The School of Psychological Sciences


When I was in primary school, I was explicitly asked to keep silent at music classes. Today, my children are asking me to do the same. Nevertheless music strongly affects me, and I need it even when I work. It tends to make my thoughts more fluid and, sometimes, it allows  me to transcend the daily routines into a deeper experience.

At the beginning there was Pink Floyd. Listening for the first time (when I was about 16) to the Dark Side of the Moon, has probably changed me. Both its theme (meaning of life; racing against time and death; reason and madness) and its sound, have put me in touch with a deeper (darker/metaphysical) level of experience, which reminds the atmosphere evoked by some of the Ingmar Bergman movies that deal with some of the same themes. The PinkFloyd sound (especialy David Gilmore’s guitar) has still the ability to touch me deeply. Here are few links to  two other great pieces: Atom Heart Mother and Ummagumma (and this from a more recent Gilmore concert). I am also moved by the music some of the “progressive” rock groups (slightly anachronistic label these days), like Yes, whose album Tales from Topographic Oceans (inspired by Yoga philosophy and dealing with the deeper knowledge one can access by descending into the depth of our subconscious) is to me one of the most beautiful and complex pieces I ever heard. Their sound, conversely to the PinkFloyd’s, evokes the quality of light (Nous somme du Soleil).   Few pieces by Genesis (The Musical Box, and One of the Wine, or Ripples — a song about the irreversible flow of time, which destroys even the most beautiful things — as well as the early David Bowie (Space Oddity) — are also for me eternal.

At a more emotional level there is Leonard Cohen, whose songs and lyrics on human interactions go as deep as one can go. Here one of the songs I like in particular (Famous Blue Raincoat; lyrics in the link). I am also moved by Nick Cave to whose music I was first exposed in the beautiful film Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders (The Carny), by this album of Nico & the Velvet Underground, and by Jim Morrison (Spanish Caravan). More recently I got attracted to Radiohead (which is, I think, the most exciting of the new British bands),  the Minimalist music of Philip Glass (here a piece together with Ravi Shenkar), the space-jazz of Jan Garbareck, and the classical-sacred music of Arvo-Part and the experimental music of Henry Cow.  Two additional artists I love are Robert Wyatt (the founder of Softmachine; here a link to one of his albums) and the band Dead Can Dance (here is their album Aion). Here also two beautiful classical pieces, one of Handel (Lascia ch’io pianga) from Lars von Triers’s film the Antichrist (a film about the breakdown of reason in face of the darker forces of madness; not recommended unless you have high mental-pain tolerance) and a more modern-classical one by Ligeti (Lux Aeterrna; it appears in the famous 2001 Space-Odyssey).

Finally few pieces from my personal/local landscape. Here are two from Israeli music: שיר בין ערביים  שלמה יידוב and יהודית רביץ —  חוזרת.

And here  two from my earlier earlier Romanian roots: Ada Milea’s Apolodor and Zoia Alecu’s Oua de Roua (understanding Romanian helps here).

And one song that I picked from my Children (from a Tintin film).