Auri – “Night 13”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, I have a song from Finland for you. Auri is the after hours project of Tuomas Holopainen (most well-known as the leader of Nightwish), his wife Johanna Kurkela, who is a prominent folk singer and violinist in her homeland, with as it seems quite wide musical interests, and another Nightwish member and uilleann pipes player – Troy Donockley. – The three had plans to collaborate on something more folky and as they say they knew they had to do it at some point, but as they all had quite busy lives, the chance only happened in 2018. Their sound could be described as prog folk, or folk metal. Both the band’s name and a lot of motives in their music are inspired by The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (where a female character is called Auri).

I used to listen to Nightwish years ago, and a lot of other symphonic/Gothic metal like that, now I no longer do, initially because my views on life and all sorts of things have changed and I considered it no longer congruent with my current beliefs and values system to listen to stuff like Nightwish, and then I guess I just naturally sort of grew out of that phase. But while I’m not like very hugely into Auri, I really appreciate their sound and I’ve liked and followed Johanna Kurkela for years.

This is one of their songs that I really wonder what it might be about, I’ve had countless ideas, haha. I guess though most likely it’s inspired by something I simply have no clue about (perhaps The Kingkiller Chronicle as well which I’ve never read). Anyway, it is an interesting song.

Inge Frimout-Hei – “Mont-Saint-Michel By Night”.

Hi people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I have for you just a short but beautiful harp piece from a harpist whose music I’ve never shared before on here yet. I believe she’s from the Netherlands. It comes from the album called Mont-Saint-Michel which seems to be entirely inspired by this place.

Question of the day.

What’s the strangest/scariest thing you’ve seen in the middle of the night?

My answer:

Not really seen it but heard it, and not just in the middle of the night but for a good few months, but it started in the middle of the night. We still lived in our previous house in the countryside where I had a room in the attic. One night in summer I woke up, I think it wasn’t that scary strange thing that woke me up initially, if I remember correctly I was feeling unwell physically or something like that. In any case, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. Suddenly I heard a weird, faint but clear noise. I still sort of remember what it sounded like but can’t even describe it in a good way, yet I remember that the first time I heard it it reminded me of something like the noise that a sheep or a goat would make, only a lot fainter and shorter and kinda raspy. There was no way there were any such animals in our area so I found this really bizarre and a little creepy because it quite clearly sounded like it came from somewhere in my room. Since it didn’t repeat for some time and I couldn’t come up with a good idea for what it could be, I decided I must have imagined it, but I couldn’t settle back to sleep. And then I heard it again. And again, after a while. And again. And a few more times. Sometimes hearing a sound to which I can’t attribute a source can really trigger my sensory anxiety, and I think it can be potentially scary for a lot of people even when they don’t have the sensory anxiety problem. In order to be able to fall back to sleep and not freak out completely I tried to think that there certainly must be some normal, prosaic reason for why I was hearing this, I just simply didn’t know what it was. I finally managed to fall asleep, but to my fear and frustration I could still hear it. I asked my Mum what could it be, perhaps there’s something in my room, but she had no idea. She came up there, but couldn’t hear anything, so she said I must’ve been imagining it at night like I thought. Only I could still hear it at regular intervals throughout the day. And the next day, and for the rest of the summer. Eventually I sort of got used to my invisible, creepy roommate, invading my little Bibiel haven, but it was really annoying, and when I was home alone, when it was really quiet or the night time, it would still creep me out, even just the idea that no one else hears it. So what does that mean? Am I going crazy? My Mum tried hearing out for it multiple times ’cause I kept complaining about it but the malicious thing never made the noise when she was in the room, or if it did, she wouldn’t hear it because we were talking or some other noises were masking it. When I mentioned it she laughed that I must be smoking something and that it’s not fair that I won’t share with the rest of the family. ๐Ÿ˜€ Dad often had a habit of taking a nap in my room, ’cause it was the quietest, which I utterly hated because he snores, as Sofi once said, like a million of dinosaurs. Still, I was hoping that one time when he comes, before he falls asleep, or after he wakes up, he’ll hear it. Thing is, my Dad falls asleep immediately, doesn’t even need five minutes.

The summer holidays had finished and the new school year had started, so I went to school and wasn’t home for the next at least two weeks. I hoped that by the time I come back, my roommate would get bored not having anyone in there to creep out and would magically disappear just as he appeared, or maybe Mum would find him. No such luck. I remember that when I came home I guess just for a weekend, I went upstairs to go to sleep, and when I was already falling asleep, I heard it again. And that was the case for the next few months, I don’t know how long. Finally, at some point Mum did hear it. She was relaxing in my room, and I was there too, and at some point we both heard it and she was all like: “Gosh, what was that?!” Then she kept looking around the room to locate the thing, which wasn’t easy, because it wasn’t very loud and only made the noise once in a while. Finally, she found it. Under a bean bag, there lay Sofi’s old toy phone, and right when she discovered it, it pleaded guilty by making that noise again. Its battery was dying, so that was why it sounded so weird. Sofi was no longer interested in it, so the phone went to trash, which I felt evil satisfaction about. ๐Ÿ˜€

And how about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Declan Galbraith – “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”.

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you a song from Declan Galbraith’s (currently known as Child of Mind) second album called Thank You, so I thought I’d do it today. It was released in 2006 when he was 15, and, what’s typical of his music at the time, contains mostly covers of popular classics of genres like pop, folk and rock. And one of the pieces he covered on that album was Don McLean’s “Vincent” often referred to as “Starry, Starry Night” from its first lines, and that’s also how it’s called on Declan’s album. Somehow despite this is a very weighty song in my opinion, tackling quite an intense topic like mental illness or suicide, I’ve seen a lot of children and teens cover it, Chloe Agnew and Jackie Evancho to name a few.

Despite it clearly shows that while recording this song, Declan was already undergoing voice change, so it impacts the quality of the piece a bit, and so does the autotune here unfortunately, which is not the case with the whole album because in some other songs he sounds a lot different, I still think his version is absolutely great! And the lyrics are just amazing but that’s obviously Don McLean’s merit.

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

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

ย ย When the night is long
__and the dawn is far away
Battling through the long hours
__without an hourโ€™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.

Meinir Gwilym – “Ar Hyd Y Nos” (All Through The Night).

Maybe you guys remember when I posted some Meinir Gwilym’s songs months ago? I guess it might have even been last year. Anyway. She has much more great music than that. So, as it is late evening here, I thought I’d share this sweet, beautiful lullaby, which you may or may not know, I guess it’s pretty popular and has had some English versions. I am a sucker for very beautiful, Celtic-themed lullabies, and this one makes my brain melt. I’m not including the lyrics since they are in the video.

Song of the day (27th June) Cornelia Jakobs – “Late Night Stories”.

Here’s one of my more interesting discoveries of this year – Cornelia Jakobs. – I really love her strong, hoarse voice, and her expressiveness! She’s from Sweden, though all of her music so far has been in English, but I’d love to hear her singing in Swedish. And this is one of my favourite songs by her.

Song of the day (31st December) – Enya – “Oรญche Chiรบin” (Silent Night).

I have a niggling feeling that despite my love for Irish language there hasn’t been much Irish language music that I posted here actually. So here’s the Irish version of “Silent Night” in ENya’s exquisite performance. I just love it so, so much!

Meic Stevens – “Noson Oer Nadolig” (A Cold Christmas Night).

Hi people. ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the Christmas song of the day I have for you. I heard it last year for the first time and it somehow stuck with me, I really like it for some reason and I hope you will too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Question of the day.

What do you wear when you go to bed?

My answer:

Usually pjs, sometimes nightdresses. I have one nightdress that has “Misha” printed on it. My Mum went to one of these machines where you can print out whatever you want to be written on your clothes and I wanted to have something with Misha’s name written on it. I thought something I wear at night would be the best because it is at night when I spend the most time with Misha.

You?

Cadi Gwen – Nos Da, Nostalgia (Goodnight, nostalgia).

Hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I have for you a debut single by a Welsh artist Cadi Gwen. It’s very popular in Welsh language music world all the time, and I like it too.

Anyone else not sleeping?

Goodnight, good morning or whatever people say at 04:10 AM. ๐Ÿ˜€

Yeah, another night of no sleep. With the difference that this time I won’t be able to catch up on sleep in the morning if I’d become sleepy as I have things to do in the morning. So unless a miracle will happen and I’ll get an hour or two of sleep until 6, I think I have a zombie day ahead, as I always call days after a completely sleepless night. Ugh, I hate it so much. But maybe if I’ll go zombie for a day, my sleep routine will settle back and my brain will get in which timezone I am. The good thing however is that Misha’s with me fast asleep in his basket, giving me some more sense of safety, and, which I am very gateful about, my anxiety is definitely not as overwhelming as it was last night. I mean it still is there, but it isn’t so exhausting and I am more functional so after like two hours of tossing and turning I got up and started doing some nice things like I wrote a bit of a next chapter of my book. It’s called “Jack Hamilton” and I’ve been writing it for years, finding comfort in it. Jack Hamilton is just a simple guy, but with very complex life and he’s quite funny, he is actually writing his story on its own. I often plan to direct his life and make him do what I want, but I end up writing something completely different like he’d want to write a life scenario for himself. I planned to publish Jack, but firstly now it’s definitely too long, and secondly, he became my close friend over the years, someone extremely close to me, almost ten years now. My God I can’t believe I can manage with him for so long. He isn’t easy to live with. And although many people know I’m writing a book about a guy called Jack Hamilton who is half Irish half Swedish, even know some of his life story, I’ve never shown anyone more than my notes before writing an actual chapter. I feel like my relationship with Jack, although he’s only my creation, is very intimate is some way.

Besides Jack, I’ve been reading my book, snuggling Misha, still have music on and I think soon I’ll go to bed again just in case I might fall asleep, although I highly doubt it could happen.

Who else isn’t sleeping for whatever reason?