Medwyn Goodall is my favourite musician to relax to that I strangely never talk about.
I’ve written the above sentence once before in a blog post, thereby now rendering it rather inaccurate. But these two mentions are in no way commensurate with how much I actually listen to him.
I literally do so every day. Religiously at night while lying in bed to help me fall asleep (I sleep very well, but falling asleep has always been a struggle for me), but also at any given point during my day as well.
As I mentioned in my previous post on soothing music to listen to amidst COVID-19, I spend a lot of time keeping my mind in a relaxed state in general to support my performance when working, reading, or writing, which are three of the top ways I occupy myself.
I think the reason I never talk about him is that he seems rather obscure in North America. With one exception from many years ago, I’ve never met any other fans so far as I can tell.
And yet he is an international legend in the world of New Age music, with more than 85 albums and over four million album sales to his credit.
For anyone who’s never heard of him, believe me when I say that during a global pandemic is the perfect time to remedy that.
He hails from Cornwall, England, and over the course of his 30-year career has composed in a variety of New Age styles, including Celtic, yoga/meditative, high fantasy, South American, Native North American, New Age electronica, and world.
He plays at least 10 instruments, including guitar, piano, pan pipes (for which he’s perhaps best known), mandolin, harp, flute, and drums. After having started his career with the record label New World Music, he later went on to launch an independent label (Medwyn Goodall Music) that features other artists within the New Age, relaxation, and meditation genres.
I currently own 38 of his albums and counting, the first of which was one of his best-loved and bestselling recordings since its release back in 1991.
Called Medicine Woman, it is a musical celebration of Mayan folklore, the rainforest, and the power of the Feminine performed using traditional South American instruments and rhythms.
I was first introduced to it, and Medwyn in general, when in junior high school.
A friend and I had been assigned a project in our French class to mock-up and present a product that promoted relaxation. We created L’Oreiller Musical, The Musical Pillow, which was a pillow with a built-in music player that played relaxing tunes.
To demonstrate the project, we used a New Age cassette tape(!) my friend’s parents had bought her during a recent trip to England. That tape was Medicine Woman. The song we used was called “Immortality”.
(That friend is the only other Medwyn fan I’ve ever knowingly met.)
All of Medwyn’s music is both instrumental and multi-instrumental (i.e. featuring a various of instruments), and because he composes in so many styles, if you like New Age music at all, there is literally something for everyone within his catalogue.
If pressed to choose my favourites, I do remain partial to his South American-style music, particularly the Medicine Woman series (five sequel albums have followed the original release), both because I adore his use of the pan pipes and how rhythmic the music is, and because I’ve owned some of these albums the longest.
(Fun fact: Medicine Woman 1 and 2 were the first CDs I ever purchased for myself with my own money. They were also the very first online purchase I ever made more than 20 years ago.)
However I also enjoy his other styles as well, including the Celtic/mythic style, such as the rather otherworldly track “The Sunwise Path” from Druid II,
Also his world music, like the African-influenced “Kilimanjaro” from the album Snows of Kilimanjaro,
Him being from Cornwall, he’s done a five-album series on the legend of King Arthur that I also like (even though I don’t even sort of like the album cover for The Round Table). One of my favourite tracks from the series is “Dozmary Pool”, which is the legendary home of the Lady of the Lake:
Medwyn Goodall is releasing new albums all the time (he’ll surely reach 100 releases in the near future), which, along with his extensive back catalogue, might be just the thing to help bring comfort during this difficult time.
His music is available on all streaming platforms and major online retailers, as well as from his independent label Medwyn Goodall Music.
(Image source – J.G. Noelle)