Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter's journeys and music

Part of the work of winter is change. There are new beginnings, and looking for different horizons. The work of winter also includes quiet, reflection, and meditation, perhaps to integrate the lessons of the turning season, perhaps to find the light to follow those new paths. Music makes a good companion, for whatever directions this early part of a new year is taking you.

Music to go along with these ideasnatick snow copyright kerry dexter
Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith, who as a musical duo are known as Tammerlin, offer
WinterSong. True, it may be taken as a Christmas album, and as the title suggests, a consideration of winter that reaches beyond that celebration too. They include music that is both seasonal and holiday. As well, Hunter reads short selections from Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, and Henry David Thoreau, well chosen and well read words which stand gracefully among the music, as readings and words serve to illuminate each other.

Padraigin Ni Uallachain, who is a scholar of music as well as a singer, took as her inspiration for Songs of the Scribe lyrics, notes an poetry from scribes and poets of early ireland. There will be more to say about this recording in future. For now, though, you will find it a thoughtful collection which makes a good doorway for reflection whether you understand the words in Irish or not.

Hanneke Cassel is a composer and player of violin and piano whose work is grounded in Scottish traditions with the spice of Americana, bluegrass, and the music of other places she’s traveled. Her album For Reasons Unseen makes a fine companion to winter’s journeys of place and spirit.

the photograph was made early on a snowy morning as I waited for the commuter rail train in Natick, Massachusetts. it is copyrighted, and I thank you for respecting that.

you may also wish to see
Music Road: Celtic Kenya musical connection
Music Road: Song of Solstice: music for changing seasons
Music Road: Cathie Ryan: teaching tradition

Delicious Baby's Photo Friday, where travelers offer new insights to the world each Friday.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Anjuli said...

I loved the thought of hearing poetical readings in the midst of the music- they go so hand in hand! Need to go discover these suggestions for myself.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

It's a snowy day here today - I like the thought of having music to listen to as I watch the snow falling outside my office window.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous wandering educators said...

isn't snow just beautiful?! lovely photo, to go along with your lovely recommendations. thank you!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Marina K. Villatoro said...

It doesn’t snow where I live. But I do enjoy listening to soft, relaxing music while it rains.

12:00 PM  

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