I have recently watched a mini series that initially launched on HBO. It hasn't hit Netflix yet, but I'm sure it will, as the series was so successful they've planned a second season. Are you curious what it is? The series is called "Big Little Lies". And it was a phenomenal experience for me in so many ways. Though, the content was not as remarkable as the form for me.
I borrowed the series from my local library and viewed it while exercising on our elliptical machine. The first two things that struck me about the series were the remarkable visuals... the cinematography is exquisite as it takes place on the gorgeous and succulent Coast of California in Monterey. The director of photography, Yves Bélanger, accomplished the feat of creating intimacy in each and every frame, often taking my breath away with sheer gorgeousness.
The second aspect that gripped me was the music. Oh, my, but this series, like many others, has a very carefully, well-crafted and curated soundtrack with tunes as deeply sensuous and a music director as intimacy-focused as the director of photography. Together, this created a lush landscape upon which to place the intertwined stories of modern day problems of the privileged. For me, the drama was secondary to the feast for my senses, steeped in sights and sounds that moved me deeply.
Spoiler alert: This series could (and most probably would) be shockingly triggering for women who have experienced sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence, so my advice is to be mindful of your psyche if you choose to view it. If either of these circumstances are potentially re-traumatizing for you, then I would suggest forgoing the series and instead just listening to the melliflous and benevolent soundtrack.
Race is also an issue on this show, though only in they way it is presented, rather the stunning lack of it. The series team missed an opportunity by not making race a potent content point. I admit it struck me as odd and incongruent that so many of the recording artists featured on the Big Little Lies soundtrack are of color, especially when the cast is almost entirely Caucasian, and notably the leading cast consists of three white women. I can see how this could create a valid criticism of the show, but it certainly upholds my thesis that the content focuses on white privilege and their everyday lived experiences and problems.
Returning to the soundtrack, the primary purpose of this post is to invite you to check out this incredible music and to lose yourself in the meditation and movement it inspires.
Here are my three favourites tunes from the Soundtrack. I hope you enjoy them as deeply and sensuously has I have.
The first is "River" by Leon Bridges. Oh, my but this song is for me a wild ride of (sh)ear-joy. I've linked a YouTube from the artist (as opposed to the soundtrack set) as it was produced to be a stand alone mini film. It is a treat to watch as well as listen to. I'd love to hear what you think. The first time I heard this song, I knew it would live long in many song sets for yoga, dance, movement and other sensory experiences. Wink Wink. Take me to your river, I wanna go. Take me to your river, I wanna know. Oh, yes, Oh, yes, Oh, YES!
The second is the theme song for the series: Cold Little Heart by Michael Kiwanuka. I enjoyed opening each of the series' seven episodes, watching the main characters traverse the winding roads that hug the shoreline with their elegant children in tow on an incredible drive to school that felt more like the initial ride of a long-awaited vacation. I had no such experiences being ferried to school. Ever. There is a grit to this song that foreshadows and underscores the brutality that unfolds within the connected story lines. The slowly urgent pace of the song moves the story along week to week, and when I listen to it my living room, inspires me to move in ways that arc into space in a languid, dreamy way.
The trifecta of new songs I was introduced to on this series is This Feeling by the inimitable Alabama Shakes. I've included a live version of the song here, because watching the tenderness of the lead singer Brittany Howard is so worth the watch. This woman is a Goddess of creating ambiance with her voice. This song offers so much hope with the refrain "I'm gonna be alright".
I hope you enjoy these offerings, and I would really love to hear what you think? Do you like these songs? Does a favourite emerge? Have you seen this series? What are your thoughts and feelings on the form? The content? The alchemy of both? Dialogue? Rants? I'm open for business!