Originally posted at The Amelioration Project
A Tabata Workout Followed by the peaceful music of Nathan Speir
This morning I really did not feel like doing a full 60 minute workout. I seriously considered only doing a light yoga workout. But the. I thought maybe a short 20 minute Tabata workout. So I created one on the workout app that I use. It consisted of 8 – 20 second intervals followed by 10 second rest of the following
- Jumping jacks
- Squat thrusts
- Sit ups
- Mountain climbers
- Push-ups/ squats 5 push outs 3 squats
Of course I counted how many of the exercises I did in each interval. If you had told me T the beginning of the exercise I would be doing
- 200 jumping jacks
- 64 sit-ups
- 64 squat thrusts
- 240 mountain climbers and
- 40 push ups
I would have said you were nuts! But that’s what I did. And although the workout only burnt. Calories according to my Fitbit I think it was pretty damn good workout!
I followed it with a 10 minute meditation and 5 minute savasana
( had to sneak in a little yoga!)
Today’s Meditation Soundtrack: Part of a Kindly Plan – Nathan Speir
The soundtrack for the meditation was a New Age album that’s been in my music rotation for a while now but I haven’t written about it yet. Big surprise I haven’t been doing a lot of writing about anything recently. So in an effort to break out of that rut,let me tell you about Nathan Speir and his album Part of a Kindly Plan.
Nathan Speir is a pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He was born in southern California but was raised in Florida and Connecticut. Currently he calls Winston-Salem North Carolina home. Part of a Kindly Plan is Speir’s eight studio release. His music style is eclectic and varied. He cites among his influences the music of George Winston, Keith Jarrret, Pat Metheny, Steve Roach, Harold Budd, R Carlos Nakai, Chopin and Erik Satie. His is inspired by his family, poetry, fine art, space and astronomy, the study of religion and nature.
From his Website Biography…
“I have a perpetual need to create,” explains Speir, “and making music teaches me many lessons in life. I hope that my creations enhance the ambience in the listener’s life, and in doing so, the listener holistically benefits. This kind of music lends itself to solace, relaxing, thinking and reflecting on life. Studying your inner life and identifying your personal beliefs is serious business, but I believe that serious things can bring great joy. I want the music to feel like taking a pastoral retreat, or going to space and then returning to earth, but afterwards feeling more at one with things. I feel strongly that each person needs to contribute in some way to our world. With my music I try to do my small part.” Read More
About Part of a Kindly Plan
Part of a Kindly Plan contains mostly acoustic instruments – acoustic piano, steel and nylon string acoustic guitars, wooden flute, cello, harmonica, rain-stick and singing bowls. A couple of the tunes also include a little synthesizer (primarily replicating a string section.)
In addition Speir states: “…. silence has a big part in my music and I pay a lot of attention to the space between the notes”
Some of the inspiration for Part of a Kindly Plan comes from the Thomas Hardy poem. “On a Fine Spring Morning” . The poem was written in the early 1900s and Speir has included it on the back of the album cover. Speir explains…
“At the beginning the poem asks a question: What is solace? Hardy says it is not this or exactly that, but at the end he is happy and content because he says everything is part of a benign or kindly plan that is proof that earth was made for man. I liked the sentiments expressed so I paraphrased the various lines for the name of the album and several tune titles”
You can read more about the various tunes also in his biography at his website. Here is the link.
Thoughts About Part of a Kindly Plan…...
I find Part of a Kindly Plan to be a nice quiet and relaxing album. It is a nice album to use for meditation, not a perfect meditation album but damn close. One of the tracks that I’ve heard the most and have really enjoyed is track two “As We Turn” The track features an acoustic-steel string guitar blended with piano, rainstick shaker some sampled tympani and synth strings. Speir says the following about the track:
“There are lots of turns in life, and as we grow older our perspective of life changes.”
As I was driving to Walmart this morning listening to the album, I thought about what Speir had written about the use of space between the notes in his compositions. I really noticed that in practice on the tune ‘Praxis” The song mixes nylon-string guitar and Native American flute with a rhythmic drum-sound created by Speir hitting the cello fretbound with his open hand. “The idea behind this piece”, relates Speir is that everyone should choose a discipline of some sort, seriously practice it, persevere, improve and also enjoy the journey.”
Anyway the album is, like Speir says a beautiful and varied collection of acoustic music and is well worth checking out. I think that it will be in my New Age rotation for quiet a while!! And it’s not just me who likes this album. The album was number 8 on the MusicZoneReporter.com Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart for April
Links for the Further Explorations of the Music of Nathan Speir
Here’s is a video for “A Taste of Solace” from the album Part of a Kindly Plan by Nathan Speir