Mix Tape Monday: Instrumental Mix

I’m back from vacation with more songs for you!

Somedays you just need to listen to songs without words. While I am the first to admit that I love myself some Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi there is so much more out there in the way of international instrumental music. This week’s mixtape is a lovely cocktail of instrumental pieces.

So drink up and that let the instruments take you away!

Yiruma 이루마 – The River Flows In You. I warn you this Korean pianist and composer is so talented that even if you’ve never had an urge to play the piano you will after hearing this.

Raya Brass Band – Riffcloud. There is nothing quite so joyful, proud, and festive as a Balkan brass band. If you like this check out the soundtrack to the documentary Brasslands.

Kuniko Kato – Peaux. Want to add some avant-garde percussion to your repertoire? Try this Japanese percussionist performing a work by Xenakis. These austere and layered percussive beats are sure to be something you’ve never heard before.

Maru Tarang – Panihari. I confess I cheated a bit in this one (there are indeed lyrics) but the instrumental combination of tabla and lap steel guitar is what makes the piece so remarkable. This Rajasthani song runs the gamut from haunting to joyful.

Yoshida Brothers – Wakimizu. This dynamic shamisen wielding duo from Japan can play at dizzying speeds. Listen and see if your ears can keep up!

The Gloaming – Sailor’s Bonnet. Aside from my previously mentioned bias for Irish music and my adoration for lovely words (Definition: gloaming, meaning twilight or dusk) this piece by Irish group The Gloaming is loveliness itself. It starts out slowly it gradually builds into a cheerful reel.

Do you have any other favorite musicians from around the world? Any unique instruments I missed post them below!

Mix Tape Mondays: Without Borders

Here are some bands to challenge your ideas of nationality as well as give you awesome music. They don’t fit into those neat little categories. Transnational, multilingual, and badass. They all offer thought provoking forays into defining modern identity without causing me to fall into a Hamlet-like spiral of existential angst. Now excuse me while I try to teach myself another language…or three.


Yoshida Brothers and Monkey Majik – Change. The band Monkey Majik is a Japanese Canadian band based in Japan. Their collaboration with the Yoshida Brother’s traditional Japanese shamisen is instantly intriguing. Monkey Majik sings this song in English but many of their songs are also Japanese or a mix of both. Try Alive.

White City – Space Cadet. Throw a Brit, a Swede, and an Aussie together in Kabul and what do you get? White City, that’s what! Like this try Perfect 10.

Ibeyi – Oya. French-Cuban mistresses of haunting sounds need I say more? They also  sing in Yoruba a Nigerian language. Listen to River and Mama Says. Kudoos to Abena for bringing these ladies to my attention!

The Royal Pirates – Drawing the Line. Oh hey. Royal Pirates I see you and your meta music video references. This Korean-American band have both Korean and English versions of some of their songs, cause that’s how they roll. Listen to Love Toxic and Fly to You

Add you favorites below!