On this week’s edition of At Water’s Edge, the winter challenge “WinterSong”. We received a few lovely tracks for it, and the rest of the program includes previously released tracks sent for the show, as well as a sampling of winter-themed music from the RadioSpiral library. Join us!

Challenge tracks – WinterSong

  • “Stille Nacht After All These Years” – Glenn Sogge
  • “last snow spruce” – Playman54
  • “Saturnalia” – George L Smyth – WinterSong (2017)

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival to honor the god Saturn, held on December 17th. Changes to the Roman calendar moved Saturnalia to December 25th, and it is reasonable to argue that the date was appropriated by Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn and a public banquet, followed by gift-giving, partying, and an atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms. Gambling was allowed and masters served their slaves. The poet Catullus called it, “the best of days”.

In Saturnalia I wanted to examine the religious aspect of the holiday, the first part depicting the thoughts of the viewers at the ceremony during the sacrifice, and the second part examining the food at the banquet.

Saturnalia was written for chorus and string orchestra.

It can be downloaded, along with the score, at

  • “New Year Waltz” – playman54

playman54, aka Colin Blake, used to write small pieces for his local young kids’ school holiday orchestra; each year the small track “New Year Waltz” was a rework of one of those pieces.

“Santa Claus over Rendlesham” – Emerald Adrift – (2017)

Emerald Adrift, aka David Herpich, has been working on an album with a post-truth, 2017-worthy theme of silly titles involving cryptids / urban legends / whatever. One involves Santa Claus. Unexpectedly, he finished it ahead of Christmas, making it appear (perhaps misleadingly) timely.

“Winter’s Cold Stare” – Darkened Soul – Seasons of Dark and Light (2009)

“Silently winter’s night ends” – playman54 – Liquid Mellow 1 Sampler (2016)

“Sleigh Ride” – Skoddie – χmas Album (2015)

I created χmas Album in 2015 as a way of expressing my complicated emotions regarding the holiday. After a number of years of retail work, along with strained family relationships, my feelings about the season moved into a dark and brooding place. I created the work by taking my least favorite Christmas sounds and distorting them into drawn out tones layered upon each other in a wash of reverb to imply a bitter and cold environment. I then added in the comforting sound of a crackling fire to counterbalance the harshness with an endearing quality.

I initially thought that I would dislike the work, and only released it as an artistic statement. As the years pass however, I find myself coming back to it and being oddly moved. I think I was able to successfully capture a certain emotion, and am surprised by it.

“Winter (2014 version)” – Michael Brückner – Ombra – Revisited (2014)

“The Door Into Winter” – Juta Takahashi – The Door Into Winter (2007)

“Winter Frost” – Jack Hertz & Wolfgang Gsell – Sleeping Trees On Earth (2017)

“Wintergreen” – ontol – The Postlamp Sessions II (1996)

“Midwinter” – Somnarium – Frost (2011)

“Winter Embrace – Part V” – Altus (Canada) – Winter Embrace (15th Anniversary Edition) (2017)

Original composition written in 2002. Rearrangement and remaster May to August 2017.

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