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.
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!
“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!
Day 314 and I emerge into the 4th suite by J.S. Bach. This time I am in Keystone, Colorado. The snow rises with the mountains as the tops of pine trees wade in white dust. As we drive up the mountain we look ever the road edge only to see the ridges and valleys have disappeared into a foggy chalky abyss. After skiing and snow shoeing we return to our cabin and warm by the fire. After a few hours of friendship and libation I retire to my room and dance to my music. Solitude suits me. As I slide into bed I close my eyes, my body at peace, as the snow falls silently outside my window lulling me to sleep.
There are 6 Suites total on this album. They are also unordered. The next suite will be No. 4. The first is very familiar, the quaint essential classical track list. What scholars would listen to while they debated politics and romance over whiskey in a musty study hall lit by candlelight at the turn of the twentieth century. Or a warmup for the company of the New York Ballet, silk slippers gliding across chalky wooden flooring in the growing morning light.
I’ve begun listening to the album when I wake up and prepare breakfast. It lingers in my mind as I sleep. I feel elevated after dancing naked, purpose. The music moves through me, through Yo-Yo Ma, through everyone in earshot and time itself. I mean, this Bach guy was on to something. I think I’ll keep this going. Here’s to the classics!
Day 312 I begin with the J.S. Bach’s 6 Unaccomapnied Cello Suites featuring Yo-Yo Ma! This album is is amazing. It’s just Yo-Yo Ma in a studio playing these historical suites. No big deal. I can hear his breathing at moments, the gentle sliding movement of the bow on the strings, and tiny ambient noise that create the feeling that he’s playing in the room with me. “The J.S. Bach B Sides”. This is an excellent album to relax to, stretch to, or start off your morning with a calm mind before a busy day!