I’ve found wonderful music to knit to.
In the past, we’ve cooked up Knit to This features on Chopin, Dvořák, Smetana, and Bach (links to all these at the bottom of the page). Their work is melodic, gorgeous, rich—you know, the sort of orchestral masterpiece that is soothing, harmonically delicious, a balm.
My friend Yolanda was in town from Scotland this week, and we had a ramble through Centennial Park (home of the world’s only full-scale replica of the Parthenon) (ours has air conditioning). As usual, our conversation included many fascinating topics—Landy is the best conversationalist I know. We talked about music. She suggested that in times of stress, sometimes there is comfort to be found in music that is less pretty, something with a bit more edge to it. I thought: that’s an interesting idea, but there’s no way I’d remember the name of the composer she mentioned.
Typical of Landy, the next day I received a CD in the mail, a musical postcard of sorts. She’s really good at surprises. She also knew that I would probably have a hard time keeping the name Einojuhani Rautavaara in my head. Rautavaara is a Finnish composer who died in 2016.
“Cantus Arcticus” is amazing. Rautavaara recorded the songs of arctic birds—shore larks, whooper swans—and composed an orchestral piece where the birdsong and the music intertwine in a way that leaves me thinking about how we all make music in our own way.
As usual, Landy is right: this is music that gives solace. Let it wash over you.
PS Here’s a short piece about “Cantus Arcticus.”