The Ultimate Reading Mix

This was always going to be a tough post to write: the one that came after the first weight loss post. I didn’t ever want to post all of those in one go so the question was “what the hell do I write next?”

I find that whenever I am doing something difficult or unpleasant (like washing up or cleaning the kitchen, because no one likes doing those things), music makes it that much easier. While blogging is not unpleasant, it can be difficult, especially the first post after quite a heavy one like my last entry so I thought why not make it a little easier and a little more chill with some music.

I am blessed with Spotify Premium (thank you, other half, once again you make my life fabby), so I have access to a hoard of really good music ad-free wherever I go. It’s great.

My playlists tend to be massive sprawling things (I really need to sort them out every so often) which works great for things like reading, or writing, or generally creating things. I can pop on one of my massive playlists and it will never run out of music. I can get engrossed in a book for hours at a time and never have to fiddle with my music, I get uninterrupted reading time with hours and hours of my personal perfect reading soundtrack. Bliss.

I’m one of those people who prefers scores while reading and creating so that I don’t get distracted by pesky lyrics. However, some of my scores do have wonderful choral parts because I am a sucker for them – especially if they’re in a language I don’t understand, it makes everything sound that little bit fantastical.

So without further tomfoolery, here are my top songs from my ultimate reading mix (the whole playlist will be at the end of this post if you find that it’s exactly your kind of thing!):

1. Dance of the Druids – Bear McCreary (Outlander)

This is an absolutely incredible piece of music, and the scene it’s from is one of the most beautiful things I have ever had the pleasure to watch. If you’ve no interest in watching Outlander, look up the Dance of the Druids scene and just watch that – it’s magical.

2. Prologue – James Newton Howard (Lady in the Water)

I think this song is what made me want to watch Lady in the Water in the first place. It’s another magical one (I am going to be using that word a lot in this blog, sorry). Generally, on soundtracks, if there is a track called ‘Prologue’ which happens to be playing while a narrator of some description is getting the viewer up to speed with the story, it will be my favourite. There’s just something about knowing that a story is being told and that the track is specifically composed to make that story sound incredible that really pulls me in.

3. The Woman in White Suite – Julian Lloyd Webber and Sarah Chang

This is a super long one and lasts for about half an hour. It’s an instrumental suite based on the musical The Woman in White (based on the book of the same name). It’s got tension, it’s got drama, it’s got sweetness and it makes my stomach feel a little bit funny at times. (I take that as a good thing.) The other track, Phantasia, which was on the same release, is also wonderful (it is a homage to all things Phantom of the Opera, which you may have guessed already).

4. The Half Killed – Dario Marianelli (Atonement)

For a little drama and sadness. Such a beautiful track. It builds and builds and builds. This has been one of my go-to tracks for a very long time. Even before I saw the film.

5. Statues – Alexandre Desplat (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two)

Alexandre Desplat was easily the best composer they used in the Harry Potter films. His work is phenomenal and this track has always been my favourite. (Possibly because McGonagall is my favourite too. Let’s face it, the two things are probably, almost definitely related.)

The Playlist

If you like these, you might like the whole playlist. There are over 1,500 songs on it, and I am hoping no random non-scores made their way on there but you never know. I periodically add more to it one album at a time, so I always recommend playing it on shuffle for the full effect.

To listen to the playlist click here, while I try to work out why the embed widget isn’t working. Booo.