Living out of a suitcase for the past year, I’ve found music to be a great source of solace and comfort to balance the exhausting aspects of an itinerant lifestyle – a chance to rediscover a sense of home wherever I may be in the world.
On this smorgasbord playlist of jazz, slow movements of classical works, acoustic pop, and movie soundtracks, I’ve included a few pieces that have helped me reconnect with myself and unwind after periods of intense focus.
I love the way the exquisite colours of French music can wrap around your mind – the slow movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G played by Argerich has been my go-to-piece for many years, and I am looking forward to working on Debussy’s iconic Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with the MSO later in the year. The freedom and flexibility of jazz energises me. I’m infatuated with the jazz pianist Hiromi, and the low, intimate tones of Melody Gardot or Youn Sun Nah.
There’s something delicious about basking in a film score removed from the visuals of a film that reminds us of the powerful aural aspect of storytelling – a way to understand ourselves. I’ve included an achingly beautiful number from John William’s haunting score from Schindler’s List, and an excerpt from the Prisoner of Azkaban (my favourite Harry Potter film), to be played live in concert by the MSO later this year.
I’m looking forward to working with Xian Zhang again later this year on Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and have also included a piece by New Zealand composer, John Psathas, written for his children.
Each piece featured on this playlist has a unique story in my life. I hope that a few will be woven into the fabric of your own story too; during the times you need it most.