Sax & the City: the Musical


Dead Can Dance lead singers Brendan Perry & Lisa Gerrard

Sax in the City is stuck at the computer today so I thought I’d throw a question out to those of you who find yourselves in the same situations. I’m working on the last four chapters of a book project I’ve been writing for a client for the past several years (chapter 19 is coming along nicely and chapter 20 should be finished by the end of the day). The book is an intense one, about an American family captured and tortured in Nicaragua in the 1970s during the insurgency there. I find I need some music to get me through the tough material but when I write, it’s tough for me to listen to music with lyrics (or at least English lyrics that I can understand) because they distract my mind from the words I need to be putting on the page. This means I’ve cultivated a number of instrumental playlists that whisk me along during the process, one of which is Dead Can Dance. I especially like their album “Spiritchaser,” but “Toward the Within” is also an excellent one. Below is their “Rakim,” a song from the latter album. I hope it brightens your weekend a bit. I’d love to know your favorite playlists for weekends stuck at your desk (or weekdays for that matter). If you’re lucky enough to be out roaming, what’s blasting through your earphones right now?

  • Rich Holschuh

    I haven’t heard Dead Can Dance for many years – bringing this sound back to my consciousness is much appreciated. I will chase it down today… I understand your need for a certain background, embracing ambience that feeds the muse without intruding upon it. I have several favorites (for the same reasons) but this ensemble will once again take its place on the short list. Thanks for the jog!

  • Saxon Henry

    I’m glad to serve as a reminder of such talent, Rich! So sad that these guys disbanded (like October Project, another of my faves). I’d love to exchange play lists. I tend to be a bit all over the place, from Delirium (love Sarah McLaughlin doing Silence) to Brian Eno to Enigma and Lorena McKennitt. I even pulled out some old Andreas Vollenweider and Windham Hill stuff over the weekend. I don’t know why but it seems the weekend is more conducive to listening to music; something about that puritan work ethic of having no fun during the week? What’s up with that?