Night of the Soul

Image of sunset over the Neuse River, Christmas Night 2018

This week’s edition of At Water’s Edge is another challenge episode. The requirement for the challenge was to create a winter track that did not rely on the usual audio tropes such as sleigh bells and so on.

The episode now takes on extra significance for personal reasons, and we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support.

We’ll hear new works for the challenge from Museleon, Carbonates On Mars, David Gerard, Jack Hertz, Flavigula, Mr. Spiral, Glenn Sogge, Coaxeman, and playman54; then we round out the show with library tracks from Numina, Tim Kays, and Lucette Bourdin.

The Challenge Tracks: Night of the Soul (2018)

Predictability – It’s coming up to Christmas and like most people here we’ve already had at least a month and a half of Bing Crosby’s ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ piped in every shop I enter.

Hooray! At Water’s Edge is challenging artists to create a winter song without all the bells, whistles, sleigh rides and other typical Christmas sounds.

Time for a reimagining of the sound of cracking ice. (Slow Cracking Ice by PhilllChabbb on Freesound )

As I work with mostly one field recording as the primary sound source to create sound pictures, after processing the results can be surprising. What emerges also shows how my mind can hear strange things and my imagination sees not your usual sound worlds as a result.

On Icebugs I imagined a soundworld where a mass of tiny plankton float in an arctic sea. Some glow in the dark, others emit electrical impulses. Some rattle, hum, click, pop and boing and as most of my tracks are best listened via headphones and if you listen carefully, there is a mass of life teeming just under the ice shelf.

It’s as Christmassy as I get.

Season’s Greetings to you all.

Odette Johnson

“Winter Landscapes” was the original track for today’s challenge, and inspired playman54’s recent album, Reflections of Winter Landscapes; it reminds him of childhood memories traveling through woods on the way to school in the winter.

“Winter Reflections” is to me a reminder at this time of year of those whom we have lost. It was a walk in the past for me to the woods in winter of my childhood and my love for my gran who introduced me to Sibelius. Winter is also the time of spirits’ renewal, when for a short time you can see clearly the spirits again.

The Library Tracks

“The Spirits Interlude” – NuminaDreamsleep (2006)

“Restoration” – Tim Kays – Analog Eyes in a Digital World – Four (2017)

One of my heroes, the late Edgar Froese, said, “There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.”  The Vulcans call that place Vorta Vor or Sha Ka Ree. To the ancient Greek culture, this place was called Elysium. Some view it as becoming one with the light, while others see it as transcending the mortal, and passing into a heavenly domain of the immortal.  Almost always, it is described as, ‘going to a better place’.  Restoration is the soundtrack for, and about those who are, making that journey to a better place, as composed from the perspective of those who are left behind.  Sorrow and hopefulness in equal measure…opening and closing with the voices of the Elysian Fields. – Tim Kays

“A Place of Rest” – Lucette Bourdin – Rumors from Cypress Town (2006)

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