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March 20, 2020

Playlist: UMS Staff “Quarantunes”


UMS Staff working from home

UMS staff members contributed tracks for a playlist of social distancing and easy listening, to help stay calm and productive while working from home.

Tap to listen on your preferred streaming service, and read about the inspiration behind some of our picks below:

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“Lavez Vous” by The Bandana Splits

Submitted by Jessica Adamczyk, executive assistant to the president

I heard this song on WCBN as a bit of a PSA about washing one’s hands…


“Sun It Rises” by Fleet Foxes

Submitted by Alex Gay, assistant production manager

This is my favorite album to start the morning. Very chill and atmospheric…perfect for the sunrise.


Suite bergamasque, L. 75 by Claude Debussy

Submitted by Matthew VanBesien, UMS president

I bought Zoltan Kocsis’s CD while at Indiana University studying music, and listened to it non-stop for nearly a semester! Aside from discovering the incredible world of Debussy’s piano music (I only knew the orchestral works and probably “Claire de Lune” at that point…), Kocsis’ wonderful, stylish and sometimes sensual interpretation is like a well-made Negroni: one part exquisite beauty, one part melancholy, and one part hope mixed with sheer delight. 


“Chimacum Rain” by Linda Perhacs

Submitted by Jacob Gibson

The track I chose is from Linda Perhac’s album Parallelograms. Born out of an unlikely collaboration between Linda Perhacs, a dental hygenist living in Topanga Canyon, and Leonard Roseman, a film composer who studied 12-tone composition with Schoenberg and Dallapiccola, the result is a truly unique folk record. The album is other-worldly, yet grounded in Perhacs’s intimate songwriting – the perfect escape from the recent chaos.


“Tangled up in Blue” by Bob Dylan

Submitted by Marnie Reid, associate director of development, major gifts and planned giving.

This is a tough week for social isolation for me. My husband died a year this week. So instead of being socially isolated, my big crazy family and friends are channeling virtual connections. We had a cocktail hour via Zoom with 30 participants from at least 13 states. We had a dance party on Zoom for St. Patrick’s Day. And I play the music my husband loved from the playlist, “Kitchen Dance Tunes,” he made for me.


Three Chords and the Truth by Van Morrison

Submitted by Carmen Rodriguez, VP, finance and administration

As I work from home my music (much to my kids’ dismay) to motivate and soothe is Van Morrison (as my kids say “who?!”) I am enjoying his new album – Three Chords and the Truth. Funny I read that this is his 41st album. Just to think that this year marked UMS 141st season…. well we got 100 years on Van Morrison’s record career!…… and UMS will continue to bring motivating and soothing performances to our patrons.


Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter

Submitted by Ryan Davis, VP and chief development officer

‘Vivaldi Recomposed’ is on repeat and has been since we heard it earlier this season in Hill Auditorium. It is especially healing for my daily walks and meditation…it’s quite extraordinary how the scenery changes while listening to it.


“River Jordan” by Rochelle Clark

Submitted by Rochelle Clark, ticket services associate (and check out her full album, In Time !!!)

I recorded this song this past fall. It always reminds me of heading “home” to Northern Michigan. Northern Michigan (in particular the U.P.) is heaven to me and I can’t wait to fill my lungs with all that fresh air north of the 45 soon!


“Finding Gabriel” by Brad Mehldau

Submitted by Mark Jacobson, senior programming manager

Pianist and composer Brad Mehldau released this final track on his Nonesuch Records album of the same title last spring, a moment which feels like a different — but in some ways, similar — lifetime ago. According to Brad, “Finding Gabriel came after reading the Bible closely for the last several years.” Brad performs all of the instruments and vocals on this track — layering everything in the studio as a one-man band. The track serves as the epitome of his artistic and spiritual ideas on this work, a wondrous culmination to the album. As Brad elaborates, “It seemed that the trick was to listen to Gabriel’s words through all the noise….”


“when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish

Submitted by Anna Simmons, systems specialist

My go-to of late has been Billie Eilish. Her style and tone keep the stress at bay while her lyrics aren’t as distracting as other music can be.


Hecuba by Oracle Hysterical

Submitted by Maddy Wildman, education & community engagement programs manager

I’m listening to the album Hecuba by Oracle Hysterical because it’s so, so good! It also reminds me of my friend Brad who plays bassoon on the album and is awesome.


Classic by HAUSER

Submitted by Eric Woodhams, senior manager of digital media

There’s always comfort listening to the cello…it’s so much like the human voice. HAUSER of classical crossover group 2CELLOS (confession…I’m a big fan!) recently released a solo album, Classic — a mix of gorgeous arrangements from symphonic, ballet, and opera repertoire backed by the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s an easy listen, and I admire these artists’ ability to introduce classical works to millions of new listeners in modern and meaningful ways.


“Don’t Lose Your Good Thing” by Etta James

Submitted by Jeff Beyersdorf, production director

Etta…because Etta.


“Whiskey Six” by Chris Buhalis

Submitted by Lisa Murray, associate director of development, foundation & government relations

I’m one of those people who prefers to work without music playing, but I have become a new fan of Facebook Live concerts, which I highly recommend as a way to stay engaged and keep supporting artists — you can donate the cost of a ticket to the artist while they perform. I tuned in to a recent concert by local folk artist Chris Buhalis, who was supposed to tour in Italy this spring. As usual for me, I’m finally catching up to something that others have been doing for months now… but I can also recommend a TV show I just heard about that’s supposed to be great, I think it’s called ‘Game of Thrones’?!… 🙂


Four Impromptus, Op. 90, D.899 by Franz Schubert

Submitted by Sara Billmann, VP, marketing

Schubert is always so hopeful, comforting, and inspiring, and this recording by Maria Joāo Pires — someone who, sadly, UMS never presented — is an all-time favorite.


“Alien Observer” by Grouper

Submitted by Jacob Rogers, patron services assistant

Grouper’s music is like a heavy blanket you can curl up under, something grounded and warm and enveloping. She’s an artist whose music has accompanied me alongside many of the quietest moments of my life, both good and bad, and as I’ve been settling into the stillness of this moment her music again has been a force of comfort and reassurance to me.


“Rearrange My Heart” by Che Apalache

Submitted by Teagan Faran, patron services assistant

Catching up on Che Apalache’s album “Rearrange My Heart.” Their mix of bluegrass and Latin American folk is the sound of friendship to me and helps to get through socially distanced times.


“How It Ends” by Devotchka

Submitted by Amanda Dempsey, development associate

I’ve been listening to Devotchka’s live album with the Colorado Symphony. I love when musicians perform live with a full orchestra. Devotchka has one of my favorite sets but Gregory Alan Isakov and Ben Folds will probably be next in my music queue.


“Astral Weeks” by Van Morrison

Submitted by Mallory Shea, marketing and media relations manager

I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks a lot while working from home. The entire album is just so good, all the way through, and that signature Van Morrison mumble keeps the lyrics from becoming too distracting.