Tag Archives: music


Happy new year! This post has nothing to do with the new year, but I hope these album recommendations will help start your year off on the right foot!

These albums are either sending shivers down my spine every time I listen to them (because when you go indoors to escape the cold outside, what else would you rather do than shiver there too?) or otherwise being put on my playlist on repeat:

Olafur ArnaldsÓlafur Arnalds. Just. Ólafur Arnalds. More specifically, these two are my faves from our collection:

Island Songs by Ólafur Arnalds (streaming on hoopladigital only)

Re:member by Ólafur Arnalds is also amazing, but Island Songs is what originally got me into Arnalds and really listening. Literally sent shivers down my spine as I listened, as well as making me very emotional at times throughout the album. (Also, what a beautiful story behind the album!)

How to describe Arnalds’ music? I think he describes it this way himself in the insert to Re:member (though I don’t have the CD in front of me and can’t verify this, so take with a grain of salt), but it feels as though I’m listening to the soundtrack of a film, except there’s no film that it follows. Ambient music? Soundtrack? Instrumental, I guess. However you categorize it (if we must), it is beautiful.

See more below the cut.

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Mozart’s Starling (by Lyanda Lynn Haupt)

31932836I came across this book at a book event a few month ago. Not knowing much about Mozart or starling, I started reading not knowing what to expect (except for the fact that the person at the even spoke highly of it).

I usually read non-fictions pretty slowly, but not this time. Mozart’s Starling is a lighthearted charming little book inspired by starlings, the most hated birds among ornithologists since it is considered an aggressive invader to the local species, and the fact that the most well respected composer in the world Mozart had a pet starling during his most productive and turbulent years of his short life. In order to understand the bird and how it is like living with one, Haupt raised a baby starling. This book is a mixture of fun facts, unknown history, and reflection on inspiration, harmony, and the natural world.

Part natural history, part story, Mozart’s Starling will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.

You might also like…

The Urban Bestiary

Crow Planet

The Hidden Life of Trees

Wesley the Owl



The Thing with Feathers




available at VPLI didn’t really know what to expect when I clicked on a friend’s twitter link that gushed about an artist I’d never heard of and her upcoming concert taking place in Toronto, but I am SO GLAD I did! (On second thought, I should really never have doubted her taste in music. What was I thinking?)

Just a quick listen through Agnes Obel’s soundcloud had me immediately searching up in another tab the availability of her CDs here at VPL. And while I’m not one to really know what exactly to talk about when it comes to music, I’m going to bring her to your attention if nothing else. Obel’s music is an incredibly beautiful, soft, and haunting moment reminiscent of a fairytale or a daydream. She’s amazing, and she’s COMING TO TORONTO FOR A CONCERT (March 4th, in case you’re interested)!

And if you enjoy what you’re listening to, you might also enjoy these ones:

1. Lucy Rose – Like We Used To

2. Safia Nolin

3. Ludovico Einaudi

4. Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms