The Enchantment - A Yoga Playlist

This particular playlist is a near and dear one. It originally started off as something I made for my Yoga class. By all accounts, it went down really well. Diane, my wonderful instructor, did me the honor of playing it all the way through in class. She did this several times, so I know it wasn't just a pity play. In addition, several other class members were intrigued enough to ask the names of the artists. Now, if you're in the middle of a dandayamana dhanurasana, I don't care how advanced you are, you'll be doing your best not to topple and ruin the mojo of the yogi panting next to you. Hence, it was good to know the music was in sync enough with other folks as well.

By all accounts, that should have been that and all of us would have moved on to newer music after a while. However, my better half hit the brilliant idea of using this playlist as something to soothe Virj to sleep. Since then, it has been on regular rotation since he responded to it (or not) so well. I worry about hard disk burn in on both our iPods for the sectors that contain these tracks as they get played so darn often.

Suffice it to say, I am working on a new one. In the meantime, here's the tracklist with my thoughts and the widgets thereafter.

It's been a while since I've shared a playlist and the part of the problem is finding the right tool as to how best to do it. In the past, I'd tried stuff like Webjay which seemed to work well but relied on you actually uploading the track somewhere accessible. Anyway, Yahoo bought Webjay and then proceeded to retire it. So much for that. Soundcloud is better but you still have to upload the music yourself or hope someone else has done it already. This is problematic for copyrighted music. Consequently, I am trying two new options this time around. The first is Rhapsody, a music subscription service I use. I am continually impressed by the breadth of their library but their sharing tools still need some work. Plus, it's best if you're signed up. Nonetheless, I've included a "rhaplink" - supposedly non-subscribers have 25 free plays a month. I am also including iLike since I like their playlist widget better - but you only get 30 seconds or so, I think.

1. Dance Of The Wind - Shweta Javeri
2. Ras Rang (Vol. 1) / Thumri - Shobha Gurtu

Both are taken from a collection, "Passage To India - Traditional" and feature a cornucupia of styles. These two are meditative in nature and provide a calm start.

3. Prayer For The Four Directions - David and Steve Gordon
From Indians to American Indians. Picking up the pace a tad.

4. Magnetic - Tabla Beat Science
The nearest thing we have to a South Asian supergroup! I was fortunate enough to attend their Stern Grove concert in San Francisco a couple of years ago. This is a slow workout building in anticipation of bigger things.

5. Taking The Dust - Jai Uttal
The first of two Jai Uttal tracks. This one has a distinct Baul feel. Lovely and lilting.

6. M'Beddemi - Cheikh Lo
A personal favorite, this track is the opening salvo in Cheikh's 1999 album Bambay Gueej. Cheikh is a Senegalese musician and this truck is a mid tempo funk workout with liquid drums that remind you of the tabla and shimmering guitars.

7. Kothbiro - Ayub Ogada
From the album African Voices, this is the most beautiful track on the playlist. I first heard it on the soundtrack to The Constant Guardian and it has stayed with me ever since. I defy any parent to listen to this song while their child is sleeping and not be moved.

8. Deep - Citizen Cope
A change of pace but that's what makes playlists so much fun! A slow, stately jam with organs leading the way.

9. Gaze - Sweetback
Sweetback is the side project of Stewart Matthewman, Sade's sonic maestro. This is from their first album and is a typical understated ambient masterpiece.

10. Traveller (Kid Loco's Once Upon A Time In The East mix) - Talvin Singh
Originally featured on the Talvinremixsingh remix collection, this Kid Loco remix more than holds its own compared to the original.

11. Shalom - Jai Uttal
Jai's second appearance. Should raise good vibes in everyone except the most cynical.

12. Mountain Path - Badmarsh & Shri
Lilting uptempo piece by the pioneering UK duo.

13. Journey To Arnhemland - Jamiroquai
Another personal favorite (both this track and the band). I have no idea where they are going but they are the pied pipers of modern day groovedom.

14. Somebody Up There Likes You - Simple Minds
Bet you didn't think you'd find Simple Minds here now, did you? This is from their New Gold Dream '81 '82 '83 album, an early '80s masterpiece, way before "Don't You Forget About Me," "Alive and Kicking" and all that. An uplifting funky instrumental.

15. The Enchantment - Sheila Chandra
Closing out and returning back to chilldom with this vocal exploration by the UK singer.


Rhapsody Playback Link

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- March 26, 2010 6:18 PM // Music