Notes: I'd like to highlight the custom art created for each episode by Patty Piotrowski. If you're following this on a podcast app that shows only the A Breath of Song logo, and not the artwork, then please go here to feast your eyes! Patty sang in a chorus with me for several years before the pandemic and included me in the friends with whom she shared an Advent calendar of one painting a day via email -- and I loved the experience of opening my email to see something beautiful. During the pandemic, she sang Pocket Songs with me, and we both leaned into song as resource. When I decided to start sharing songs that were making it easier for me to navigate life through this podcast, I wondered if Patty would be willing to share this creative process with me. For each song, she listens ahead of time, sings with it, lets it soak in... and then waits for an image to appear. She emails me a photo of the custom art, which delights me, and makes the process of preparing the podcast for release exponentially more pleasurable.
About this piece, she said:
"Here is a tree for all of the seasons of this song
I’ve been passing this tree along I91 and talking with it for two years
It looks different depending on your orientation:
when I approach it from the north on the highway, I see it whole and round with branches,
but as I pass it, I see then actually there are no branches on the south side."
Dirk says about the song: "Winter Song was written for amateur groups to sing at the winter solstice. I chose the traditional English round form so the repetition can have a meditative effect and people can sing it for as long or short a time as they wish... It was my late wife Adrienne who suggested to me ten years ago that there was a need for new songs to celebrate the eight-fold year celebrations of solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters that Druids traditionally observe. I did write some others but they were not as good as Winter Song and have passed deservedly into obscurity! 2012 was the last year of Adrienne’s life. She heard the song performed for her birthday in July that year. She was pleased with it. My awareness of her impending death is probably what gives the song its emotional charge."
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Songwriter Info: Dirk Campbell has put this song into the public domain, so we are welcome to share it. Dirk was born in 1950 in the British military hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, and lived in Kenya till 1962, so was exposed to indigenous Arab and African music before its acculturation by western influence. He went on to a successful career as a composer for films, radio, stage, etc, His website is a fascinating dive (and I mean HOURS worth!!!) into many instruments from a wide variety of cultures around the world on which he has gained skill. He teaches musicians about ways of incorporating ancient and non-western music into contemporary composition.
Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Dorian, 2-part layer song with optional drone.
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Acceptance Sing Be Grateful Belonging Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Darkness Dawn Earth Empower Farewell Fire Flex Flow Friendship Gather Generosity Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey Light Listen Lullaby Moon Night Notice Nuts & Bolts Open Pain Play Release Rest Scale: Aeolian (minor) Scale: Dorian Scale: Ionian (Major) Scale: Minor Scale: Mixolydian Scale: Mixolydian Flat 6 Shadow Song Form: Ballad Song Form: Call & Response Song Form: Harmonized Song Form: Layer Song Form: Round Song Form: Unison Song Form: Unison With Separate Harmony Line Song Form: Verse And Layer Song Form: Verse & Chorus Song Form: Zipper Songwriter Conversation Stars Sun Tend Trees Trust Water