Pfaueninsel, late summer, Berlin. Photo by Douglas Williams.

Pfaueninsel, late summer, Berlin. Photo by Douglas Williams.

August's mixtape comes from my most excellent friend and fellow Berlin resident, Douglas Williams: an opera singer and a true creative and comedic genius...with movie-star good looks, to boot (sorry, but it's all true). 

As if that weren't enough, Doug also has an incredible talent for finding Brandenburg's secret lakes and wild fields and planning the perfect day out, from transport and snacks and right down to the playlist. In fact, I have idled away some of my most free and happy summer days alongside Doug, in the hull of a rowboat or amidst the tall grasses of a golden field, listening to one of his perfect mixes.

And so, without further ado, Olympia Monthly is happy and proud to present you with your very own Doug Williams mixtape, one to send you with peace and joy into your own secret summer nature hideaway...

Let’s face it: The golden days of summer are here and it’s too hot to function. Stop trying—and flee. Pack up the wicker picnic basket your mother gave you (she didn’t give you one, too?), hop on the commuter rail, and head to your secret lake, your secret meadow, perhaps alone or with your secret friend.

Seek water, freedom, tall grass, shade, sun, outdoor dancing, wide skies, rambles, brambles, wind. Come back with late summer berries, small scratches, tan lines, sun-yawing, dusty socks.

To help send you off I’ve put together a little program of tunes starting with Don Redman’s waxing attestation of liberation Doin’ what I please. Following that, a little cruising into the countryside jam with Kenny Barron and Funji Mama. Feel the wind in your hair yet? As you pass all those glossy suburbs on your way to the country you can’t help to feel some pity for the sealed-in class. Joni Mitchell said it perfectly in The Hissing of Summer Lawns. The rest is pretty self explanatory. Music for tangoing under a tree, or smooching in the grass, or staring across illusory meadows. Drink in the last of leafy summer. The mix ends with my favorite star-gazing hymn, the singular Michael Hedges playing Rickover’s Dream.

- Doug

PS read / listen / see more at ...