Instrumental music for rainy days?
December 19, 2010 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for instrumental music that goes well with rain?

It's been raining the last few days in LA and I am really enjoying it -- and now I'm looking to enhance the rain with some good music. This music could evoke a sense of rainy weather, or just complement it. However, it should not be singing about the rain.

I have a strong preference for solo piano, but other instruments would be fine.


Things I already have (but I would like more, similar music):
Yann Tiersen
Erik Satie

The background music from Christophe Huet's page...

Yes, I have googled and I have seen this and this.
posted by fake to Media & Arts (45 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters by Moby
posted by lizbunny at 8:48 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Juana -- John Fahey

You may like Eluvium's album "Copia"
posted by Think_Long at 8:52 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Piano and perfect for rainy days (also four and a half hours long): November by Dennis Johnson.
posted by dfan at 8:54 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: I always love listening to Debussy in the rain, especially Clair de Lune.

I'm not too familiar with him, but I also like Lang Lang's solo piano music for The Painted Veil movie, like River Waltz.
posted by Dukat at 9:16 AM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I am a fan of both Yann Tiersen and Erik Satie and I highly recommend The Tumbled Sea. You can listen to the songs for free online or download the album for $.50. My favorite is Summer V, it is definitely rainy day music.
posted by shoreline at 9:19 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Max Richter
Animal Hospital
James Blackshaw
Rafael Anton Irissari

And sorry but the most rain-like music I know of has vocal: Grouper.
posted by dobbs at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: I immediately thought of Aphex Twin - On
posted by Glendale at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2010

Nthing Max Richter.
posted by Gusaroo at 10:35 AM on December 19, 2010

I immediately thought of James Blackshaw.
posted by saul wright at 10:41 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: The Album Leaf - Streamside
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:47 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Chopin's 'Raindrop' Prélude (Op. 28 no. 15).
posted by misteraitch at 10:51 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Debussy in the rain! Incidentally, I watched "Gosford Park" again the other day and found the score to be particularly nice during the outdoor rainy scenes.

When it gets cold and grey I enjoy listening to Vince Guaraldi, especially a propos this time of year =)

And Bill Evans - here's "Very Early"
posted by estherbester at 10:52 AM on December 19, 2010

posted by mannequito at 10:58 AM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: Which Debussy? (beyond Claire De Lune)?
posted by fake at 11:13 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Brian Eno's got a lot of stuff you'd like. "Zawinul/Lava" off of Another Green World meets all your criteria — rainy, wordless, piano-centric — and if you like that, you might try dipping into some of his longer ambient tracks.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:16 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Stravinsky!

5 Easy Pieces

Les cinq doigts

Keith Jarrett - Book of Ways
posted by dpcoffin at 11:25 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Aphex Twin, the first track from disc one of Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II (officially untitled but often referred to as "Cliffs"). YouTube link, while it lasts.

Bill Frisell's Ghost Town disc. Just amazing.
posted by wheat at 11:54 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: A few of my go-to soundtracks for Pac NW winter storms:
Keith Jarrett - The Koln Concert
Hauschka - Ferndorf (Amazon) | (yt)
Library Tapes - Sketches, A Summer Beneath the Trees
Anything and everything by The Echelon Effect (start with the album Mosaic)
posted by prinado at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Alexander Scriabin - Preludes Op. 11 played by Mikhail Pletnev

Ravel - Jeux d'eau

Debussy - Reflets dans l'eau

Leoš Janáček - In the Mists
posted by Wemmick at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I know this question's already been answered, but this song is my go-to quiet rainy day tune: Sliding Down by Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck & Mike Marshall
posted by smirkette at 12:33 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: No no, keep 'em coming! The day is long, and I've been enjoying this awesome music all day. Thanks everyone!
posted by fake at 12:45 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: To be clear, I'm marking best answers where people recommend specific tracks and link to 'em -- every single song has had something to offer so far. Presently really enjoying Janáček -- totally new to me.
posted by fake at 12:48 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Debussey:
Saxophone Rhapsody. He also wrote one for the Clarinet and Piano.
posted by Rash at 1:58 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: One of my perennial favorites is Cliff Martinez's soundtrack to the film Solaris. All the tracks are quite similar to this one in instrumentation, though the tone varies throughout.
posted by brightghost at 1:59 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've been making a playlist of some of these tracks. There's no value judgment here on what's good or not, these are just the ones I managed to click "add to playlist" for. Still raining outside, I'm still loving it and really enjoying your suggestions.
posted by fake at 2:03 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Radio Paradise is playing "Take Five" right now, which is going very nicely with the weather outside.
posted by Lexica at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Raindances by Camel, and from the same album, Elke (which just happens to feature Brian Eno).
posted by philip-random at 3:04 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Pretty much anything by Arvo Part! Especially spiegel im spiegel and fratres (any of them).

Also, obligatory (and actually Steve Reich in general is good rain music): It's Gonna Rain (not exactly vocals...)
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:45 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Ahh, the importance of good rainy-weather music. I feel ya.

Ravel, Pavane pour une Infante Defunte (orchestral arrangement or solo piano if you prefer)

You might like Glen Gould. Here's a nice one.

and there's always that song from Amelie!
posted by aka burlap at 4:42 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Based on the examples you gave, I heartily recommend Philip Glass -- particularly the soundtrack to the film The Hours. Aside from the excellent album of the score (with orchestra), there's also a wonderful solo piano album of the music that I think would be right up your alley. Examples: "Morning Passages" [solo piano] and "The Hours" (the final song) [solo piano, different performer], but do check out the entire album if you can.

John Field's nocturnes. (BTW, Naxos has some nice CDs by Benjamin Frith.) Examples: Nocturne no. 2 in C minor [1] and Nocturne no. 5 in B-flat major [1], [2].

Chopin has a lot more material that would about Nocturne in D-flat major, op. 27, no. 2 or Nocturne in B-flat minor, op. 9, no. 1?

And of course Bach. Examples: the aria from the Goldberg Variations [1], [2]. Glenn Gould and Bach/Goldberg go hand-in-hand, but I also like Maria Tipo's recording. And the Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056, second movement (Largo) [1], [2, starts at 3:46], [3, arranged for 2 pianos]. Here's an Amazon link to a Glenn Gould rendition. I also like Pires playing this, but couldn't seem to find a CD available.

I've linked to this video before in a different thread, but I really love this performance of Elias Parish Alvars' Romance in G major (solo harp) by Artemy Izmaylov. I think it goes well with a rainy day.

Schumann: "Des Abends" ("In the Evening") in D-flat major, which is the first piece of Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 [included in this clip of pieces 1-3].

For something non-classical: I enjoy the ambient/electro music (has some piano, too) by iambic. He's released a lot of music for free downloads on Specifically, try "December's Shadows" (track 7) from the album As the Snow Fell. Yes, the theme is snow, but I think it works OK with rain, too. (A heads-up: he has a nice song called "Rain Drop" on another album, but it has vocals.)

I know if I don't stop now, I could probably spend all day compiling a, stopping now. Enjoy the rain!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Will Ackerman.
posted by arimathea at 7:14 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Spiegel im Spiegel and Für Alina by Arvo Pärt.
posted by the_bone at 1:03 AM on December 20, 2010

Best answer: Since it's still raining...

This served me well on the drive to work today:

The Mercury Program

I have A Data Learn the Language, and highly recommend the entire album.
posted by carsonb at 4:59 PM on December 20, 2010

Best answer: The instrumental tracks from the soundtrack to Amelie remind me of rain.

Here's one of them.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:03 PM on December 20, 2010

Oops, sorry for re-posting.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:05 PM on December 20, 2010

Best answer: I'd recommend most stuff by Pia-no-jac just on principle, but the single "Night Flake" is pretty nice overall, and is very much solo-piano-driven like the rest of their stuff.

Ooh, they have a new EP out as of September? BRB BUYING THAT NOW
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:59 PM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: The Keinorhasen soundtrack has a great tune called "A Rainy Day in Vancouver" and I like the timbre of this cover even better than the original.

Still raining in LA. Flooding in the streets.
posted by fake at 4:38 AM on December 21, 2010

Best answer: Still raining in LA. Flooding in the streets.

Oh my, with another storm bearing down. Perhaps Gosta Nystroem's "The Tempest" is more apropos?
posted by prinado at 2:24 PM on December 21, 2010

Best answer: Here is a tip
1. Go to Youtube doubler
2. Enter this in the first video:
3. Enter any of the above favourites as the second video
4. Turn up gas fireplace
5. Pour glass of cognac
6. (etc)
7. Press play

(not my idea... someone in 4chan posted this and I found it somewhere on the net)
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:29 PM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: I enjoy Schubert's piano sonatas on a rainy day.
posted by paulg at 1:29 PM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: I've been in LA for the last week, too. I've found myself listening to Peter Brodericks's Music for Contemporary Dance. Specifically this track: "Pill Induced Slumber"
posted by azarbayejani at 10:46 AM on December 26, 2010

Fake, my favorite "rain" song is "Raining Blood" by Slayer. It is definitely not solo piano music but I certainly enjoy it on days both rainy or dry.

I estimate that's not what you're looking for however. Perhaps something from "Dirty Three" strikes the vein you seek. Consider their "In the Fishtank" release for music that evokes both drops falling softly into puddles as well as the crash of lighting strikes.
posted by samh at 8:12 PM on February 18, 2011

Vangelis, Rachel's Song

Vangelis, Love Theme

Vangelis, One More Kiss, Dear

Actually, the whole Vangelis Blade Runner album evokes the rainy future L.A. to me.
posted by babbageboole at 8:23 PM on February 18, 2011

« Older Gimme that old time home page...   |   Different dinner ideas for new parents Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.