Tag Archives: People

Il dolce far niente

“Il dolce far niente” is an Italian saying literally meaning “the sweetness of doing nothing”.
It doesn’t mean being lazy, but refers to that good feeling you can get from being idle and living in the moment. “Dolce far niente” is thoroughly enjoying the taste of that good cup of coffee, it’s taking a walk and breathing in fresh air, it’s watching the sunset, enjoying a nice home cooked meal with family; it’s meditating, but it’s also staring out the window or spending time with friends…it’s basically anything you like doing that gets you relaxed, makes you feel good, brings energy…seize the day, live in the moment. It’s something a lot of people aren’t great at (including me!!). The Italians however embrace “il dolce far niente” – they know the art of doing nothing, they see it as an important day to day activity and there’s a lot we can learn from that.

This summer we went to Italy again. Same place, same apartment as last year…arriving at the apartment felt like coming home. We were welcomed by the owners, who’s hospitality and kindness are absolutely great; providing us with fresh fruit from the garden and homemade prosecco. Being there again, made me realise how much I missed the place, the views, the sun and the beautiful sunsets.
“Dolce far niente” – it pretty much sums up my summer holiday…
Spending time with my family, meeting up with friends, watching the sunset, enjoying a glass of wine, enjoying the Italian sun and beautiful weather, walking barefoot on a sandy beach, feeling the wind, seeing the moon and stars at night, swimming in the sea, eating pizza, watching the geckos chasing bugs, being in nature, visiting ancient medieval towns, playing cards and board games and so much more…
Good times always go by way too fast, but the memories will last. Memories of joy and laughter, memories of funny and awkward situations, memories of feeling good and relaxed… Oh yes…I’m definitely having the holiday blues!

Back to reality it is now…holiday is over and life is turning back to ‘normal’ again. It’s very easy to get caught up again in the busyness of everyday life, so I made a promise to myself…I’m going to practice “il dolce far niente” much more than I already did. It’s a fact that mindfulness, consciously focusing on the present moment, will increase energy levels, bring clarity of mind and greater focus, but it’s so easy to forget about this… Time to adopt the art of doing nothing, weave it into my days and make it a very important daily activity!

“Dolce far niente” is also a lyric from Robb Murphy’s new single ‘Italian Dreams’ which he released in July. The perfect song to end this blog with… The song was written during a long summer in Italy. It’s a lighthearted song with a 60’s vibe, a hint of The Beach Boys. The single is supported by an animated lyric video created by Italian artist Marco Burani.

Watch the video:

or stream the song on Spotify:

Advertisements

The Darker Side…the story behind the song

It’s Saturday, the weather is beautiful and I’m sitting outside with a glass of wine… and coffee….life is good! Wine, coffee…sunset…perfect moment to write a blog. Writing this blog has been going through my mind for a couple of weeks now, so it’s time to get it out of my head and get the story written!

A couple of weeks ago Robb Murphy’s song ‘The Darker Side’ was added to a playlist called ‘Music to Grieve to’ on Spotify. A playlist with beautiful songs from well and less known artists:

This got me thinking about the story behind this song and that it would be nice to share a bit more about it and write a blog.
The Darker Side is the only song from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’ that was not written in Italy. Robb wrote the song in May 2013. Around that time he was preparing the recordings for the album Sleep Tonight. He wrote blogs about the songs for the album and shared a lot of demos. I remember that Robb told me that he wrote The Darker Side, it came together very quickly and when he shared the demo with me I remember him saying that it was kind of a heavy song. I listened and loved the song right away. I could relate to the song, it’s a song that brings comfort. Shortly after Robb wrote the song, he shared the demo online, not being aware of the effect that this song would have on people and what this song later on would mean for himself, because a couple of weeks after Robb wrote this song, his mother unexpectedly passed away.

In the past few years we received a lot of good feedback to ‘The Darker Side’, but not only that. More than once people have shared their personal stories and told us how much this song has helped them while dealing with loss and grief or going through dark times. Those stories make us aware of how powerful a song can be. Robb writes a lot of songs, all written, composed and created from the heart and for himself. Only a small amount of songs make it to an album or EP. Sure we hope that people will listen and will like the music when an album, EP or song is being released, but we’re not aware of the effect that a song may have on other people at that time. That only happens when people share their stories and tell us how a song has touched or affected them. Whether a song has made people do a happy dance, has put a smile on their face, helps them through dark times or people simply can relate to a song…it’s special to hear those stories and it shows the power of music.

Back to ‘The Darker Side’. It’s a song that has developed a lot over the years and there are a lot of different versions of the song to find online, but it all started with this demo:

Robb and the band started playing this song live, but it wasn’t until 2014 before the song was recorded as part of the album ‘Sleep Tonight’.

Robb finished the recordings of the album at the end of July 2014. It was sent off for mastering and right after that he and his fiancée (now wife!) went on holiday. During their holiday they filmed several acoustic videos of songs from the album Sleep Tonight. One of those songs was ‘The Darker Side’. A different version of the song was born.

The album ‘Sleep Tonight’ was released in March 2015. Not long after the release of ‘Sleep Tonight’. Robb was invited to perform an acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side for The Arts Show (BBC TWO). The producer of the show had seen the acoustic video recorded in Italy and said that that version would be a good song to replicate. Below the result:

Due to the great feedback Robb received on this performance he decided to record and a release a new, stripped back, acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side’.

While rehearsing and playing the song live, it kept developing. The next version of the song was recorded during a live session for Live uit Lloyd, RTV Rijnmond in Rotterdam.

‘The Darker Side’, a song that can be played in many ways, full band or just stripped back with only a guitar and vocals… a song that has touched and helped people… It was nice to see that ‘The Darker Side’ was added to the ‘Music To Grieve To’ playlist on Spotify. Hopefully the song will reach and help a lot more people in the future.

The Darker Side – lyrics

When the night falls in and the nightmares come
When there’s fading light and the day is done
I will fight you ‘till the morning comes
I will guard my heart and steady my head

‘Cause there is hope for all mankind
If we let go of the darker side
There’s nothing here to hold us back
And everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side

Down the hill and through the pastures
To the old stone smokey house
I’ve not been here for years
Afraid that I will not confide
Not let go of the darker side

Here I am I come to you
With an open hand but life’s tattoo
I will fight you ‘till the night turns day
Everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side

The Darker Side

Coincidence?

“We don’t meet people by coincidence. They are meant to cross our path for a reason”

I’m in a thoughtful mood at the moment and in the past week I’ve been thinking about a lot of what seem to be random events, but actually aren’t. I’ve been thinking about the people I’ve met and the events happening in my life in the past few years and how those people or events affected me in a positive or negative way.

So many people we pass each day while going to work, doing groceries, heading back home, getting out for a walk, doing day-to-day activities and even while being online. Most people you won’t even notice, but sometimes someone stops you in your tracks long enough for you to become aware of them.
Sometimes someone is there in your life for only an hour, a week or maybe a bit longer, but even though they are there for a very short period of time, they can leave a life lasting memory. Sometimes you meet people who will stay, people who will become acquaintances. Once in a while, although this is rare, the relationship you have with an acquaintance will grow into friendship. These people are the ones to keep around.

I believe that people don’t just randomly cross your path, there’s always a reason behind it. Everything happens for a reason…If you take time to reflect you will learn a lot about yourself and it will make you grow as a person, whether the events happening in your life are positive or not. Sometimes you meet people and you right away know that they were meant to be there and sometimes it may take a while before you see the purpose or the reason behind meeting certain people. There are people you want to run away from immediately, but there are also people who will touch your heart even if they’re only there for a very short period of time. Some people will bring the best out of you, others the worst. Sometimes you meet people who will teach you a lesson, whether or not it’s a lesson you want to learn…it wakes you up and gets you thinking. Sometimes you meet people you will inspire or they will inspire you and you meet people to become a better version of yourself.  It’s all up to you to decide whether or not you allow the people you meet to come into your life and it’s up to you how to respond to the events happening.

Thinking about this all puts a smile on my face. It makes me aware of how lucky I am having a wonderful husband, children, family and friends. I am grateful…grateful for all the people who have crossed my path…whether they stayed or not or whether the events happening in my life were positive or not…it has all shaped me to who I am today.

As I’m writing this blog the music work distracts me… The music work…something that has become such a big part of my life and something I really love doing… There is a lot of work to do at the moment. One of the things that’s keeping us busy behind the scenes is the tour of The Netherlands in October… It’s still a long time before the tour starts…5 ½ months to be exact, but things like accommodation and flights already have to be booked in order to keep the costs as low as possible and to make sure that the band has a nice and comfortable place to stay. Once accommodation and flights are booked it becomes more ‘real’ and it makes us look forward to the tour!
There’s more news to be shared very soon, so stay tuned and keep an eye on Robb’s facebook page and Twitter to stay updated:

https://www.facebook.com/TheRobbMurphy/

https://twitter.com/TheRobbMurphy

A song to end this blog with…

Trump Card Hand

Lyrics:
I was standing in the back of the line 
Took up space so I stepped to the side
I am waiting in the shade not the light
I’ll get my chance my wings and fly

I won’t make a sound tonight
I won’t put myself in that spotlight
But I will reach for the best I can do
To prove to myself I can see this through

I had a little love but I never said
Thought it best to keep it in my head
I don’t want to be saying love has passed me by
I got to be a man about it and try
I’ve seen a little heaven when I look in your eyes

So here we are with a trump card hand
Making money from nothing, second hand land
Now I don’t see why we struggle to save
Can’t take it with us when we go to the grave

I’ve had a little luck ‘cos I’m still alive
Surely better than me should have survived
I don’t want to be saying love has passed me by
I got to be a man about it and try
I’ve seen little heaven when I look in your eyes

I see a little heaven when I look in your eyes