Many thanks to this wonderful blogger (not hyperbole, amazing stuff) for tipping me to Riceboy Sleeps, the newest collaboration of my favorite band Sigur Ros and another of my favorite bands (who happen to be Sigur Ros’s accompaniment) Amiina. It is a wonderful album and well worth the purchase.

This particular track, in my estimation, is perfect. But that perfection requires context. Modern life requires complexity. The amount of information we ingest, the layers of meaning, our physical and digital personas all require constant attention and feedback. We are beholden to complexity; the simple life is not as simple as it used to be. So, on a personal level, I use music to frame that complexity and use it to my advantage. If channeled properly, this complexity can be amazingly productive (and exhaustive), the alienation of isolation being mitigated by the sheer enthusiasm of doing something.

And then there is the music we listen to while we do something.

This music bridges those dark nights of the soul, scaffolds thought to emotion, soul to action. It is the glue. And this is the track that does that for me (at least it has been for the last week or so). I have provided an image as well. Something I like to focus on and think of nothing else, to merely stare and dissolve all worry. I recommend listening to this track and doing the same with an image of your own. It is the purest form of meditation, that concentration and discipline involved of being lost in something other than yourself. It can be profound.

First the music:

MP3: Riceboy Sleeps-Indian Summer

Then the image. It is Seoul. It is quite possibly my favorite image in the world. I did not take it, but it perfectly captures that spirit of possibility in that town as dusk settled and everything came alive. All the rough edges were smoothed away. Brilliant.


Enjoy and all my best for the weekend.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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