I love flying BA, because they have such a great music selection I always end up discovering new things.

I’d read about ’12 Little Spells’ when it came out a year ago, but hadn’t ever listened to Esperanza Spalding’s work.

Each little spell is dedicated to a specific part of the body – conjuring and celebrating its essence.

Here’s a Vanity Fair piece of her talking about the creative process:

“Alchemy and magic are about how mundane, benign, and abundant materials can have an effect that is greater than the sum of their parts. To me, creativity is alchemy.”

-Esperanza Spalding, Vanity Fair

As someone working to heal and connect with her body, I found this album so inspiring.

It is playful, complex, catchy, and inventive.

The music is extraordinary – no surprise there. But it was the lyrics that kept pulling me back in.

This is the introduction from the song ’12 Little Spells’ about the thoracic spine:

Twelve little wells of golden ink
Bone bottles stacked mouth to tail

How beautiful is that imagery?

This is the phrase that I kept chewing over from ‘Ways Together’ about shoulders:

I thought the more I carried
The more that life would bring
And it made my life so heavy
I couldn’t give a thing

How many of us have chosen to carry too much? Yet the way this is set is light, hopeful – it’s a song celebrating release and connection that helps with life’s load.

I listened to this album over and over – to the point where they did start to feel like spells, healing and nourishing my body and my sense of myself.

When I got home and googled to learn more, I discovered she also made music videos to accompany each song.

Another realm of magic to explore.

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