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npr: Our Daily Breather - Tom Huizenga on Vikingur Olafsson's restorative Rameau

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People worldwide have absorbed the guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic has closed its fist around the world. There is also the question of how to care for the psyche. It's a deeply personal matter. Some turn to prayer, or to a song, a story, a ritual, a favorite corner of the house. Psychic health is not just about becoming calmer, either. Anger and frustration and fear have to find their channels. Humor has to be preserved. So, somehow, does joy.

Our Daily Breather seeks recommendations for psychic health from people who go deep into their own hearts and minds: artists and writers. Creative people have been uniquely affected by the onset of the current pandemic. Still they continue to dream, and to create. They can help us understand how. 

I'm finding both comfort and inspiration from this recent video featuring the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson playing his own arrangement of music by the French Baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. The piece, called "The Arts and the Hours," moves gently forward as a kind of chilled out processional. It's constancy in rhythm, combined with its uncommon beauty of melody and harmony, provides a certain sturdiness that I need right now in this moment of extreme uncertainty.

READ THE FULL npr ARTICLE & WATCH THE VIDEO