Music Love

Sacred Season Gathering of Songs

Music Editor’s Note:

This is an effort of many hands and hearts – our first ever Kosmos music compilation. We are so grateful to the artists who make this music and thankful that we have your voices in Kosmos and in the world.  We are honored that we get the chance to listen, and hope everyone enjoys this “Gathering of Songs” playlist. It features artists that have been so generous to Kosmos with their talents, time and energy over the past two years, sharing their work. Jesse Paris Smith couldn’t be reached as she is touring Italy right now, but you can find her words and music HERE.  Kendra Smith could not be reached because she is deep into her 30th year of off grid living.  She continues to make music in her solar cabin and you can read and listen HERE.

CLICK VIDEO TO THE LEFT to play all songs continuously, or scroll down to browse.

– Kari Auerbach

1. Minuit
Playing For Change, (Winter 2018)

Playing For Change keeps perfecting the art of their Songs Around The World which layer musicians from all over the world collaboratively on tracks. These songs can take months, sometimes even years to produce!

This beautiful song features Baaba Maal of Senegal with international accompaniment, singing about midnight song and dance.

2. One More Day (Jon’s Song)
Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars 
Yorkston Thorne Khan, (Summer 2018)

This brief song, characterized by Jon Thorne’s charming vocal is a perfect example of how this trio seamlessly blends melodies, traditions, and cultures by way of their deep-seated, natural bond and total willingness to embrace one another’s artistic vision.

3. Language Of Love
My Moby Dick
Jeff Finlin, (Fall 2018)

A poet and writer as well as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Finlin follows in the tradition that extends from Walt Whitman to Raymond Carver, preaching the gospel of everyman—but with the tongue of a 21st century skeptic and the muscular grace of a rock and roll spiritualist.

Jeff says, “‘Language of Love’ is about the miracle that is love and how it shines through our deepest doubt, shame, and experiences to become our choice in realization.”

4. Selah
The Pros and Cons Program
Prison Music Set Free, (Winter 2019)

Masterfully written by David Corley, who says, “This song’s free, and for anyone and everyone…a prayer and a song of life and love and time passed.”

“Selah” comes from the Pros and Cons Program, founded by Hugh Christopher Brown, who in this song, is accompanied by a chorus of anonymous voices recorded within Pittsburgh Institution, a prison near Kingston, Ontario in Canada.

Hugh Christopher Brown was kind enough to talk to Kosmos about his restorative justice program and how music gets made in prisons.

5. Benedictus Chant
A Celtic Mass For Peace, Songs for the Earth 
Sam Guarnaccia, (Spring 2019) 

“Through language, each human carried an entire universe within, saturated with dreams and laughter and blazing with imagination.”

You may know Sam Guarnaccia for the Emergent Universe Oratorio, but on this track, he is turning his composing efforts toward a more traditional, regional mass for peace.

6. Nyansapo – The Wisdom Knot
Steven Chesne, (Summer 2018)

After unearthing ancient, precious peace invocations and prayers from all over the world—words of the oneness of mankind, spoken by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindus, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, and the Baha’i—Steven Chesne was aided by scholars, clergy, and linguists to study the meanings. He set each one to music and this is the culminating track from that record, the finale, in which phrases from all of the traditions are interwoven together—one on top of another—in an assemblage of blissful counterpoint, accompanied by an orchestra.

7. Everlasting Arms
Listen To The Music
Playing For Change, (Winter 2018)

This hymn gets a PFC tour of the world stemming from the belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.  The children in this image are from one of the many schools the Playing for Change Foundation builds globally to afford arts and music training to children. To be clear, the children do not play on the track (yet), but we do  have Luke Winslow-King, Vasti Jackson, Dr. John, and Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi in collaboration with musicians in Argentina, Anguilla, and Italy to name a few.

8. Good News Gorillas
David Rothenberg, (Summer 2019) 

David is best known for his interspecies collaborations, but here he is collaborating with humans and a computer program for tuning tablas. David says that Matt Aidekman, the creator of the Tablatun software, came up with the song title, although at one point he wanted to cut this tune from the album. It’s the happiest one! Matt’s software digitally retunes the tabla.

The band is tabla, computer, and clarinet, with the computer retuning the tabla live as they play—quite different from how the tabla is used in traditional Indian music. Mike Lukshis, the tabla player, runs the Taalim School of Indian Music in New Jersey, one of the largest institutions of its kind in the New York metropolitan area.

9. Delicate Love
The Pros and Cons Program,
Hugh Christopher Brown, (Winter 2019)

“Delicate Love” is a reggae song from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Hugh Christopher Brown, the founder of the Pros and Cons Program spoke to us about the project and what is on the horizon for this restorative justice music program.

10. Girl
Dear Trouble
Stephen Ulrich, (Fall 2019)  

When I was a little kid, I remember looking at the Beatles’ album Rubber Soul and thinking they made it for us personally, that there was one album and it was for our family. I also loved the album cover itself. It could have been shot in our driveway, the pine trees, it just felt like a family portrait or something. That’s the connection I had to music.” —Stephen Ulrich

Stephen’s band Big Lazy adds their instrumental film noir touch for a refreshing take on this femme fatale favorite.

11. Keeper Of The Flame
Hugh Christopher Brown, (Winter 2019)

When Hugh Christopher Brown isn’t working at the Pros and Cons Program or running his record label, when he is not recording and producing other artists or touring with them, he finds time to write and record his own songs. This is one from his latest release, Pacem.

12. Hands Off The Wheel
The Tao Of Motor Oil
Jeff Finlin (Fall 2018)   

Simply stated, Jeff Finlin says, “’Hands Off The Wheel’…. is just a montage on letting go.”

13. Tlahuilis / Light
Break Free
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (Winter 2018)

“It’s an old Nahuatl poem that my father taught me; it’s a reflection on legacy. Telling our stories is a part of our cultural survival, an act of resistance, and an act of love. At the very least, what we have left behind is flowers and songs, and that is where the beauty and the lifeline of our culture lies.” —Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

14. Nziwaldam
Bush Lady
Alanis Obomsawin, (Spring 2019)

Before establishing herself as one of Canada’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers, Obomsawin began her artistic life as a singer-songwriter in the 1960s.  The journey of her one and only record Bush Lady is chronicled in her own words by Alanis for Kosmos Quarterly.

On the record, she sings in English, French and, in the case of Nziwaldam, Abenaki.

BONUS | The Moon Shines Bright, feat. Elizabeth Fraser
Old Wow
Sam Lee, (Summer 1019)

Sam Lee has a new record coming in late January of 2020. This track is a pre-released song from that record which will be called Old Wow. “The Moon Shines Bright” features Elizabeth Fraser whose otherworldly, beautiful vocals have delighted audiences for decades. If you’ve never heard her sing “Song to the Siren,” it’s an uncannily haunting ballad—pure audio magic! 

This video gives us all a peek into the recording process and how beautifully Sam and Elizabeth work together, how intense and well crafted their vocal stylings are. Thank you, Sam, and congratulations on your upcoming release. We look forward to it!

About Kari Auerbach

Kari Auerbach is Music Editor at Kosmos Quarterly. She grew up all over the world learning about music and working as a jewelry designer. Currently living in New York City, she is social media director for several recording artists and a jewelry instructor for the New York Institute of Art and Design. She enjoys her many roles as a teacher, artist, mother, mentor, as well as advocating for artists, children, and a better, cleaner world.

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