Miriam Dragina

1. Michael Jackson — Earth Song

Environmental protection, wars, saving natural resources, and rescuing the planet were not discussed in my primary school. At home, we mostly talked about personal development, discussed things related to politics and culture. Then, when I was nine, I saw a video of Michael Jackson with this song. “Look what we've done, he exclaimed from the screen.— What about us?” Of course, there are other texts and video products dedicated to the rescue of the Earth, some much more effective for their impact. Take, for example, the wonderful Wim Wenders and Juliano Salgado film The Salt of the Earth: it should be shown at school classes. Yet, my story started with Michael Jackson .Every time I watched his video, I felt extremely ashamed of each of us, and myself, too. I am still ashamed.

2. Dinah Washington & Max Richter — This Bitter Earth of the nature of daylight

I think everyone listening to this music and this singing feels metaphysically bitter, whether understanding the lyrics or not. Life is like dust. Only the skies know who I really am. It seems like this is a perfect sound of daylight, in which you can stop and contemplate your own self, your life horizons and your life span. When I listen to this music, it seems to me like someone stops by, takes me by my hand and continues dialogue, reminding me of the important things. One more thing: David Dawson staged a striking ballet to this music with Jumiko Takeshima and Raphael Coumes-Marquet performing.

3. Kutiman — Inner Galactic Lovers

Twenty-four musicians from a dozen of countries perform the music of inner galactic lovers, free and creative. They get united virtually on Fiverr and play jazz. The pleasure of joint performance oozes from the voices and instrumental passages. When I listen to them, I want to swing, to share my sensations, and to socialize. It is not clear which maximum the degree of pleasure can reach but I think it is personal. Yet, when you hear the cello starting to play and hear the woman’s voice, there is no one who can remain indifferent. This has been tested many times. It is not important what your likes in music are — mastery and synergy are capable of dragging you out beyond the limits of conventional definitions. Perhaps, this number could be an anthem of gratitude to the technologies which brought these magnificent musicians together.

4. Molly Johnson — Melody

This is an autumn track about uniqueness of sensation and nostalgia for the days on which this music was never played. This is a personal history of feelings when everything went different ways but arrived at a common end. Or maybe not, but now this does not matter. There is only a melody and gratitude left. This is an expressive and mature composition, which I always keep in my playlist to return to it every now and then.

5. Requiem de Mozart — Lacrimosa

First listening to Lacrimosa, part of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem, seems one of the most stunning impressions of my life to me. Now I think: how good it is that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart never completed it. There is so much symbolism and hope in it. People have created so many beautiful things in the name of religion, and there was a period of my life when I was even feeling vexed about it: there is progress, after all! Now I realize: these beautiful things are amazingly creative. When I hear Lacrimosa, I feel blood stopping in my veins. It stops only to start pulsating with a new force.

© Miriam Dragina

Miriam Dragina

Creative producer of the Old Fashioned Radio, a radio host, a poet, and a journalist. Founder of a social charitable platform "Kyiv Market" and is a co-organizer of the social initiatives festival "Ucrayzyans"


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