Music during lock-down

Large parts of Melbourne are again under lock-down during Covid-19. I find myself taking even greater comfort in music during the prolonged period of working from home.

This is a personal selection of music that has accompanied the lock-down over the past four months:

1. “Sleep” by Max Richter – if you can’t take the full 8 hours, the 1 hour version “From Sleep” is a perfect way to end the day – music to fall asleep to

2. “The Piano Sings” by Michael Nyman – very personal interpretations of some of his best-known film scores, and as used evocatively throughout “The Trip” series of films (and not to be confused with Nyman’s soundtrack to “The Piano”)

3. “Playing the Piano for the Isolated” by Ryuichi Sakamoto – a specially-recorded live performance for these unsettling times – I’ve also been listening to his recent collaboration with Alva Noto, “Two (Live At Sydney Opera House)”, and Alva Noto’s minimalist interpretation of The Cure’s “A Forest”

4. “Erratics & Unconformities” by Craven Faults – long-form ambient and hypnotic analogue synthesiser compositions that embody the Pennine landscape (which I probably won’t get to see again for some time)

5. The “Selbstportrait” series of albums by Hans-Joachim Roedelius – reflective collections that act like musical diaries

6. “Music for Installations” by Brian Eno – what better soundtrack for lock-down than a series of works created for interior settings…

7. “In A Slient Way” by Miles Davis – nowhere near as famous as “Kind of Blue” or “Bitches Brew”, but just as ground-breaking as a transitional album in the Davis’ catalogue (and a contender for earliest ambient album before the term existed)

8. “New Energy” by Four Tet – for a downtempo/chill-out album, this is incredibly uplifting and joyous – in fact, any of his recent releases are worth investigating

9. “Five Years in The Dark” by Pye Corner Audio – hopefully, we won’t be five years in lock-down…

10. “Live at Empty Bottle/Chicago” by Fennesz – highly abstract but totally absorbing live performance revealing complex harmonics and sublime electronic textures

Next week: Open Banking and the Consumer Data Right

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