Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas eve and the coming days: music as companion

Christmas eve, Christmas day, the days leading up to the turning of the year: they often make for a time of reflection.

All things happening in the world, alongside what challenges and changes may be arising with each of us in our personal circumstances, at times make the quiet and the mindset for such reflection seem hard to come by.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my work here and in other publications I find music to be a gateway and a good companion to such reflection.

Two recordings to consider

If you may be looking for an especially lively and seasonal recording with singing you will want to join along with, then have a listen to Glad Christmas Comes. from Eliza Carthy and Jon Boden.

The English duo offer a mix of Victorian carols -- such as the title song-- and other favorites and originals. Even if you’ve not heard familiar song done quite the way they offer, or the songs are new to you, the creativity and energy of their singing will engage you.

Tracks to note: Shepherds Arise, Glad Christmas Comes

With her recording O Come Emmanuel Hanneke Cassel offers a more contemplative take on the season.

Cassel’s main instrurment is the fiddle, with which she draws on Scottish, Cape Breton, and Americana flavors to frame her interpretations and create her original music, For this album she has also invited along several of her musical friends to add their voices to different tracks, All the the music is well worth your listening, at the winter season and at other times.

Standout tracks: Silent Night, O Come Emmanuel/Star of Wonder

Wishing you a reflective, peaceful time, whatever way you may be marking this season.

You may also wish to see
Music for December: time for hope & reflection at Wandering Educators
Christmas Eve Reflections at Along the Music Road, my new newsltter at Substack
Another album from Hanneke Cassel
More Winter listening.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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