Meditation music for someone who hates meditation music?
December 20, 2010 7:52 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend has recently gotten into listening to soothing music while meditating... but not too recently. She only has one disc by "The Relaxation Specialists," and she plays it ad nauseum. Looking for suggestions for other discs or artists that are modern, not full of too many panflutes, or Enya-esque harpies. Meditation music for someone not usually into meditation music. Suggestions?
posted by Unsomnambulist to Religion & Philosophy (22 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
I find the "cool" disk of the Belly Bar two-disc set very meditative - but possibly because I use it for doing brutal arm and isolation drills.

She may be able to find some of the tracks on YouTube or something and check it out.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:55 PM on December 20, 2010

There are a lot of good ambient artists out there. Try looking up Stars of the lid and see if that does anything for her.
posted by grizzly at 7:58 PM on December 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't meditate, but I do like a certain type of music for focusing on schoolwork. Maybe this is way off mark, but I recommend Max Richter and Grizzly Bear.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:01 PM on December 20, 2010

Maybe try the meditation tag on I'm playing it now and it seems pretty cool/mellow/not Enya so far.
posted by sweetkid at 8:01 PM on December 20, 2010

Yes, Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline!
posted by ddaavviidd at 8:09 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Try lowlight mixes. It's one of my favorite blogs. Really well-done ambient mixes available for FREE download. Each mix revolves around a different theme. Here's some of my favorites: silent sorrow in empty boats, breathe in, breathe out, remember tomorrow, Enosification and shadows at midnight.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:16 PM on December 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Stars of the Lid are great, but why not go straight to the source with Brian Eno's "Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks"?

Either that or Boards of Canada.
posted by bardic at 8:21 PM on December 20, 2010

Consider ambient music. Brian Eno, one of its pioneers, has over the years released a great number of ambient albums. Here are some examples: Music for Airports, Apollo, Shutov Assembly, Plateaux of Mirror (in collaboration with Harold Budd, e.g.).
posted by Nomyte at 8:31 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Start recording:

Bluemars, Hearts of Space, Night Tides, Tangents.

Look on Shoutcast for meditative music.


Linux, WinXX: Streamripper.
Mac: Radiolover (it's payware, but it works well).
posted by jet_silver at 8:38 PM on December 20, 2010

I like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk's Autobahn, nthing Eno and ambient in general.
posted by deinemutti at 10:30 PM on December 20, 2010

Don't you trash Enya! I'll cut you!

An Opening Flow by Paul Adams. Nature sounds plus gentle music. Basically made for meditation. Or the dentist's waiting room. Consider the whole album.

Call of the Divine by Mark Seelig. Mystical Indian-sounding. Maybe the whole sampler album it's from would be worth checking out. Projekt: afar. Or more of Seelig's Indian stuff and other meditatey things on this site.

Spirit Dancers by Hilary Stagg. Super calm. Like they'd play it at the massage place I bet.

I really like Ulrich Schnauss for when I need calming music at work to mask background noise without distracting me. My favorite is Blumenthal. Another good one is Suddenly the Trees Are Giving Way. Some of his stuff is faster and probably not calming enough for meditation.

Behind the Waterfall by David Lanz and Paul Speer is rich and tender and affirming. It makes me feel really good and soothed. I wonder if it would be distracting by being too nice, or maybe too active? Oh crap - wait! Is that a pan flute? No, no it's something else. Right? Anyway it's lovely.

The Legend of Babel [from the movie Metropolis] by Giorgio Moroder

The Theme from Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti (instrumental version)

Men Together Today by British Sea Power. Ohhh why can't there be a whole album of this?

Tribal Gregorian by Constance Demby. Too much going on? Lovely. What Enya listens to on a Caribbean vacation.

African Suite: Mbira by Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. In the background of this home movie for some reason (close your eyes)

Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
posted by Askr at 11:17 PM on December 20, 2010

Miles Davis: In a silent way.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:47 PM on December 20, 2010

Chris James

Any one of his CDs are great for meditation
posted by parryb at 12:57 AM on December 21, 2010

Cinematic Orchestra.

Seriously. Check 'em out.
posted by Decani at 4:17 AM on December 21, 2010

The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski.
Also, there are lots of good relaxing ambient albums described, discussed etc on this I Love Music thread. For your purposes, I would particularly recommend the Folke Rabe and Excursions in Ambience (complete with hilarious early 90s cover art).
posted by my face your at 6:23 AM on December 21, 2010

A lot of Moby's music fits this description.

Seconding Cinematic Orchestra, lots of great stuff there.

I love the soundtrack to Machinarium by Tomas Dvorak - it's part world music, part electronica. Very dreamy.

Feel Good Lost by Broken Social Scene is another album that might work well here.

(I hope the videos do these justice - can't actually get any audio at work...)
posted by Acey at 7:47 AM on December 21, 2010

Debbie Danbrook
Robert Rich, Somnium
Beth Quist, Shall We Dance
Jennifer Berezan
Sheila Chandra
posted by chairface at 8:42 AM on December 21, 2010

Check out Zen Effect.
posted by nitsuj at 9:20 AM on December 21, 2010

Dolphins Into The Future! Here's a nice taster.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2010

Others already mentioned Brian Eno - but personally I'd suggest his album "Neroli." Amazon even has the whole hour-long thing for only $0.99. I think it might work better for meditation because it not an album of tracks that changes moods every few minutes. He made the album as "music to do creative work to" - it's just a long ambient soundscape of notes that provides a sort of atmosphere but doesn't demand any attention at all.
posted by dnash at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2010

Late to the party, but if you like the Eno you're hearing, and you have an iPhone, iPod or iPad, you can download Bloom, which is an Eno collaboration: an app that generates Eno-esque “music” and that you can input notes into that are then played back as part of the soundscape. Also Air, an "infinite Music for Airports” app, and Trope, a "darker" variation on the Bloom theme.

I have all three, and they're great.
posted by Shepherd at 6:24 AM on December 22, 2010

When it comes to soothing music which is also truly gorgeous, I mean really gorgeous, I highly recommend this album:

I Will Not Be sad in This World.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 PM on December 30, 2010

« Older How do I keep my yard scrap cart from getting...   |   Can you give me some NYC-centric gift ideas? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.