You know how some people define different stages of their lives by the TV shows or clothes that they loved? For me, it’s music – I could create an autobiography based on the changes to my soundtrack over the years. Fred Penner cheered us through many car rides (my mother never wants to hear “The Cat Came Back” again). Listening to Howard Shore’s soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings was a favourite stim from age ten onward. Loreena Mckennitt will always have a place in my heart: her music inspired my stories and exploration of history, spirituality, and culture.
So it’s odd that I’ve never written about music before. Luckily, while searching for blogging topics, I recalled my new interest in podcasts (yes, I’m admitting I didn’t listen to podcasts before 2022. Don’t judge me) and decided to combine the old and new passions for a spring favourites post.
Spring became summer; my ESL teacher classes ended, and my brain demanded a vacation. Then August was suddenly “last month” instead of “this month”… you get the idea. I have therefore decided to present all of the best music and podcasts I discovered between the beginning and middle of this year, because what really matters, in the end, is that I share them. My favourite reads will also be posted shortly.
1800 Seconds on Autism
By and for autistic folks (hooray!) with many funny moments. The hosts explore auti-gender, the intersections of autism and race, and more.
Test Tubes and Cauldrons
The three hosts discuss being scientifically-minded people with spiritual beliefs and practices. I especially enjoy listening to them debunk the false claims made by dubious spiritual movements and crystal shops.
Honourable mention: Roma Unraveled
I haven’t listened to many of their episodes, but given what I’ve learned from them, this podcast is a vital part of the movement for Roma rights and visibility. Highly recommended.
“The Lotus Eaters” Emily D’Angelo
From D’Angelo’s sensuous new album energaia. Originally from composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope.
“Salad of Doom” SJ Tucker
Because everyone needs a goofy song about vegetables in their life.
“Tornami a Vagheggiar” Amanda Forsythe & Apollo’s Fire
A Handel masterpiece. If you enjoy Baroque music with a twist, Apollo’s Fire could become your new favourite orchestra.
“VOCES8: ∞ Infinite Relaxation in Space to Calm and Destress” VOCES8
This is their Infinity album on a 3-hour loop. It’s soothed many restless nights.
“How to improve your health (as an autistic person)” Yo Samdy Sam
Advice from a neurodivergent person, tailored to neurodivergent needs. I wish I’d had access to this 15 years ago.
Divergent Voices series
Hosted by awesome autistic YouTuber Purple Ella, these videos give an inside perspective on everyday challenges for autistic people. Helpful for anyone trying to learn more about ASD.