Greetings from the Pacific Northwest, where the rains have arrived in full force and the ancient, felted darkness of autumn has settled, once again, over our verdant valley.1
As I mentioned last week, September’s Meditation 025 marked the end of Volume II — twelve new, original instrumental songs and visuals, plus one bonus track, all shared first with you right here through this newsletter. It also marked the end of a two volume series of meditations — twenty-four pieces in all twenty-four musical keys.2
Before we jump into the next volume, I’ve decided to share all of these songs with you in a single audio file, in order of their release, as I did last year for Volume I. While some are available on streaming platforms, this collection hasn’t existed anywhere as a single set until now.
🎵 I invite you to click play above to listen to every piece from Vol. II. These songs are all instrumental, making them good companions for working, writing, focusing, cooking, reading, walking the dog, napping, etc.
📷 Above, you’ll see the 11 original photos shared in Volume II, along with the illustration provided by the artist Jon Wilcox for last year’s A Simple Carol.
» New extras for paying subscribers
Last week I also shared that beginning in November, Volume I will be archived will only be accessible to paying subscribers. Paying subscribers will also get access to some new perks.
For just $0.96/week, you get:3
An additional post and song every month from my growing collection of film scores and other music work;
Exclusive access to a new solo piano series and a quarterly short film series;
Free downloads and discounts on merchandise.
Your support also helps keep my main monthly posts — the monthly songs I send — free and available to everyone and helps ensure that I can do this work sustainably over the long-term. Thank you for considering upgrading.
The twelve songs that make up Volume II, and the one bonus track, were released once each month between September 2022 - September 2023. Each piece is listed below (including its timestamp for the audio file above).4
» Song list
0:11:51 - Cascadia | G Minor (Unreleased | Original Post)
0:15:53 - Gathering Light (feat. Niamh Fahy) | E-Flat Major (Unreleased | Original Post)
0:18:55 - A Little Window | C Minor (Unreleased | Original Post)
0:31:38 - Slow Bloom | D-Flat Major (Unreleased | Original Post)
0:40:21 - Beneath the Woodbine | E-Flat Minor (Unreleased | Original Post)
Reading & Listening List, Volume II
Each issue of Volume II also included a few things I was reading and listening to. I’ve put these in a few lists here:
“To the Light of September” by W.S. Merwin
“Fall Song” by Joy Harjo
“Choices” by Tess Gallagher
“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
“Fir” by Henry Dumas
“After the Winter” by Claude McKay
“Untitled” by Gregory Orr
“The Well of Grief” by David Whyte
“Untitled” by Izumi Shikibu
“Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon
“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver
“To See It” by Laura Foley
“On A Train” by Wendy Cope
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Red Sorghum by Mo Yan
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Missing Person by Patrick Modiano
Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
Blindness by José Saramago
How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
» Many of the books I’ve shared can be found at the Fog Chaser Bookshop.
body by Gia Margaret
I Follow Rivers by Marika Hackman
et al by Pat Hull
Black Dog by Arlo Parks
Blood Run Through Me by Heather Woods Broderick
Can I Believe You by Fleet Foxes
For Sure by Future Islands
My Greedy Heart by Emile Mosseri
Telepath by Manchester Orchestra
When My Time Comes by Dawes
A Calf Born in Winter by Khruangbin
Call It Dreaming by Iron & Wine
» Spotify users can listen to all of these songs in this playlist:
So that was Volume II. Feel free to bookmark this page so you can come back here and hit play whenever you need a breather. And stay tuned for the first installment of Volume III which will land in your inbox sometime in November.
As always, thank you for being here. If you missed last week’s note, you can read it here:
I borrowed the “ancient darkness” phrase/idea from Marc Maron’s recent description of Portland in the intro to his recent interview with Joan Baez (which is great): https://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-1481-joan-baez
You may be wondering why the last meditation was number 25 — well, there was a special collaboration last year that didn’t fit into the “key series”, Meditation 018, and that’s included in the above audio recording as a bonus track.
When you sign up for an annual subscription.
I wrote and released the songs in the order of major key, then its relative minor, then the next major key, and so on, making my way around the circle of fifths.
Bonus track. Also released with Sonder House.