Monday, March 02, 2015

New Age Music

Jilda and I listen to New Age music as we sip our morning coffee. Most of it is instrumental. The ones with vocals somehow weave the words into the orchestration so that the voices sound like another instrument.

There’s a difference between New Age and elevator music. It’s hard to explain, but to me, most elevator music is bland, whereas New Age is more lilting and often ethereal.

I remember the first time we were ever exposed to New Age music. I was in Boston on a training trip and Jilda tagged along. We did all the touristy things — walked the Freedom Trail, visited the Old North Church and ate Boston baked beans from a white porcelain cup at a small cafĂ©.

We chose a window seat so that we could watch people strolling down the streets on that beautiful spring day.

That afternoon, we drove to Salem, Massachusetts. We learned about the Salem Witch Trials and toured the House of Seven Gables Museum. The house was the setting for Nathanial Hawthorne’s book by that name.

Later, we visited a small shop owned by Laurie Cabot, who is the official witch of Salem. The shop was a unique experience. It had lamps, candles, and crystals. She also offered music CDs and books on history, spells, chants and therapeutic spanking….OK, I’m kidding about the spanking.

While we browsed, we heard angelic music wafting from hidden speakers. When we were ready to check out, the woman tending the shop appeared. She was Laurie Cabot’s daughter and had dark flowing hair with obsidian eyes. Her dress was made of lace that looked as delicate as a sparrow’s wing.

When I asked about the music playing, she told us the artist’s name was Enya.

I made a mental note to buy our own copy of her music.

Jilda chose a book on herbs, and the woman placed the book in a beautiful bag with a few stems of sage, and some glitter. It seemed like something Glenda, the good witch in Wizard of Oz, might do. We’ve bought thousands of books, but I don’t remember any of those transactions in such vivid detail.

When we returned from our Bostonian trip, I headed to the local music store and bought a copy of the Enya recording.

Since my introduction to New Age music, I’ve discovered many other talented artists that fit nicely into our Sunday-morning routine.

I listen to the music while I’m writing. It usually keeps me engaged without derailing my train of thought, but sometimes the music sidetracks me to interesting places and the words follow along for the ride.

Often when people visit new places, they only see the bad parts. They see the crazy traffic, the congestion, rude people and unfriendly weather.

But when Jilda and I visit new places, we tend to look for the good things…the food, the sights, and the smells. What I remember from our trip to Massachusetts are the best baked beans I’ve ever tasted, glitter in our bag and New Age music.


  1. You can't go wrong with Enya, Rick. Great post.

  2. Enya has such a beautiful voice. I have been to the shop you visited as well as a couple others in Salem. They are all quaint and serene.

  3. Rick, this is a nice memory and I like that you look for the good... we all should do a little more of that ;)

  4. I love Enya but have not heard anything from her in a long time. Maybe I'm out of the loop.

  5. Times like this I do miss my hearing, that aside the North East is one of our favorite areas. I have never traveled anyplace that I did not enjoy. I like 'y'all's' attitude (smile). I always get a kick out of your entries and enjoy your style. Your size entry is perfect for my reading and I always have one line to call my girls attention to, this one was comparing the dress texture/fabric to the sparrow wing, sure caught my attention.
    The best from central Florida.

  6. I love listening to music when I paint, but unfortunately I can't have music playing when I write. I wish this weren't so.

  7. I love travelling with you!!

  8. I wouldn't know new age music if I heard it

  9. I've heard of Enya. Glitter in a bag is way cool.


  10. I have been in love with Enya's music for many many years. I also really like Enigma.

  11. I love Enya - she was one of my disco era favorites.

    When I was a working person, I had to speak at a national convention in Portland, Maine. We planned a trip around it and then - lo and behold - I found out I was pregnant. I had kids getting ready to graduate high school at the time. Because of my age, they ran tests, etc. I called for the results from the Salem, Massachusetts, visitor center. Ever since, I've thought of Salem and smiled.

    BTW, I'm a direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse, the accused Salem witch through her daughter, Elizabeth.

  12. My personal favorite is "2002" NA music. Especially when I need help falling asleep. Their album "Across An Ocean of Dreams" is my very favorite. Used it in my day spa years ago. Everyone loved it.

  13. My daughter bought me some of Enya's music CDs several years ago and I still love to listen to them. I have several new age music CDs as well and also love to listen to Loreena McKeennit. She has a style all her own.

  14. Your Boston journey sounds like something DH and I would love to experience! Like you, I'll never forget the first time I heard Enya. It's been many years, but I recall interrupting the fellow who was cutting my hair to ask what it was he was playing. The next day I purchased my first of her CD's.


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