Talon Tunes: Silent(ish)

Sometimes, it is best to simply shut down the voices in our heads. Whether you’re in the mood to meditate or headbang, check out students, teachers, alumni, and Mr. Daniel’s voice-less song suggestions. Click here for the Spotify playlist.


Thiago Lima (Grade 12): Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero by Dire Straits

A really relaxing song, and interesting because it deviates from the typical songs composed by this band.

Henrique Carneiro (Class of 2013): Scriabin Etude, Op. 8 no. 2 by Fred Hersch

Pianist Fred Hersch elegantly puts an ensemble spin (which in this recording is a jazz trio with Steve Laspina on bass and Jeff Hershfield on drums) on the second of Russian composer Alexandr Scriabin’s set of piano etudes, composed sometime between 1899 and 1900.

Luis Wolfrid (Grade 10): Zombie Wind by Elephant Wrecking Ball

Don’t let the band name confuse you, it has absolutely nothing to do with Miley Cyrus swinging around nude.

 Yoji Watanabe (Grade 11): Homo Sapiens Sapiens by Pipilotti Rist

I first heard this song in an art installment in BH; the swirling guitars, growling synths, and out-of-this world feel made me instantly attracted to it.

Nicky Ferreira (Grade 12): Echo Etude by Yngwie Malmsteen

There’s no one else that comes to mind when I think about the ultimate musical junction between Classical and Metal. Yngwie Malmsteen is the only one that can make one guitar sound like orchestral strings, and a simple exercise sound like a concerto.

 Mr. Hardwicke: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis

The album Kind Of Blue, released in 1959, was my portal to the jazz world, and I am forever grateful to my Jazz History and Jazz piano teacher Matthew Buchman for turning me on to this gem. The album is composed mostly of two chord vamps played by a sextet of of committed master musicians including pianist Bill Evans—one of my favorites. The immediately distinguished tone and timbre of Davis breathing through his trumpet makes me believe that he is accessing my deepest thoughts. I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment…

Rafael Regis (Grade 12): Jurassic Park Main Theme by John Williams

Unforgettable, beautiful and filled with fantasy and adventure. John Williams’ soundtrack taps into my inner child. Dem feels.

Alex Daffara (Grade 10): Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band
Besides winning a best instrumental rock performance Grammy in ‘96, the 7 and a half minute track ever so perfectly intertwines the two soloing guitars, each with their unique tone quality, together with a groovy piano, Rolling Stones-sounding percussion, and what are the most memorable melody lines I’ve heard.

Bella Shim (Grade 12): After Hours (The Antidote) by Ronny Jordan

Acid Jazz is great. 

Bruno Rigguzi (Grade 11): Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’ by Duane Eddy


Sylvia Yang (Grade 12): Interstellar Main Theme by Hans Zimmer

Interstellar is a fantastic movie for many reasons, and the soundtrack is undoubtedly one of them. This piece is chillingly beautiful and brings to life the experience that is Interstellar. Epic, touching, and extraordinary.

Faria Nasruddin (Grade 11): Tick of the Clock by Chromatics

It’s not a traditional instrumental track, but the repeating rhythm is very soothing. As the name suggests, it really does feel like time is passing, albeit it does feel like slow time.

Jun Shinagawa (Grade 9): Lisse by Kaasi

This song gives me a strange feeling everytime I listen to it. It makes me feel like I’m in another world.

MC Otani (Grade 12): Five by Jizue

In this song, Jizue takes you on an adventure through an endless green meadow (with absolutely no insects). Remember to breathe deeply.

Thomas Park (Grade 11): Interstellar Overdrive by Pink Floyd

This song is unlike anything else. It surprises me with every listen.

Gabriel Civita (Grade 11): The Anxious Battle for Sanity by Antonio Sanchez

Birdman is a great film… as innovative is its soundtrack, played by celebrated jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez. Sanchez improvised the entire score one week before the film began shooting, later recording the final tracks by playing over the movie’s final cut. “The drums, for me, were a great way to find the rhythm of the film,” said director Alejandro González Iñárritu. “In comedy, rhythm is king… I knew I needed something to help me find the internal rhythm of the film.”

Mr. Daniel: The Boogie Bumper by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

One of the bands who brought big band swing music back to popularity in the 90’s.This selection is just so upbeat and fun, it’s hard for me to sit still.

Mr. Daniel: Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs

Amazing Blues! Not much of a story for this one—just great music.

Mr. Daniel: Mistress of Storms by Bruce Cockburn

A legendary singer/songwriter from Canada with a reflective piece. He’s well known for his political songwriting, addressing issues of genocide and oppression from around the world.

Mr. Daniel: Le Reel des Soucoupes Volantes by La Bottine Souriante

For a Celtic sound, this Quebecois band is fun and mixes brass instruments with traditional Celtic instruments, using stomp dancing for the percussion. The band’s name translates to “The Laughing Boot,” which refers to a boot whose sole is falling off (most likely from dancing too many jigs and reels).

Mr. Daniel: Dikalo (Salt Popcorn) by Manu Dibango

Manu Dibango, from Cameroon, is an amazing saxophone player who popularized makossa (a type of funk music) in Central Africa.

Mr. Daniel: The Vanishing Breed by Robbie Robertson

Another Canadian, Robbie is a founding member of The Band. This is a great example of his guitar work with influences of his Native American heritage (he’s half Mohawk), working with musicians from other tribes.

Mr. Daniel: Fulani Chant by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Okay, not technically an instrumental (since this is an acapella group), but an amazing example of the human voice as an instrument. The group has existed for more than 30 years and covers all music styles from the African diaspora (from gospel, to rap, to slave chants, to reggae). I played this song for a friend once who instantly dubbed them the “cricket girls” because she got lost in the night landscape they were able to create.