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Published on Nov 15, 2013
MIDWINTER BORN is available from iTunes and CDBaby. "The First Noël" is track 1 on the album. I've re-arranged a series of old carols with contemporary stylings, mostly New Age, jazz, or blues leanings. It captures the joy and surprise of Christmas time.
I wanted to begin this collection simply. I kept the melody without ornament. The right hand ostinato has a slight progressive rock feel (similar to the final track) and evokes the crystalline cold and shining beauty of midwinter evenings, or a midnight rain of stardust. The ending verse is intended to express how the first birthday has found a home deep within, never to be lost.
"The First Noël" is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century. Noël, the French word for Christmas, is from the Latin word natalis which translates as "birthday." In its current form, the song is of Cornish origin, first published in 1823. The melody is unusual among English folk melodies in that it consists of one musical phrase repeated twice, followed by a refrain which is a variation on that phrase. All three phrases end on the third of the scale, as opposed to the tonic, like most carols. The original Cornish lyrics read "O well, O well, the Angels did say" as opposed to "The first Noël..." The author is unknown.
Difficult to film Aurora Borealis clips illustrate this music video. Some are from the space station as it hurtles around the Earth.