In this new world of isolation, social distancing and change, many of us have turned to music as a place of solace, joy and relaxation.
Knox Grammar School
Music has power to heal, to inspire memories and to provide calm in the chaos. We asked staff across our campuses to share the songs they've been listening to in this period of isolation.
'Never Seen the Rain' by Tones and I
The opening beat is so contagious, you just can’t get it out of your head. This song is a great mood booster, you can’t help but sing and bop along.
It’s a song about optimism, hope and that it’s okay to be a little down. It puts a smile on my face instantly and is a great reminder that we will make it through the rain that is isolation!
'Would I Lie To You?' by David Guetta
The beat and the tempo is insatiable! I've been listening to this while exercising, it gets the wheels on my stationary bike going just that little bit faster. I put it on repeat and spin for about 20 minutes!
It's very upbeat and positive and it brings a little of the 'old school', as the original was from 1992. At times, I have danced with my little girls to it just like I used to when I was a kid and when it first came out.
'Good News' by Mac Miller
This song was released at the beginning of this year in the midst of the outbreak. When I heard the song for the first time, I thought about how poignant the lyrics were. The lyrics are fairly pessimistic at the beginning, highlighting the small but annoying aspects of our daily lives. It also comments on our need as a society to seek out good news, and I think the daily media updates from politicians is a good reflection of that.
The attitude of the song slowly changes and the lyrics in the last verse transition to being optimistic, “There’s a whole lot more for me waiting on the other side”. I think that’s what we should all keep in mind while we wait this out. While it’s tough at the moment, we will come out the other side and be stronger for it.
'Meridian' by ODESZA
This song is largely instrumental and I have always found it both positive and uplifting. I have often listened to this song in the morning to enhance my energy and outlook or late in the day when I am tired and need a push to get over the line.
I have been more tired than usual trying to balance looking after my daughter full-time in the holidays and working from home. This song has helped to re-energise me at times and I will now associate with this period in isolation; a time that has been both challenging and special, in terms of having extra time with my daughter.
'Free to Run' by Gomez
I’m on a NSW Swim Coaches WhatsApp group, and we started talking about our top 10 albums of all time. I started delving into my old faves.
I bought a new pair of headphones last year, and have been using them a lot these past few weeks. The track that has stood out has been 'Free to Run' by Gomez. It sounded stunning, as it has been remastered and the headphones are very good.
It's lyrically appropriate and a great excuse to sing along and singing out loud is therapeutic.
The lyrics start slowly, restricted and held back, and the song builds to finish singing about freedom and positivity, he is "free to run!"
'Tokyo Drifting' (with Denzel Curry) by Glass Animals and Denzel Curry
I've been listening to this song mostly while working or cooking, keeps my energy levels high and positive. The song's tempo varies with fun sections that keeps me entertained. Also the part about “Wavey Davey’s on fire” is about the artist's alter ego and I love hearing about everyone’s alter ego.
Please note - explicit lyrics
'9 to 5' by Dolly Parton
I have always loved this song as it is so upbeat and it certainly reflects the craziness of our lives when life is normal – especially in the period of life that I am in with working full-time with three children to look after as well! I love that the hours of 9 to 5 are a bit of a dream for most!
I've been listening to this mostly in the afternoon when the day's chores are done and it is time to turn the music on and sing out loud until my kids tell me to "turn the music down"!
It has been a great, upbeat song to get the blood pumping, and I love that it reminds me of the busyness of 'normal' life and reminds me of how much I am really appreciating the time to spend relaxing, playing with the kids and enjoying the garden and the local bushland.
'A Million Dreams' from 'The World's Greatest Showman' soundtrack
I love how powerful this song is with the melody and the lyrics and what they mean. Having an imaginary world and continuing to have aspirations and dreams is really important in everyone’s world right now, "a million dreams for the world we’re going to make."
Being in isolation has made us all reinvent our daily lives and adapt to a new way of living.
'Do You Hear the People Sing?' from the 'Les Miserables' soundtrack
During times of adversity, the one thing that people turn to is music, live shows, entertainment, that include socialising with people. During COVID-19, this is something we have not been able to do. I feel for my peers who are left without a job as many of our music institutions face an incredible time of difficulty.
This song gives hope, that when we can all come together again, we can unite and help each other regain strength through music.
'Overture' from 'Merrily We Roll Along' (Stephen Sondheim)
Stephen Sondheim is my favourite composer, and 'Merrily We Roll Along' is the show of his I would most like to conduct. I most recently listened to it as part of a benefit livestream celebrating Sondheim’s 90th birthday, recorded remotely by members of various Broadway pit orchestras from their own homes. This version is testament to what musicians and artists can do in difficult times, as well as a reminder of what’s waiting for audiences when we’re allowed to return to theatres and concert halls.
'Fawkes the Phoenix' from the 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' soundtrack by John Williams
It’s classic John Williams: uncomfortable clashes and dark, minor tonalities that suddenly resolve into beautiful, uplifting chords. The lilting rhythms. The sparkly violin figures. And you can really tell the cellists in the recording are loving the melody. Excellent.
Dumbledore’s description of phoenixes is, “they can carry immensely heavy loads, and their tears have healing powers”. It’s a bit like all of us, and I really like that metaphor. After isolation is over, the whole world will feel like it’s been reborn from the ashes, just like Fawkes.
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