Winter Solstice (Mix)

Winter Solstice

Music for the end of the longest night

December 21 is the longest night in the Northern hemisphere. It marks the start of Winter (even though it is also called “Midwinter”), but gradually the nights will slowly get shorter as to indicate spring will be coming, eventually.
For the 2019 Winter Solstice, Dutch Radio station Concertzender Nederland (for which I compile the monthly DreamScenes series) programmed an 8-hour ambient music special from 23:00 until 07:00 (11pm to 7am). That’s a good night’s sleep for most people!
The 8 hours of ambient were compiled by 4 radio-show producers: Roel Janssen, Harrold Roeland, Bob Rusche, and myself. My contribution was scheduled to close the night: from 05:00 to 07:00 (5am to 7am).

For the context of this ambient night, I created a mix that is somewhat different from most Ambientblog.net mixes – after all, this was intended to be broadcast in the deepest hours of the darkest night of the year. So this one is more drone-oriented for the most part, slower, less ‘dynamic’ and less ‘intense’.

This is especially true for the first hour. It opens with Suzanne Vega performing one of the most beautiful lullabies ever written (from 1964’s Mary Poppins), challenging you to ‘stay awake’ but at the same time making it virtually impossible to do so (especially at 5am).
Followed by an hour of deep drone tracks that seem to stretch the time to (at least) three times its length.
The first hour closes with a haunting track by Broeder Dieleman, a tribute to the dutch priest and sculptor Omer Gielliet. It is sung it the local Zeeuws dialect which loses some of its strength when translated – but the key phrase here roughly translates to: “first I drank from the tap but now I drink straight from the source.”

The second hour of this mix was the last hour of this 8-hour night. Even though it is still completely dark at 7am, it was my intention to slowly build up to awakening to a new day. The first half of this hour prolongs the sleepy drones, but Robert Henke’s Studies of Thunder indicates the change from deep sleep to lighter sleep, slowly becoming aware of the surroundings again.
The key track here is, of course, Fovea Hex’ We Dream All The Dark Away in the beautifully floating remix from Abul Mogard. It’s like coming back to life, letting the light back in slowly.

There is no telling how many listeners made it through the entire radio-broadcast – awake, half-asleep, or sleeping. I don’t assume many listeners made it to the end of this 8-hour broadcast in full awareness. I can only imagine how the dreams of those that fell asleep may have been guided by the music playing in the background.

I am very proud to have contributed to this special night on Concertzender Nederland. Not many radio stations are brave enough to schedule an 8-hour ambient night. But I am also very proud to present my contribution here, on Ambientblog, for everyone to enjoy at their own preferred time.

Due to the nature of this mix, I suggest listening in the dark.

(For those interested: surround versions of this mix are also available)

Part 1: 05:00 – 06:00 “Straight From The Source”

 

Stay awake, don’t rest your head
Don’t lie down upon your bed
While the moon drifts in the skies
Stay awake, don’t close your eyes

Though the world is fast asleep
Though your pillow’s soft and deep
You’re not sleepy as you seem
Stay awake, don’t nod and dream


“Stay Awake”, from “Mary Poppins”, 1964
05 - 06 Sequence

note: first time is start time, second time is fragment length

  • 00:00 01:48 Suzanne Vega – Stay Awake
    Stay Awake (Various Interpretations Of Music From Vintage Disney Films), 1988, A&M Records
  • 00:20 05:09 Atom TM – Texturen I
    Texturen I, 2015, No.
  • 01:19 02:57 Chris Meloche – Loop 6 (Excerpt)
    X-Rated – The Electronic Files, 2002, Boudisque Records
  • 03:41 03:22 Thomas Koehner & Asmus Tietchens – Frühruin Part 1
    Σ + Frühruin (Kontakt Der Jünglinge Box), 2004, Die Stadt
  • 06:01 04:07 Thomas Köner – Nuuk
    Nuuk, 2004, MillePlateauxMedia
  • 08:55 03:07 Akira Rabelais – Track 52
    Spelle Remixes, 2005, unreleased (private collection)
  • 09:05 03:39 Bass Communion – Sisters Oregon, Part 3
    Sisters Oregon, 2017, Drone Records
  • 11:07 06:15 Bass Communion – Sisters Oregon, Part 4
    Sisters Oregon, 2017, Drone Records
  • 14:27 04:52 Else Marie Pade & Jacob Kirkegaard – Nimbostratus
    Svaevninger, 2013, Important Records
  • 16:24 05:42 Eliane Radigue – L’Île Resonante
    Oeuvres Electroniques, 2018, INA-GRM
  • 20:39 06:56 Brian Eno – Five Light Paintings
    Music From Installations, 2018, Opal Records
  • 26:00 04:15 Hilary Jeffery – Belfast Tromboscillator 2
    Belfast Tromboscillator, 2007, self-released
  • 28:37 05:53 James Plotkin & Mick Harris – Dissolve
    Collapse, 1996, Asphodel
  • 31:24 06:23 Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Glass
    Glass, 2018, Noton
  • 34:44 05:48 Deep Listening Band – CCCC (Cistern Chapel Chance Chants)
    The Ready Made Boomerang, 1991, New Albion
  • 38:04 05:12 Michael Fahres – The Tubes (feat. Jon Hassell & Mark Atkins)
    The Tubes, 2007, Cold Blue Music
  • 41:21 06:02 William Basinski – Worry
    Two Point Two, 2003, 12K
  • 45:05 08:22 Biosphere – Valchyrie
    X-Rated – The Electronic Files, 2002, Boudisque Records
  • 48:56 08:15 Yann Novak – Surroundings
    Surroundings, 2017, Line
  • 53:08 07:23 Broeder Dieleman – Omer Gielliet
    Uut De Bron, 2015, Snowstar Records

Part 2: 06:00 – 07:00 “We Dream All The Dark Away”

 

Days may come and days may go
over that good horizon again
And after we slide under
we dream our paradise
We dream all the dark away


Fovea Hex – “We Dream All The Dark Away”
06 - 07 Sequence

note: first time is start time, second time is fragment length

  • 59:42 02:08 Jeff Bridges – Sleep, Dream, Wakeup
    Sleeping Tapes, 2015, Squarespace
  • 1:01:01 02:06 Morgen Wurde feat. Maria Estrella – Laesst Los
    Pop Ambient 2020, 2019, Kompakt
  • 1:02:24 03:52 Monty Adkins – Secret Dreams
    Rift Patterns, 2014, Audiobulb
  • 1:05:06 02:25 Ambrose Field & John Potter – Presque Quelque Chose
    Being Dufay, 2009, ECM
  • 1:06:52 03:00 A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Aqualung, Motherfucker
    The Undivided Five, 2019, Ninja Tune
  • 1:08:39 03:37 Jacob Kirkegaard – Opus Morturarium – Excerpt
    Opus Mors, 2019, Fonik
  • 1:10:49 05:56 Ben Lukas Boysen – The Behinian Gospel
    Gravity, 2013, Ad Noiseam
  • 1:14:49 01:53 Dean Hurley – Low Sustained Mystery
    Anthology Resource Vol. 1, 2017, Sacred Bones Records
  • 1:15:51 04:03 Jeff Greinke – Out From Under (excerpt)
    A Storm Of Drones, 1995, Asphodel
  • 1:18:46 04:22 Gray Acres – Unconditional
    Material Forces, 2019, Whitelabrecs
  • 1:20:49 05:54 Robert Henke – Studies Of Thunder
    Signal To Noise, 2004, Imbalance Computer Music
  • 1:24:35 04:34 James Murray – Carina
    Heavenly Waters, 2017, Slowcraft
  • 1:28:34 03:27 Robert Rich – Senescent Architecture
    Tactile Ground, 2019, Soundscape
  • 1:30:46 03:18 Kim Cascone – Lunar Gauzes-Alchemisphere
    Lunar Gauzes-Alchemisphere, 2012, eSpace
  • 1:32:52 09:44 Fovea Hex – We Dream All The Dark Away (Abul Mogard Remix)
    The Salt Garden II, 2017, Headphone Dust/Die Stadt
  • 1:41:18 03:23 Jana Winderen – Submerged
    Submerged, 2009, Touch
  • 1:42:51 09:04 Greg Haines – 183 Times
    Digressions, 2012, Preservation
  • 1:50:52 03:16 Chris Watson – Cima Verde
    Cima Verde, 2008, Fondazione Edmund Mach
  • 1:52:50 06:37 Oliver Messiaen – Oraison, 1937
    Ohm – The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music 1948 – 1980, 2000, Ellipsis Arts
  • 1:58:22 01:30 Biosphere – Steinfjord
    The Senja Recordings, 2019, Biophon Records
Download Winter Solstice now 275Mb (01:59:56 min.)

[Alternative location on Archive.org]

surround version of this mix is also available from the Surround page.

or: play on Mixcloud:

 
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