Carla Brennan's Blog

Reflections and Photos from The Big Trip and Beyond . .

Music of Compassion

THE MUSIC OF COMPASSION PLAYLIST

Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche gave me the name “Music of Compassion” several years ago. But the name I really wanted at the time was given to a man in my group, “Spontaneous Expression of Basic Space.” Actually, I didn’t want that exact name as I probably would never have thought it up, but I wanted something like it. Not something potentially a bit sentimental like “Music of Compassion.” Asian teachers tend to give women concrete, touchy-feely names while they give men abstract names of emptiness and enlightenment.

Overtime I have warmed up to my name, “Music of Compassion.” At first I thought this name would be better suited to a musician, which I am not. But the truth is I have always had a taste for and collected music that evokes the sweet beautiful sadness of compassion. The poignancy and tender-heartedness. The ache and loveliness. Music that melts the frozen walls of our resistance to life.

It occurred to me to create a “Music of Compassion” playlist to share. I’ll start with a few pieces and add more overtime. Most of my choices are instrumentals since words can distract from the purity of the sound. The power of music is that it travels straight to the heart, bypassing thoughts. Words can create a subtle detour into the mind, a slight clot in the flow of feelings.

These songs cover the range of compassionate feelings. Sometimes soft and tender, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes mysterious, sometime bold and exciting, but almost always in minor key, the natural sound of grief and love. You may also notice one instrument that appears repeatedly: the cello, which seems to vibrate at the frequency of the human heart.

Below is a link to Spotify and the “Music of Compassion – Volume 1” playlist. Enjoy.

More volumes will be added overtime.

The music on Volume 1 includes:

SONG: MAP OF THE WARM NIGHT
Artist/Composer: Tim story
Album: Shadowplay

Tim is perhaps my time favorite composer of all. You will see him listed in future playlists. His oeuvre is not huge but includes exquisitely beautiful pieces. Plus I like his song titles, such as “Eyelids of the Sea” or “Perfect Flaw.”

SONG: DREAM RAGA
Artist/composer: Jami Sieber
Album: Timeless

Jami is a master of the timeless cello: deep, tender and ethereal.

SONG: XIBALBA
Composer: Clint Mansell
Artist: Kronos QuartetAlbum: The Fountain (Soundtrack from the movie.)

The entire soundtrack from this movie is gorgeous and heartbreaking. Xibalba is the name of the underworld in Maya mythology. Cave systems in Belize have been referred to as the entrance to Xibalba.

SONG: A LOVELY PLACE TO BE
Artist/Composer: Patrick O’Hearn
Album: So Flows the Current

Languid and nourishing.

SONG: SEPTEMBER MORN
Composer/Artist: David Darling
Album: Prayers of Compassion

David Darling’s work is rich and evocative, his cello playing divine.