Tag: Music

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July 25, 2017

What’s your three feet of influence? Rumi’s renewed appeal thanks to Bey & Jay. Breaking open one’s heart. Happiness as human flourishing and more ideas from our editor-in-chief.

Orüç Güvenç performs.
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July 19, 2017

Learning of the great ethnomusicologist’s death, our columnist offers an “ocean of remembrance” in return for the Turkish Sufi master who embodied the poetry of Islam in both his music and his being.

John Thompson, a friend and former colleague of Philando Castile, is embraced after speaking on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol building on June 16, 2017 in St Paul, Minnesota. Protests erupted in Minnesota after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on all counts in the shooting death of Philando Castile. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
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June 28, 2017

Our editor in chief turns to other sources for understanding and pondering: brain science on why our brains are wired for hate, African-American spirituals as a monument to our nation’s history and resilience, and focusing our attention on what really matters.

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May 17, 2017

A young man becomes a listening nomad; a missing violin brings a musician closer to herself; a community of Detroiters meditates with Sylvia Boorstein; Courtney Martin mourns the freedoms of childlessness. Reflections on the unexpected places where we find deep truth in ourselves and each other.

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April 15, 2017

How your personality changes over a lifetime; a tribute to the unbreakable spirit of a legendary poet; the virtue of not getting exactly what you want; and hiring not just minds, but hearts, too.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 08: Ray Hooper riding Toss Woollaston cools off during the Karekare Beach Races on April 8, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. The event on Auckland's West Coast raises funds for Lone Kauri School and the Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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April 8, 2017

When a listener asks a question, a new conversation emerges. And other ideas on the harm of literalism in family life, the virtue of truth-telling, transforming anger, praise for an unappreciated generation; and others.

A child watches a drop of water.
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March 19, 2017

Rather than slipping into warring modes, a master list of ways to enter into conversations with more openness and hospitality.

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March 7, 2017

Beyonce and Chance the Rapper embody the deep, enduring presence of black faith in the world, both in its powerful solemnity and in its joyful boisterousness.

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February 27, 2017

What if we thought of hip-hop lyrics as sacred texts? Toki Wright speaks about the power of language and the spiritual responsibility of hip-hop for young people.

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January 13, 2017

From the heart of New Delhi, a singer-songwriter explores the love and loss we all experience at one time or another. Listen and enjoy!

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December 24, 2016

Dave Chappelle as an imperfect spiritual mentor; the importance of life’s valleys alongside its peaks; reconnecting to lost family histories, and finding new ways to uplift each other through thick and thin.

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December 14, 2016

A return to the gritty heart of the Christmas season, and a vision for a holiday celebration that does real and practical good for those around us.

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December 13, 2016

A look at icons in our popular culture reveals the crucial work of healing at the heart of the Muslim faith.

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November 22, 2016

From celebrations of Leonard and Leon to the good and the bad in the Electoral College — reflections to challenge our relationships with technology, with busyness, with history, and with each other.

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November 16, 2016

Leonard Cohen’s timeless lyrics are a beacon of hope for even the most broken among us. An expression of gratitude to our latest lost legend.

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November 5, 2016

Is it Pollyannaish to love your country at its most divided? Sara Bareilles and Leslie Odom Jr. create a song to make sense of the world before us — and imagine a country yet to be.

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October 18, 2016

Meaning and learning present themselves to us in unexpected ways. Commentaries on keeping ourselves open to surprising lenses on life, and to how they can enrich our relationships, our work, and our play.

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September 21, 2016

The search for fulfillment feels endless, but what if the answer dwells around and among us? Contemplations on the joyful wisdom embedded in work and in life.

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September 14, 2016

The violence of our culture can trap us in a spiral of fear and paralysis. Parker Palmer on the importance of centering our minds and hearts in sacred spaces of our own, wherever we may find them.

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July 19, 2016

Our days have been marked by pain and gaps in understanding. The enduring presence of kindness, mercy, poise, and the beauty of music provide guidance in harrowing times.

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July 13, 2016

When the weight of the world is heavy, music can be a balm. A musical offering for this uncertain moment, for mercy and the courage to walk together toward the beloved community.

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June 30, 2016

The Sufi tradition is infused with the beauty of art and song. Honoring singer Amjad Sabri, Omid Safi celebrates and gives thanks for the spiritual gift of the qawwali devotional.

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May 25, 2016

How do we cut through distraction to nurture our best selves forward? Our executive editor shares reflections on rediscovering the glory around and within us, from the journey of an olympic runner, to the lyrical labyrinth of rap, to healing the void of loss with art and memory.

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May 9, 2016

After a teacher stays on in Poland after a five-day bearing witness retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau, she offers a peripatetic meditation on beauty, suffering, and our capacity to comprehend what is incomprehensible.

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May 8, 2016

Our cultural treasures of music, art, and literature can bind us together. But in an era of interconnectedness, our art can also be woven together with our statecraft. Mohammed Fairouz cautions against cultural appropriation by charting the story of our universal cultural heritage, from the court of ancients to the modern day.

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April 26, 2016

We lost a beloved cultural icon last week, and his life of work has inspired an outpouring of love in music and story. Celebrations of Prince’s life accompany praise for standing up together, in support of our strengths and growth from moments of weakness.

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April 16, 2016

Generations have worshipped him as the King of Folk, but Dylan’s discomfort with the limelight reveals more than mere humility. An examination of the service-oriented theology in the lyrics of a lover of song.

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March 29, 2016

For those of us who adore our daily forms of labor, work doesn’t stop when the office closes. Mohammed Fairouz makes the case for obsession, and work as prayer and mystery and play.

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March 27, 2016

On this Easter morning, a memory and a story of finding God not in the four walls of a church but by reclaiming awe in the woods of rural Minnesota. Listen to this audio short by Craig Minowa of the orchestral indie rock collective Cloud Cult and his reverence for the ritual of Easter morning.

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March 19, 2016

As Christians enter Holy Week, a reflection on the drama of the Easter story through poetry, music, and history. Theatrical, disturbing, cathartic, and deeply necessary, the Christian encounter with the crucifixion is a reckoning with the violence of our era. And yet in resurrection there is hope and embrace.

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March 8, 2016

From an eloquent and soul-touching tune, to testaments of moving forward from complex suffering, our executive editor shares demonstrations of the boundless and surprising bravery of which we are all capable.

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March 4, 2016

A musician from the shores of Lake Superior sings a haunting melody that speaks to the spaces between your cells.

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February 16, 2016

Wise voices remind us that there are realities we can embrace. Writings on the uncomfortable but rewarding work of taking a positive orientation to the speed bumps of life, from the ennui of advanced age to communicating the most difficult truths.

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February 2, 2016

Might we understand each other better if we dropped our assumptions and reframed the questions we ask? The contemplative season sparks ruminations on how we might be more generous in imagining our neighbors, and ourselves.

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January 28, 2016

What do the Triune God and jazz music have in common? A South African musician explores jazz through three theological metaphors.

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January 25, 2016

In the height of winter, perhaps what we need to chase away the cold and gray is a bit of the January blues. Music legend Buddy Guy provides some heartening perspective about life being more than flesh and bone.

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January 25, 2016

How do we reckon with different parts of our lives seemingly in opposition? Neighborliness and fear, togetherness and silence, embracing uncomfortable truths — examinations of finding growth and hope in life’s tensions.

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January 12, 2016

What happens when we open ourselves to the gift of vulnerability? Profound voices on public displays of emotion in politics, the making of identity, the inspiration of wilderness, and advice from a classical pianist on pursuing what moves you and being glad in others’ good fortunes.

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January 12, 2016

When a young, Evangelical Christian is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it’s the music legend David Bowie who provides him with salvation and a renewed hope in “the Church of Man.”

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January 11, 2016

Adele’s journey of questioning and growth, and her resonance with listeners of all walks of life, reveals the power of her music to navigate us through our own paths of self-discovery.

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January 5, 2016

A gracious and unexpected gift from the band Radiohead for the new year and a medley of guiding essays on revolutions and resolutions, ending arrogance, love of wide open spaces, embracing family and more. Our executive editor’s Letter from Loring Park to kick off 2016.

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January 1, 2016

The superband’s submission for Bond immortality was rejected. But it’s their response that seems like the right thing to carry into 2016.

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December 21, 2015

As these days of anticipation of Christmas draw closer, a creative reimagining of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Bipolar Explorer for your listening pleasure.

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December 15, 2015

Paradox runs through the season of Advent weaving together transcendence in imminence, power in vulnerability, kairos in chronos, the ultimate in the intimate. A set of homespun songs for this mysterious season of waiting.

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December 7, 2015

A song reinvents a classic children’s hymn, and invites reflection on the intertwined natures of joy and melancholy.

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December 6, 2015

Our Sunday morning cantor is the talented Dessa with a stripped-down choral piece sure to make the spirit soar.

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November 30, 2015

Count Basie and Helen Humes’ nostalgic rendition of a 1920’s jazz classic provides the perfect accompaniment to a stunning piece about love, marriage, and lifelong partnership.

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November 18, 2015

Watch our live video stream for an evening of music and conversation with ethnomusicologist Sowah Mensah, percussionist Marc Anderson, and composer Chris Beaty — exploring music through the cartography of their own lives.

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November 16, 2015

A composer’s song for the background noise of a family living room — a soundtrack for the ordinary work of cooking, cleaning, and growing up.

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November 9, 2015

Darwin’s concept of “deep time” finds its musical expression in a piano arrangement by German composer Hauschka.