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Music For Healing

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Music For Healing

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Music For Healing

Music For Healing

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Clockwise from upper left: Sufjan Stevens, Oumou Sangare, Sigur Ros, Alejandra Deheza of School For Seven Bells Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

Music can provide a space for healing, feeling and thought. Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, including at a show in that city's Bataclan concert hall, we were compelled to play music with a meditative tone, songs that allow space and time for reflection. A tune Bob Boilen found himself playing all weekend was by Hiya Wal Âalam, a band featuring members from Tunisia, Palestine and Sweden. It's culture-blending music and perfectly pensive. Robin Hilton's choice of a song by pianist Goldmund gave him some space for moments of solace as the news unfolded this weekend.

NPR Music writer Ann Powers calls in to talk about the inspiration behind her Twitter hashtag #livemusicheals. She remembers her own special live music moment with the uplifting Malian singer Oumou Sangaré and Robin shares his life-affirming experience at a Sufjan Stevens show. A song from Eagles of Death Metal closes our show with humor and heart, reminding us that even in tragedy, music can provide joy.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Sawtuha

07Janna

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    Song
    Janna
    Album
    Sawtuha
    Artist
    Houwaida
    Released
    1969

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Janna

  • from Sawtuha
  • by Houwaida

The band Hiya Wal Âalam is led by the the musician Houwaida, and its song, "Janna," is pensive and meditative, beginning with dissonant, somber piano and moving through Spanish guitar and Middle Eastern strings. The cultural richness of the song is a reflection of the Tunisian, Palestinian and Swedish members of the Hiya Wal Âalam, which includes Olof Dreijer of The Knife.

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Song
Sawtuha
Album
Sawtuha
Artist
Houwaida

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Cover for Worotan
Amazon

03Baba

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    Song
    Baba
    Album
    Worotan
    Artist
    Oumou Sangare
    Label
    Nonesuch Records
    Released
    1996

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Baba

  • from Worotan
  • by Oumou Sangare

NPR Music's Ann Powers, inspired by the sacred space created by live music, started the Twitter hashtag #livemusicheals and invited others to share their concert stories. She was reminded of her own experience in 1997 at a show by Malian singer Oumou Sangare, during which the crowd was welcomed onto the stage to dance to the uplifting, liberating rhythms of "Baba," from her 1996 album Worotan.

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Song
Worotan
Album
Worotan
Artist
Oumou Sangare
Label
Nonesuch Records
Released
1996

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Cover for Carrie & Lowell

11Blue Bucket of Gold

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    Song
    Blue Bucket of Gold
    Album
    Carrie & Lowell
    Artist
    Sufjan Stevens
    Label
    Asthmatic Kitty Records
    Released
    2015

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Blue Bucket of Gold

  • from Carrie & Lowell
  • by Sufjan Stevens

"Blue Bucket of Gold," from Sufjan Stevens' Carrie & Lowell is Robin's own #livemusicheals moment from a show earlier this year at DAR Constitution Hall. Beautiful and life-affirming, the song begins simply and, after a moment of pause part way through, builds to its full expression.

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Song
Carrie & Lowell
Album
Carrie & Lowell
Artist
Sufjan Stevens
Label
Asthmatic Kitty Records
Released
2015

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Cover for ( )
Amazon
Cover for ( )
Amazon

04Untitled, Track 4

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    Song
    Untitled, Track 4
    Album
    ( )
    Artist
    Sigur Rós
    Label
    MCA
    Released
    2009

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Untitled (Track 4)

  • from ( )
  • by Sigur Rós

"Untitled (Track 4)," from Sigur Rós' 2002 album ( ), is a testament to the emotional power of music. Without intelligible lyrics the song is a blank slate, clean and ready for listeners to assign their own meaning.

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Song
( )
Album
( )
Artist
Sigur Rós
Label
MCA
Released
2009

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Cover for Sometimes

02Sometimes

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    Song
    Sometimes
    Album
    Sometimes
    Artist
    Goldmund
    Released
    1969

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Sometimes

  • from Sometimes
  • by Goldmund

Goldmund is the performance name for pianist Keith Kenniff. Over the years, his music has appeared in ads, in films and between stories on NPR's All Things Considered. While he also works with electronic music, Kenniff says he always returns to the piano to write his most meditative work and to find solace.

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Song
Sometimes
Album
Sometimes
Artist
Goldmund

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Cover for Solo

01Ode

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    Song
    Ode
    Album
    Solo
    Artist
    Nils Frahm
    Released
    1969

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Ode

  • from Solo
  • by Nils Frahm

Nils Frahm is known for playing a prepared piano, recording songs that incorporate every creak and squeak the instrument makes while striking the notes. On this song Frahm performs a piece on one of the world's tallest pianos, an upright that stretches more than 12 feet high.

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Song
Solo
Album
Solo
Artist
Nils Frahm

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Cover for SVIIB

03Open Your Eyes

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Open Your Eyes

  • from SVIIB
  • by School of Seven Bells

Last month, School Of Seven Bells announced it would be releasing its final album. SVIIB includes the final recordings singer Alejandra Deheza and Benjamin Curtis made together before Curtis died of cancer in 2013. He was just 35 years old. The band's final album includes this gorgeous, reflective cut with a powerful and positive message: You will fall in love again.

Cover for Zipper Down [LP]

04I Love You All the Time

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    Song
    I Love You All the Time
    Album
    Zipper Down [LP]
    Artist
    Eagles of Death Metal
    Label
    Universal Music
    Released
    2015

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I Love You All the Time

  • from Zipper Down [LP]
  • by Eagles of Death Metal

Anyone who's a fan of Eagles Of Death Metal knows and loves the group for its infectious sense of humor, its warmth and playfulness. Our hearts go out to those touched by events at the Bataclan concert hall, including the members of the band, their fans and anyone feeling the loss of those killed during its performance in Paris.

Read an official statement from Eagles Of Death Metal about the attacks.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Zipper Down [LP]
Album
Zipper Down [LP]
Artist
Eagles of Death Metal
Label
Universal Music
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

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