Music is an integral part of our lives, winding its way into our souls even before our birth. The array of sounds touch us to the core, reflecting our emotions, creating unique feelings, supporting us through crises, lifting us to new heights of joy. The variety of music is infinite and the range of reactions it creates within us is never-ending. 

Lately I’ve been lucky enough to come across three pieces that sparked absolute awe within me, carrying me beyond the realm of the conscious to purity of just being. 

The first one is a favourite for buskers around the globe, with the haunting refrain echoing around shopping precincts, tumbling down cobbled alleyways. For some reason many see this as a ‘simple’ tune to sing. Nothing could be further from the truth; it demands deep soul-searching  from the singer, one so raw that the unadulterated passion is etched on the singer’s face, until the searing intensity of the song is felt by all. Jeff Buckley brought this Leonard Cohen song to millions around the world, and it was my favourite version until I saw this one below. 

Many thanks to Laurie Buchanan at Tuesday with Laurie  for introducing me to this breathtaking and heart-stopping ‘Hallelujah’ by K D Lang, which had me in tears in the end as the singer greets Leonard Cohen who is seated in the front row.

To lighten the mood my next tune is from on of my all time favourite songs; one that saw me through university and beyond. The first time I heard it was on a sunny day in Scotland (a rarity in itself as many of you will know) and it was one of those perfect days. Sitting on a window ledge with my legs dangling out I listened to this song for the first time as I watched the golfers at the 18th hole in St. Andrew’s. As I heard ‘Africa’ by Toto my spirits soared, life was technicoloured glorious!

Recently, I came across a new piano version of the song. The energy and vitality of Peter Bence, the pianist, is contagious, his enjoyment totally absorbing and fervent. Who knew the inventive sounds of a grand piano? For many musicians the piano lid bangs and the pulling of the piano strings might be cringe-inducing … but wow! The ultimate sound is spellbinding and unforgettable! 

The final offering is one of the most original and eye-catching lyric videos I’ve come across. It is particularly apt for all writers out there and has a marvellous retro feel to it. The message of the song is both stirring and heartfelt, the tenderness and beauty of both the music and lyrics merging to the sublime. I hope you enjoy ‘Taste’ by Sleeping at Last as much as I do and many thanks to Sue Dreamwalker who introduced me to this song on her post Fixing From The Inside ~ To fix the Outside.

Before the video, here is just a taste of the chorus:

‘To fists unraveling, to glass unshattering.
To breaking all the rules, to breaking bread again.
We’re swallowing light, we’re swallowing our pride.
We’re raising our glass, ’til we’re fixed from the inside.

Thank you so much for listening to this musical interlude, and as always I look forward to your comments and discussions! 

*From ‘Taste’ by Sleeping At Last.

86 thoughts on “‘TO GLASS UNSHATTERING’*

  1. I’m still doing some time warping but finally have ‘time” to read your last few superlative posts, Annika. Wow, you are making up for some lost “time”! 🙂 The music you present to us here is superlative – gave me rippling chills of delight. THANK YOU!

    1. Ahh… Pam, I’m beaming away that you’re enjoying my last posts so much. You’ve been missed but I hope you’ve had a most amazing break! I’m glad to share these music pieces here and the purity of those ‘rippling chills of delight’ moments are just incredible. Thank you so much, my friend! ❤️

    1. Clare, lovely to have you visiting but so sorry about your laptop! Thank you so much for leaving a note here … hope all sorts soon and enjoy the music when you have a chance. On one of the comments I’ve also left a link to a choral version of Africa which is quite astonishing! Enjoy xx

  2. Twice I visited this post and left in a hurry, as music is too dear to my heart and I wanted to savor each word, each note before saying anything. Annika, your love for music speaks eloquently through this post…no wonder your son chose this soul soothing field!
    I have a lot to say about this topic…Whatever the language or the notes, the communiqué of music doesn’t need any props. It flows like a stream…straight into our veins and mingles into our blood.
    I had said so in one of my posts, which is quite old but still relevant. You can read it here: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/have-you-felt-the-emotional-and-therapeutic-appeal-of-music/
    Many thanks for sharing beautiful videos. Love and hugs.

    1. Balroop, thank you so much for all your visits and I totally understand about wanting to come by when you have the time and inner stillness to absorb the music, letting it flow to your heart and mind unimpeded by stresses.

      You write beautifully and with poetic ease of the wonder of music … both in your comment here and also in your post. Thank you so much for the link and I’ve loved reading it; I can relate to everything you say – it’s a lightbulb moment when you put into words all my emotions about music. I’ve also felt it was an extension of literature and then I came across the quote in your post which was perfect!

      “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” –Alphonse de Lamartine.

  3. K.D. Lang is remarkable. Her voice evokes great emotion and her ability to interpret Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is brilliant. As Plata said in ancient times: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” This is the second time around for your excellent post and the life-affirming dialogue.

    1. Rebecca, thank you so for visiting again – I do exactly the same with some posts. You want the space for thoughts and feelings to crystallise before setting fingers to the keyboard! 😀

      Thank you for sharing this Plato quote and it encapsulates the wionder of music beautifully. It is one of the greatest gifts and K D Lang’s rendition of Hallelujah here is remarkable. I hadn’t realised she was Canadian until another blogger mentioned this – have you ever seen K.D. Lang perform in real life?

      Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week, Rebecca! Xx

      1. Actually, her mother lived in a small town where we lived many years ago. My husband and young son met up with K.D. Lang in a grocery line check-out about 20 years ago. She is a Canadian icon. We love her!!!

  4. LOVE these, Annika! I haven’t heard kd lang’s version of Hallelujah until now; she is such a wonderful singer, and yes, the greeting of Leonard Cohen at the end really brings it together. I’ve seen the vid of Peter Bence before, but I love it (acually, I love the song. Check out the Angel City Chorale version on YouTube–it’s awesome!)! And I’ve never heard Taste, but it’s a beautiful song. Thank you for such a wonderful, ear-pleasing post!

    1. Julie, funnily enough I came across the Angel City Chorale version whilst researching for this post! Wow! They are incredible and I forwarded the video to quite a number of friends. At first I thought they were warming up their hands … it is astonishing how they can replicate the sound of the rainforest thunderstorm, and then the singing. For those who haven’t seen the video I include the link here: https://youtu.be/-c9-poC5HGw

      Lovely to chat music with you, Julie. xx

  5. thank you for these beautiful
    musical testiments to what human
    hearts can express through their fingers, Annika!
    i’ve heard kd lang’s singing for some time
    & now nice piano music to accompany my computer time 🙂

    1. How poetically written –
      ‘musical testiments to what human
      hearts can express through their fingers’

      I am always in awe of musicians, the ease (seemingly!) with which they create this exquisite, euphoric sounds, music … to move us to another level of emotions, to the past, present … to the future.

      Knowing how much music is part of your life I am not at all surprised you knew K D Lang’s version but I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. Glad you enjoyed the piano piece, wonderfully lively and creative!

      Here’s to all the arts and their gifts!

  6. Anonymous

    Another well written piece Annika. Music does indeed form the soundtrack of our lives and nothing stirs the memory more than a favourite song which can immediately recall a certain time and place, either good (and unfortunately) sometimes bad.
    Loved the videos too. I hadn’t heard any of these before – one completely new and two different versions, and it was good to hear (and see) some really exceptional pieces of music.


    1. Mike, thank you so much for your profound comment and how true that music forms the ‘soundtrack of our lives’. More than many of the arts it does indeed recall moments in our lives in just a few notes, whether they be happy or sad.

      So glad you liked all the pieces … it’s always a delight to see new versions of favourite songs and see the creative directions by the artist!

    1. Curt, it has been a delight to share these pieces … when I saw the K D Lang version I knew straightaway I wanted to post about it here. There’s something healing, purifying to be so moved by music.

  7. The young man made me smile. I guess he reminded me a little of my son, though far more talented, Annika. And what astounding voices from the ladies. I wish I could sing with my whole heart like that. 🙂 🙂

    1. Jo, I’m touched if this reminded you a bit of your son and his music … I had no idea he could play (compose?). How wonderful! Does he feature anything on youtube etc, I would love to see it. Oh, I know, the voices are amazing and I just admit defeat, sit back in awe and absorb the inherent beauty! It must be amazing to sing like that I agree, I’m not any good at all but do like belting a song out in the car when alone! 😀

  8. Thank you, Annika, for this spirit-lifting musical interlude! I tremendously enjoyed all three pieces…with a cup of hot chocolate after a long walk with Dylan out in the cold wind, which has also reached us here in FL. My whole desk vibrated when Peter Bence let loose with (and in) the piano – loved his version of Africa.

    1. Helen, I hope nothing fell off your desk! 😀 His energy is incredible! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and glad you enjoyed the songs as you warmed up from your chilly walk. I know, words you never usually associate with Florida – since my visit there the weather app always comes up with the temperature etc for your area and I couldn’t believe it had sunk so low! Warmer days ahead for you though … here the coldest day yet and even in the South we had minus six! Maybe I should try some energetic piano playing (just need to learn first though!)😀

      1. My niece in Stockholm is a good piano player too…but she started playing at age of five! I guess it’s too late for me now 😀 and I have to do with my old guitar.

  9. Loved the version of Hallelujah, sung with heart, and Africa lively and fun..
    Music inspires and affects our emotional moods.. And I am also so pleased your found Sleeping at Last inspiring as I did..
    Have a Musical weekend Annika.. .. Keep warm..
    Much love your way.. ❤ ❤ Hugs

    1. Sue, I have you to thank for this post! 😀 The first two songs have been with me a little while but I wanted something new, fresh and inspirational as a third song. When you posted Taste I was taken with it immediately … this sharing of books, music, thoughts is what makes blogging so special and it has opened up the world and all its riches for so many of us.

      I’m so glad you liked my two other choices, music has the ability to reach within us, touching us to the core, recalling events, emotions.

      Hope you’re keeping warm too; a sunny & stunning morning today and a chance to enjoy a long walk across the fields before hunkering down under a blanket by my computer! (yes, the heating is on, I’m just a wimp!)
      love & hugs, xx❤️

  10. Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up singing in church, listening to the church choir and to my sister playing the piano at home. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t listen to some kind of music. I have heard many renditions of the song “Halleluja” but I had never heard KD Lang’s version. I loved it. Watching Toto play the piano in so many creative ways was like watching someone possessed by music. I enjoyed the taste video too. Thanks for the wonderful and uplifting post!

    1. Vashti, how wonderful to grow up with so much live music all around you. Do you still sing in a choir? It is an amazing feeling to make such music in a group. Did you learn the piano too? As you know my son plays and composes his own songs so I’m blessed with piano music everyday. ‘Possessed’ is just the one to describe Peter Bence’s performance … his energy is awe-inspiring! So glad to introduce another version of Hallelujah to you. Vasthi, warmest thanks for reading, listening and for your lovely comment. … here’s to music! 🎶🎵🎼

      1. I do not sing in a choir anymore. My parents did continue to sing in a choir until my dad passed away a few years ago. I never learned to play the piano. Instead, I played the violin as a child––for a while. I was a very hyper kid and my attention span was short, nowadays they would call it A.D.D.. I regret not staying with the violin because I overheard my music teacher tell my parents that I had good potential. My sister is a music teacher and still plays the piano beautifully. We are a singing family. We sing on all occasions. I sing and dance to some commercials. Ha, ha. It’s always a pleasure visiting your lovely blog. ❤ xo

  11. That did send shivers through me (though maybe it’s that my house is so cold!). Didn’t know this was a Leonard Cohen song. What a keeper.I listened to it as I finished up my email, Annika.

    1. 😀😃 I know just the feeling, Jacqui … some of these pieces are spine-tingling! My cousin first introduced Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah to me but it was years before I learnt it was a Leonard Cohen song, and just realise I’ve never heard him singing this!

  12. Thanks for sharing these, Annika. K.D.Lange has such a great voice. And watching the first two makes me want to find a piano and play again. And Peter Bence with that piano – how creative!

    1. Exactly, I’ve never seen anyone play the piano like this before … it did make my son squirm a bit as he’s very protective about this piano! Barbara, I really hope this does inspire you take up playing again … it always seems like a gift to play, and also a way to find harmony and peace within oneself. Be creative!😀🎶

  13. I don’t know if I’ll ever like a version of Hallelujah more than Cohen’s, which is one of my favorited songs ever, but this one is lovely.

    I really like your other selections, too.

    1. Staci, so glad you enjoyed the music pieces here. Reading your comment, I realise I’ve never actually seen or heard Leonard Cohen sing his very famous song … I’m off to remedy that straightaway!

  14. Thanks for this wonderful post Annika. With your first paragraph you have me hooked,
    it describes so lyrically how music becomes part of our lives even before we are born. Wonderful.

    Your intro to each fantastisk performance and chosen music continues in the same vein.
    My first listening to Hallelujah was hearing Jeff Buckley but the version you and Lauren chose
    is extraordinary. K.D Lang’s performance is heavenly.

    I can imagine you in St.Andrews with legs dangling through the window whilst Africa filled the
    senses. It is such a passionate and great piece of music. You end with the deep and poetic
    ” ” Sleeping at last” with the wonderful effect of the typewriter.

    You really have added to the sun outside with this great post and music and made my morning shine.


    1. Miriam, heartfelt thanks for your insightful and deep comment. First, I’m so happy to have added to the joy of a sunny day … may there be many more! 😀

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the introduction to the post and to each individual song. Music is such an integral part of our lives I wanted to communicate this belief. Haha, it was funny sitting like this over-looking the 18th hole at the golf course, but not so enjoyable being told off by the golf course people – perhaps they didn’t appreciate the music! 😀 It’s always tricky to listen to a new version of a favourite song but I’m not surprised K D Lang won you over as well. Her performance is extraordinary and soul-searching. Oh, those old typewriters are wonderfully evocative and love this retro feel to the song!

      Happy Music Listening and wishing you a wonderful week, Miriam! Xx🎼🎹🎧

  15. Music is such a deep part of our souls and transcends all time, space and reason. KD Lang’s version of Hallajeuah if breath-takingly beautiful and I had chill bumps on my arms. Thank you so much for sharing all of these!

    1. Jan, your description of music and its amazing effect is wonderfully eloquent and accurate; as it ‘transcends all time, space and reason.’ It is astonishing when certain pieces reaches straight into one’s soul such as this Hallelujah … these were pieces crying out to be shared and a joy to do so here!

  16. Hi there. I’m not positive, but Leonard Cohen probably was stunned by how popular Hallelujah became. It is by far his most popular composition. It is of course a great and powerful song. But those characteristics don’t guarantee widespread popularity. Anyway, have a great rest of the week!


    1. Neil, you’re right and this song wasn’t a big success to start with, it was only when it was covered by others, particularly Jeff Buckley that it became so well known. It was boon for both of the artists. Reading up about it, Leonard Cohen wrote 80 versions of Hallelujah and in the end was near despair!

      Hope you’re having a great week too and hope you are not affected by this crazy polar vortex? Sounds like something out of a movie!

  17. Listening to this music was a lovely afternoon break for me and picked me up. I remember writing on my father’s Smith-Corona typewriter. How easy we have it these days with our computers and software programs. Still, art and music continue to stir our imaginations. Your opening paragraph to this post, Annika, is a fine tribute to the power of words. ❤

    1. Carol, first thank you so much for your kind words about the introduction to the post … I’d wanted to write the post for over a week but it wasn’t until early the other morning that the right words came to me. I’m so happy it lifted your spirits … beautiful music such as this is gift to the soul & heart!

      Oh, how wonderful to write on such a grand type-writer? Do you still have it? I had to laugh at the very beginning when the letters jammed up and the hand pushes them back down! All too true and I learnt to type on old clackety typewriters at a college whilst at school … and remember counting along to centre words etc! Computers are so much better but part of me longs to type on one of these again! (well, for just a little bit at least!)😃

      Hope you’re keeping warm and having a lovely week, Carol! xx❤️

  18. What a wonderful post, Annika. Aaaah. I listened to all three and just breathed in the music. I love Lang’s version of Hallelujah. It’s an amazing song and sung with such intense emotion. And I too remember when Toto came out with Africa. It was so soaring and majestic and addictive in a way. One that I’d turn up the volume in my car. I loved the energy on the piano. And the final song Taste, I’d never heard before. It was gorgeous poetry, vocals, and message, and thevi deo was stunning. Thanks so much for sharing. ❤

    1. Diana, thank you so much for your in-depth comment and sharing your thoughts on these music pieces. 😀 I love how you write that you breathed in the music’ … absolute absorption and beautifully poetic! Oh, Africa is terrific played in the car, volume up! How the spirit soars! Taste, I agree is on another level altogether, and so glad you enjoyed all the elements of the song, the poetry and depth is so moving. K D Lang’s Hallelujah is magnificent, pure heart and emotion … it speaks to our very souls! It’s been a joy to share my thoughts of music and these three recent videos (to me) here. Happy Listening! ps. Can you have music on whilst writing fiction or do you want total silence … I’m the latter as I’m far too easily distracted otherwise.

  19. Another of my all time favorites: The Sound of Silence, written by Paul Simon, performed by Disturbed to images from NASA – a gorgeous song with images to remind us that we are a small part of a whole and that we should aspire to be momentous, given this great gift of life.

    1. Wow! Bless you for sharing this,Shari! My spirits are soaring as I view this wondrous video, exquisite and along with the music makes a spine-tingling combination. It taps into two of my interests – space (I was the girl with a wall filled with space posters instead of popstars!) and I love Paul Simon (and also when they sang as Simon & Garfunkel). I remember seeing the Central Park concert on TV and the shout as they sang ‘10,000 people’

  20. Annika, I really enjoyed this music you shared. I watched that KD Lang song on our PBS station here and also thought it was especially beautiful. She felt it right down to her core. I enjoyed the version of “Africa” you shared, too. I’d never heard “Fixed from the Inside” before and really loved it. The lyrics are so poetic and deep. My favorite kind. Fixing from the inside is something I often talk about, and it reminded me of my recent post, Looking Inside.

    I’m going to share that last song with my husband. I think he’d really love it.

    Thank you for this music interlude. 🙂

    1. Lori, first of all, thank you so much to sending me to your post … one I’d missed! It’s very powerful and reflects the essence of ‘Taste’ and its lyrics.What did you husband think of the song?

      It’s interesting that you’d seen the K D Lang performance on PBS, was that at the time in 2006? It would explain the slightly dodgy quality. How true that she feels the song right down to her core… sung with such incredible and breathtaking emotion and depth.

      Here’s to music and it’s ability to make our spirits soar!😀

      1. Annika, I saw that KD Lang on PBS just recently. They were replaying it. My hubby hasn’t heard the “Taste” yet. I will give him a listen when he gets a chance, though.

  21. The power of words and sound can barely be fully accounted but mankind wouldn’t have developed without both. I sing and hear music in my dreams and as background to much of my waking time though I usually sing silently in temple services so I can hear everyone else sing. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Toto’s Africa always make me stop and listen. When I first heard KD Lang perform her version of Hallelujah, I sat still and silent to catch every nuance of the most perfect song ever. Peter Bence’s Africa shows how great creative works are enhanced by interpretation of others, that many ways of expression are valid, and that the audience is a vital part of the creative process. As for Taste: proof that words can inspire change and provoke healing, actions much needed in the world today. Thank you, Annika, for a wonderful half hour before I begin my day.

    1. Sharon, thank you so much for your wonderful comment & reflections. I know it was a lot to listen to and I appreciate the interest and time you’ve taken to look at the videos and write here. How true that original works of art can be enhanced by creative interpretation of another … first I was negative to see a new take on one of my favourite songs but quickly realised how Peter Bence had found hidden depths within the song.

      K D Lang’s powerful performance stirs the emotions and you did right to just sit and watch her in silence, catching every nuance! It is captivating and soulful. I’m so glad you liked Taste as well, something a bit different but the I like the music and the words say so much to us in today’s world!

      Shari, I am taken with the music in your life, in your dreams. How wonderful to dream of music and sing, and that this is a backdrop to your waking hours. So much better than the constant ‘chatter’ so many of us have … your ability sounds like a precious gift. ❤️

    1. Brigid, so happy the musical interlude gave you a lift … it never fails to help me, helping my the spirit and thoughts to soar! Peter Bence’s energy is incredible, infectious – amazing to see and hear! A whole unique interpretation of the famous song!

  22. You’ve really captured the power of music in our lives Annika and you’ve shared some interesting selections. It was K.D. Lang’s version that introduced me to Hallelujah and it quickly became one of my all time favourite songs – still is 🙂

    1. Andrea, thank you so much! Although the idea for this post has been mulling around a while, I wanted to find the perfect introduction … started a few but wasn’t pleased with them. Then this beginning came to me early one morning and I scribbled away. Music holds such power and sway in our lives, I just wanted to bring that across. Yeah, so glad one of your favourites was here … and I can see this remaining one of mine! I nearly have to brace myself to see it, as so many emotions are unleashed! 😀

  23. Some wonderful pieces of music. Thanks for sharing. k.d. lang is a local hero and I love her. She does an amazing job of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. She performed it at the Vancouver Olympics where she wore a white tuxedo. It was also a moving performance. I also enjoyed the piano version of Africa, another favourite song of mine. Music will often evoke special memories or make you think of certain people. Where would we be without it?

    1. And what a local hero! 😀 Darlene, I must admit I didn’t even realise K D Lang was Canadian until I started writing this post … I remember her songs from my teenage years but she seemed to have dropped off the radar here in the UK since. Did you see her sing live at the Olympics? I found the video and it is terrific; the one I posted is not such a great picture quality but special as she meets Leonard Cohen. It’s great to come across another fan of Toto’s Africa – even my son loves the song!

      Music has always been central in our lives and so many memories are unlocked by certain pieces! We most definitely couldn’t be without it! 😀

  24. How could anyone not be in tears at the end of kd lang’s version of Hallelujah, especially when she and Leonard Cohen met. I hadn’t heard of Sleeping at Last and really enjoyed Taste. Thank you for providing me with such wonderful music on a grey rainy morning in Scotland.

    1. Mary, on such grey mornings you need some music more than ever! So glad you got to see and listen to these. I’ve watched Hallelujah many times now and I’m always in tears, and so are the family members I’ve shown the video to. The meeting between the two of them is so moving, a very intimate moment, I feel.

      Sleeping at Last are new to me but I’ve downloaded a number of their songs and love the songs & music!

      Hope the sun peeks through for you … it’s the second sunny day in a row here and I’m just back from a long rejuvenating walk, bliss!

  25. I’ve always loved the song ‘Africa” and this is a beautiful version, Annika. Don’t you love how certain songs can spark a memory that becomes so vivid it’s as though you’re reliving the moment. Thank you for sharing these lovely pieces! xo

    1. Yeah! Jill,😃 I’m so happy to find another fan of ‘Africa’ … I never tire of it and was over the moon to stumble on this version. Luckily my son loves the song too, although I haven’t got him to agree to play the piano in this style (yet!). I agree, its magical how music can immediately transport us to earlier memorable life events … just like the time warping Pam wrote about in her last post!

  26. As you may recall from previous comment ‘chats’ music is very important to me too – that’s why I post about it quite a bit. I can’t imagine life without it, and thank you for introducing me to a band I’d not heard – or even heard of – before!

    1. Clive, I’m glad to be able to introduce a new band to you (and like your play of ‘heard’)! As a music buff I’m sure there are not many you don’t know. It’s not often I write about music although this is a strong interest of mine, these recent ‘discoveries’ though touched me deeply and I wanted to share them here. It would be hard to imagine life without music … it grounds us yet lets us soar, more so than many of the arts.

      1. I think you’d be surprised how much I don’t know! I’m constantly tripping over musicians I’ve not heard of before – YouTube is fertile ground for that, and I made another discovery on there last night! I agree, music has the power to reach deep inside us.

    1. Michael, Hallelujah is one of those songs that you often hear in the background but rarely really listen to … so glad you had the opportunity now and you are right about the accompaniment to the song, they are terrific and deserve a mention. A joy to share these songs here.

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