Storms have stripped leaves off the trees and the air grows colder by the day; it is safe to say winter is here. There has been no snow in Chagford yet, but on these dark, chill mornings I can almost taste it in the air. Let's start the week with music for the season, full of snow, hail and gusting winds....
Above: "And the Snow Did Lie" by Welsh composer Hilary Tann, performed the international Sirius Quartet (Fung Chern Hwei, Gregor Huebner, Ron Lawrence, Jeremy Harman). Tann's gorgeous multimedia piece is based on André Bergeron’s lithographs for Germaine Guèvremont’s French-Canadian classic, Le Survenant.
Below: "The Snows They Melt the Soonest," performed by Irish folksinger Cara Dillon (from County Derry). The song was collected in Newcastle by Thomas Doubleday, published in 1821, and popularised in the 20th century folk revival by Anne Briggs, Archie Fisher and Dick Gaughin. Dillon's rendition is from her third album, After the Morning (2006).
Above: "Bird of the Blizzard" by Scottish singer/songwriter Julie Fowlis (from the Hebrides), created for Spell Songs II: Let The Light In (2021). This is the second collaborative album based on The Lost Words and The Lost Spells, two beautiful books on language and nature by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Both of the albums and both of the books are highly, highly recommended. I love this new spell song...not least because I was born in the middle of a blizzard.
Above: "One Star Awake" by English musicians & composers Laura Cannell (from Sussex) and Kate Ellis (from Essex). Based on the traditional Irish song "She Moved Through the Fair," this piece for violin, cello and church organ is from their Winter Rituals EP (2020). The sculpture in the video was created by Rachael Long, Sarah Cannell and Andy Jarrett, experimenting with steel and firewick to create a full-size flaming marsh pony, filmed in Norfolk last December.
Below: "Goodbye England, Covered in Snow" by English singer/songwriter Laura Marling (based in London), performing with the 12 Ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall in 2020. The song can be found on Marling's early album I Speak Because I Can (2010).
The imagery above: "Winter Sunrise" by Stanley Roy Badmin, for Ladybird Books. To see more Ladybird art, visit Helen Day's excellent Ladybird flyaway home website.