I LOVE “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots! After having seen Suicide Squad recently I just had to dance naked to this song for one of my sessions. Nearing the end of my month of dancing naked to all classical music I found an amazing cover my Simply Three trio who are made up of a violin, cello, and bass. The music video is absolutely worth looking at (see below), has an appropriate creepy vibe, and does cool effects with mirrors. You’ll also see my illustrations reflect some of the graphics from the original film. I hope you enjoy!
Certainly one of my favorite classical albums features Aram Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto. The first movement is over 15 minutes long. The whole concerto seems like something from Fantasia. There’s clearly a story. You are literally transported. This great 20th century composer, though born in Tiblisi, Georgia, was known as a Soviet Armenian treasure. Khachaturian was part of the Communist party but I’m willing to look over it. I’m sure he didn’t have many options as an artist living in the Soviet Union in the early 20th century, so the music must play on!
Radiohead is probably one of my favorite bands of all time. Probably second to Muse on my list. And I know all you hard core music fans are scoffing that I would even dare put Muse over Radiohead. Honestly Muse leans more toward my own personality and sentimentality where Radiohead just transcends all of that and above. So, of course, my music hat goes to Radiohead but at this moment in my life I would scream like a little girl if I were at a Muse concert.
I saw Radiohead live in concert when I was in high school at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. It was the first time I’d ever smelt weed. Definitely a different crowd than Evanescence or Dashboard Confessional which were the only concerts I had ever been to. Radiohead was touring with the album “Hail to the Thief”. Of course they also played some of their older pieces and gave quite the show. What we weren’t expecting was them playing “Creep”. Radiohead was no where near the band they were when their first album “Pablo Honey” came out in 1993. They had already broken barriers in alternative rock with their album “Ok Computer” when I arrived on the lawn with my evil mouse Radiohead shirt that was way too big for me but made up for it in coolness.
Radiohead rarely plays “Creep” at their concerts. So it being my first made it all that more special. Hearing the Brooklyn Duo featuring the Escher Quartet’s cover of this song made my heart soar. It’s an excellent piece to dance naked to with the same emotion of the original track, especially if you’re having an emotional moment in your life. I tend to have a lot of those. From euphoria to the depths of rage, this rendition will not disappoint.
After finishing the 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites by J.S. Bach I needed something to cleanse my palette but not stray from my classical focus. An “interlude” if you will. I’ve found a Netflix series called Stranger Things, a Dungeons & Dragons meets Goonies, meets X-Files, drama. I watched the first season in 3 days. The music in the opening sequence really stuck with me, like something you’d hear from a Tron film. This retro-rama, electric heartbeat of an intro was of note. Fortunately there’s a very talented young cellist named Nicholas Yee who gave me just what I needed for my Classical Dancing Naked Month in the final week. Check out his dope medley below!
A side note: Don’t be confused by my times in my illustrations. I often listen to the songs multiple times or mixed with tracks from previous days because they are still inspiring me. Just in case someone is “clocking” me know I have some creative leeway and for some reason love listening to songs over and over and over…and over again. #nerdingout
This has been a very classical couple of weeks. I finally finished The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites by J.S. Bach, performed by the already legendary Yo-Yo Ma. Outside of feeling super sophisticated listening to classical music it’s been very inspiring. I’ve been listening to the “Beethoven 9 @ 9” series on NPR at breakfast and have even watched the Oscar winning film Amadeus directed by Milos Forman from the 80’s to maintain my nerdiness. Stay tuned for my final week of classical naked dancing plus some artists I think you’ll love!
These darn hips! Day 318 I was doing some deep stretches in my hip flexors because they get get really tight in the winter time. “Sarabande” in music terms is based on a slow stately traditional Spanish dance and often follows the “Courante” which is defined by short advances and retreats in classical Baroque suites. This was the perfect song to slowly move my hips around. A little goddess pose, a little happy baby, and some hip openers with this song on repeat was just heaven. I find that I repeat songs a lot in my dancing/stretching naked sessions. This one was particularly effective. Below is a YouTube clip of the song. Try it for yourself!
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read one book every month. For January I am reading The Samuri’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. A character in the book, Sachi, was afflicted with leprosy as a teenage girl and fled to a nearby mountain town on the coast of Japan to not cause dishonor to her family. She was mainly afflicted by sores on one side of her face which turned into scars in her later years leaving the other half a beautiful portrait of her younger self. Tonight I draw the young Sachi in her kimono. The drama of the beginning of Suite No. 5 takes me to the small beach town of Tarumi at a time when Japan sought to conquer China, and almost did. A time when tuberculosis didn’t have a cure and leprosy was a curse. This was less than a century ago. To think how far we’ve come and the everyday blessings we have is humbling. Below listen to “Allemande” and feel your heart soar!
“Bourrée” and “Gigue” were commonly used in music during the Renaissance or Baroque period to title and describe lively dance compositions. These tend to be the shortest songs in suites. In my illustration I wanted to capture this hurried movement with twirling and spinning. Using quick sketching with my pen I wanted there to be a sense of ease and continuousness of a gesture. Also a whirlwind of images, one leading into the next. Just as I felt when I was dancing. When I listen to these pieces they seem to bounce and never slow. I couldn’t help but bob my head. And then a quickly as it began it was over. The gigue was up!
Today I enter Suite #4 just after #1. I’m not exactly sure why they are not ordered from 1 to 6. Perhaps it has to do with how they all flow together. I honestly don’t mind at all. If you like yoga, this suite is perfect. There are many moments to enjoy and savor certain holds. The music gives you a subtle push to go deeper and the rhythm helps you remember to breathe. Below is “Sarabande” to to give you an idea of how great this would sound when you’re in downward dog or reaching up for a sun salutation!