already some time ago. I really like her, how versatile musically is, I love her Welsh accent when she sings in English, I love her voice, how strong it is but can also be very sensitive, she’s just great! She easily finds herself in rock, jazz, pop, indie, electronica and folk, and probably other genres too only I’ve never heard it.

This time we’ll be admiring Alys in folk music.

Pan Fo’r Nos Yn Hir is a song written by Ryan Davies – a composer very well-known in Wales, another very versatile type as he also was a playwright, radio presenter, singer, actor etc. – This song was also played at his funeral. It seems to be quite well liked as I’ve heard quite a lot of renditions of it, but Alys’ is most definitely my favourite, I actually really really love it. In this particular version that I chose, she is accompanied by Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig Y BBC (also known by the uninitiated as BBC National Orchestra Of Wales or BBC NOW).

I’ve also found a translation, which was written by Irene Ryan-Davies, so I’m sharing it with you as well.

  When the night is long
__and the dawn is far away
Battling through the long hours
__without an hour’s sleep
Fighting, tossing and turning
__through the great, long hours
Without seeing the close of yesterday
__nor the end of my journey
Then through the black darkness
__I see your face
I remember the romance
__the eyelid closes
When the night is long.

Then through the black darkness
__I see your face
And fear doth retreat,
__dread disappears
When the night becomes day.

Orla Gartland – “Why Am I Like This?”

Hiya people! 🙂

Do you ever ask yourself this question, “Why am I like this?” Some people dn’t, but some people do, and if you are one of the latter, this song is likely going to be very relatable for you.

I really like Orla Gartland. She’s Irish. That alone could be a good enough reason for me to like her. 😀 Even though she doesn’t do Celtic music and is quite popular. But I also like her because she’s very talented and very natural (very rare thing with “normal” artists these days), and a bit crazy, plus has a lot of distance to herself. Her lyrics are also very genuine and distanced, and I think also easily relatable for people.

This song is definitely very relatable for me. ‘Cause, being an overthinker, socially anxious and having AVPD, I quite frequently ask myself this question. Not like I expect to ever get the answer or like it matters that much, it’s just rhetorical and mostly a way to express my frustration. Now since I’ve first heard this song, whenever I wonder about “why am I like this?” the song immediately pops up in my brain. 😀 I can also very strongly relate to the broader topics of the song – overthinking one’s mistakes and anxiety in general. – The overthinking and overintrospecting bit is one of the most frustrating pieces of my AVPD. But I also believe it’s quite a universal experience that people struggle with too much introspection, self-criticism and some shyness on top of that, so I guess it could be very relatable to a lot of people. This is definitely my favourite song by Orla.

I don’t mind songs about love, I do love many of them, but since I myself have never experienced romantic love, and the vast majority of song lyrics are about this, it’s quite rare for me to find a truly relatable song, and therefore I appreciate pieces like this even more.

I couldn’t decide which version I want to share with you – the original or the fully produced – so I’m sharing both, ‘cuz why not.

 

Orkid – “Only If You Want To”.

Hey people! 🙂

Time for some song of the day finally, eh? Haven’t posted those in a while. So, today I have a Swedish song for you. It’s by a young, Stockholm-based artist whom I really like. She participated in the Swedish edition of the talent show Idol, and now makes her own music under the pseudonym Orkid, which simply means orchid in Swedish, her real name is Matilda Melin. This is the first song by her I’ve ever heard and I think it’s really good.

Jackson Mullane – “The Flood”.

Hey lovely people!!! 🙂

Sorry for quite a long absence.

This time, I don’t have a Jack, but a Jackson for you. I think this is a very cool name too, it comes from Jack, after all. Jackson Mullane is an Australian composer and pianist, and I’ve been really liking his music recently. This piece that I chose for you today is particularly relaxing in my opinion.

Maria Kalaniemi – “Pilvet”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Finnish folk piece for you. It comes from Maria Kalaniemi’s brand new April album called “Mielo”, which means Mind in Finnish, recorded together with harmonium player Eero Grundström. Maria Kalaniemi is a multi-instrumentalist, but her main instrument, andt the one she’s most known for playing, is accordion, she also seems to be a bit of a promoter/propagator of accordion in Finland, and Sweden too.

I am generally not a fan of accordion at all. Like, it’s my second least favourite instrument after saxophone, though I don’t like these two instruments for vastly different reasons. I don’t like saxophone because it doesn’t agree with my brain, I find the sound of it sensorily overwhelming, while with accordion I just think it’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I’d always had such an idea about accordion that it’s just the most primitive, kinda ribald, kitschy instrument that has ever existed and I’ve always associated it with cheap, village bridals and heavily drinking people. 😀 Okay, alternatively with tangos as such, which I’m not into either. I guess it’s not just me being weird because lots of people seem to share such opinions. Not even my fascination with Celtic music was able to change that. But… it did change a bit after I first heard Maria Kalaniemi. When I was trying to learn something about Finnish folk, back when I was still completely clueless about it, Maria Kalaniemi was the first Finnish folk musician that I came across, and was mentioned as very popular in her genre in Finland, and I was a bit disappointed, because “What? Really? Doesn’t Finland have anything better in her musical heritage than accordion? That sounds concerning!”. But when I heard her I changed my mind. Because when Maria Kalaniemi plays accordion, it sounds nothing like what I’d ever heard on this instrument. It suddenly becomes very lyrical and dreamy. And even folk dances performed by her sound better than most dance pieces for this instrument I’ve heard. She’s really, really good, or at least resonates with me somehow. I do not like all of her music, but she definitely managed to change my view on this instrument a bit. Another interesting person (also from Finland) who made me see that accordion doesn’t necessarily have to be kitschy was another Finn, though not folksy – Kimmo Pohjonen. – I watched a documentary about him with my Mum and it was quite stunning what bizarre and intriguing things he could do with this instrument. It still remains one of my least favourite instruments but, as I said, has a better reputation with me now.

And this piece from Kalaniemi I want to show you is definitely very lyrical and emotive, I just love it and its harmonies. It does really make me feel a bit like I was floating on clouds, and I love music that can convey such rich images/emotions.

I haven’t made up my mind about it yet but it’s possible I’ll share another piece by Maria Kalaniemi tomorrow as well, the one I’ve heard first. For now, I hope you enjoy Pilvet.

Lynn Saoirse – “Mervyn Pratt”.

Hey people! 🙂

Let’s listen to some more Celtic harp today! I have a lovely little tune for you by an Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse who plays Celtic harp. It is called Mervyn Pratt. I did a little bit of research to learn who the title character was and found out that there was a Pratt family in Ireland who owned the Cabra Castle, which is now a hotel, and there were a few Mervyns born into this family. I really like the whole album from which this song comes – The Seas Are Deep – and Lynn Saoirse’s harp play is great!

Lxandra – “Swimming Pools”.

Hi lovely people! 🙂

I have a song from a really cool, young singer for you today. Alexandra Lehti, aka Lxandra, was raised in an inhabited Finnish fortress called Suomenlinna, and has a Finnish father (Pekka Lehti – bassist who played with a fair few bands including a great female folk Värttinä, and he also seems to be a music producer -) and a German mother. I’ve heard this song for the first time a couple weeks ago and this was my first contact with Lxandra’s music. I really like her vocals, which are often compared with Adele and indeed there is some similarity. This song is about being true to who you are and where you come from, which is something that resonates with me as I feel strongly about cultivating your roots, on all sorts of different levels, and the message in Lxandra’s song seems to be more about our individual roots and background.

Jack Hawitt ft. Nyaki – “Dark Hotel”.

This song has been one of my favourites for quite a while now. I’ve heard about Jack Hawitt for the first time some months ago, don’t remember when exactly, and this song was the first of his that I’ve heard. This must have been around the time that my faza on Gwil was slowly fading from the dominant position so I was beginning to look for someone new to get a faza on. Jack Hawitt was one of the first candidates that I’ve considered, mostly just because his name was Jack and I wanted to have a faza on Jack, but it didn’t work out, he’s cool but too normal for that.

What I like most about this song is the lyrics, which I think are very relatable but also full of hope, hope that there is help and support out there, for many people with mental illness, or those who experience some temporary lows or crises in life as well. Also it’s just a very nice song, and both Jack and Nyaki are very good singers.

Jack Hawitt is from Britain, and he’s been active as a singer for a while already, and Nyaki is from Norway, but I haven’t heard any other songs by her.

I hope you enjoy this very nice pop piece. 🙂

Blue Cafe – “Reflection”.

Hey people! 🙂

It’s Mother’s Day here in Poland, so I thought I’d share a song that both my Mum and I like. It’s actually my Mum’s favourite song as of late. I completely didn’t associate this kind of music with her, but she likes this song, and when I heard it for the first time, I started to like it too. Generally our tastes aren’t incredibly similar.

Blue Cafe is a Polish band which I used to really hate, and am still not a huge fan of at all. They used to have a really awful vocalist, now they have a different one who at least can sing, but this song of theirs is one of the very few that I like and it always makes me think of Mum.

Celia Briar – “Pretty Girl Milking A Cow”.

Today I have a beautiful Celtic harp piece for you, as I’ve been listening to a lot of Celtic harp lately. I mean, I always do, but recently it’s been more than I had done it in a long while.

Celia Briar is a harpist from New Zealand, plays Celtic harp. She used to tour a lot and have a lot of concerts in different countries, but I don’t know if she still does. She’s also collaborated with Irish flautist Bev Whelan. I’ve heard that she currently resides in the UK. This piece comes from her 1995 album which is all very beautiful, I couldn’t decide which piece to choose for this post, to the point that in the end I decided to choose at random. 😀 Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Hamzaa – “Hard To Love”.

Hi people! 🙂

I’ve found a new British artist that I really like lately. Her stage name is Hamzaa, which apparently comes from her stepfather’s surname, and her real name is Malika, and she has a gorgeous voice. This song of hers is my absolute favourite, also because I think the lyrics are quite cool.

Rebecca Ferguson ft. Afsheen – “Uncrazy”.

Hey guys! 🙂

I’ve heard about Rebecca Ferguson a couple of times over the years, and I’ve also heard some of her music, but previously somehow it didn’t make a strong impression on me. But recently I’ve heard more of her music and I realised that I actually like her. She has a really cool voice and I love her Liverpudlian accent. I think this song also has great and relatable lyrics. Who’s your uncrazy? For me, it’s undeniably Misha. 😀

Aimée – “Break Me”.

Hey people! 🙂

A song I have for you today is by Irish singer called Aimée. I often decide to show you acoustic versions of songs because I think they often just sound better and are more expressive, especially when it comes to just normal pop, but this time I think the original album version sounds better and conveys more emotion, I just like it more. Though what i like it mostly for is the lyrics. Aime is quite a new artist to me, but I think I’m going to like more of her music.

Nina June – “We Watched It All Come Down”.

Hi people!

As I’ve already told you, I’ve been discovering some Dutch music – mainly in English so far – lately, and my search is continuing, so I may show you some more Dutch music in the near future. Today I have for you a piece from an Amsterdam-based artist called Nina June. This was the first song by her I’ve heard, so far I’ve heard a few more but still I think I’ll need to familiarise myself better with her music to get a proper feel of it. This one is the one that I like the most so far though, so thought I’d share it with you as well.

Song of the day (16th April) – Declan J Donovan – “Anymore”.

Here’s a song I’ve recently grown to really like. In case someone of my more long-term readers would be confused, this is not that Declan I’ve had a faza/music crush on, that one is Declan Galbraith. I do like Declan J Donovan too, even though I don’t think I could ever have a faza on him, and this is my absolutely favourite song of his. I’ve only just learnt about it when preparing a bit for this post that this song was actually played on Love Island, which I suppose might be an interesting bit of info.