CITY's Classical Cannabis Playlist 

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When you’re riding a high the right music can take you higher — and listening to classical music with weed can be downright euphoric. Whether you’re looking to pair your sativa with opera, chill out to chamber music with sci-fi vibes, or take a new trip with an old master, these 15 toke-worthy tunes can help you bliss out.
Here's the complete 15-track version of CITY's Classical Cannabis Playlist on Spotify.

LUCID DREAMS

“Gnossiennes No. 1” by Erik Satie
A beautiful, if odd piano piece from the quintessential bohemian composer. Look through the veil, and pass the hashish.


“Le poème de l’extase” by Alexander Scriabin
Fever-dream melodies and rich orchestral colors for days. This wordless “poem of ecstasy” is dizzying.

“VI. Jardin du sommeil d’amour” from “Turangalila-Symphonie” by Olivier Messiaen
Wonderfully trippy music featuring the ondes Martenot, an obscure electronic keyboard instrument from the 1920s.


“Flugufrelsarinn (Kronos Version)” by Sigur Rós
Kronos Quartet’s vivid take on the Icelandic post-rock kings sounds like basking in the glow of the Northern Lights — the natural phenomenon and the cannabis strain.

SATIVA STORIES

“The Games: Memory Song” by Meredith Monk
Whimsical vocalizations approximate bird song and combine non-words with remembrances of seemingly random things like chess, champagne, and football. Peculiar and magical.


“Act IV, Scene 3 - Spaceship” from “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass
Philip Glass’s first opera is a doozy: a five-hour trip with no conventional narrative in sight. But you can shift into hyperdrive with this hypnotic 13-minute excerpt.


“Die Walküre: The Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner
Whether Looney Tunes first introduced you to this music or you’ve just always loved winged women who lead dead vikings to Valhalla, you’ll be flying.

“Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy” from “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Warning: This iconic ballet theme may leave you feeling lighter than air and craving sweets.


ELECTRONIC INDICA

“VI. L’eau” from “Fête des belles eaux” by Olivier Messiaen
An ensemble of ondes Martenot plays what sounds like strange waiting room music for heaven. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood helped make the instrument cool, but he heard it first from Messiaen.


“Oakunar Lynntuja (Strange Birds)” by Caroline Eyck
Take wing with this work for theremin and chamber ensemble. I hear birds from outer space.



STRANGE TRIPS

“Proven Lands” from the Suite from “There Will Be Blood” by Jonny Greenwood
The groove in the strings is deniable, but it’s just unsettling enough to make you Paranoid Android.


“State of N.Y.” by Micachu
Inspired by the ’90s Houston hip-hop style called chopped and screwed, this piece has homemade instruments and the London Sinfonietta to help achieve the sound of drug-induced lethargy.

“And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma, Verses 1-20” by Harry Partch
Partch was an iconoclastic visionary who designed his own instruments for the music he wrote. Like music from another planet.



HYBRID STRAINS

“Electric Counterpoint” by Steve Reich
Jonny Greenwood’s performance on guitar may just make your skin tingle and stop time in the process. Reich’s music will grab hold and pull you in.


“A Rainbow in the Curved Air (Instrumental)” by Terry Riley
The most psychedelic music on the playlist, this 1969 work features an electric organ and two electric harpsichords. Go ahead and get gone.



Daniel J. Kushner is CITY's arts editor. He can be reached at [email protected].
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