Just a couple of years ago we told you about the tradition of telling spooky tales upon a Christmas night. This time we are sharing with you something related with this.
From the Valentine Wolfe newsletter:
“Marley was dead, to begin with.”
This is the opening to my favorite Christmas Story, Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. When I was a child, the fact that it is a ghost story wasn’t immediately obvious to me. But I loved it. I had storybook and record of the tale, and I generally would listen to side one (the ones with all the scary bits in it) over and over instead of turning the record over for the happy ending. And when the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol started coming on television, I never missed it, looking forward to the fog, the lanterns, and the ghost hearse. Especially the ghost hearse. A Christmas Carol was scary, and not like a horror movie, and while young me didn’t quite understand the distinction, I knew I loved this story the most.
It is easy, therefore, to imagine my delight in finding out that a cultural tradition around Christmas involved families gathering on the 24th of December and telling ghost stories. The notion of passing Christmas Eve in sheer terror of the return of the dearly departed sounded…well, fun. And instantly brought me back to memories of cold winter evenings and the spectral visage of Jacob Marley.
So in the spirit of the Ghosts of Christmas past, we’re offering you ten tales for your musical enjoyment this season. There’s nary a reindeer or a kindly old elf to be found, but there are memories and echoes of the past abounding, both in the texts and textures of the music.
This is not the first that The Goblin Market is featured on our blog (in fact, we are sure that you remember our fascinating interview with Aristotle Pramagioulis). When we read about ‘Year’s End’ on The Goblin Market group at Facebook, we could not help but think… what a delightful idea! And here we are, inviting you to join a new tradition for a very special day: Halloween.
It is true that Halloween celebrations tend to focus on the spooky and macabre aspects of this date, but we believe that beauty may be found in unexpected places. Including darkness.
We hope you find this idea as inspirational as we do. Enjoy!
‘Best be yourself, imperial, plain, and true’, said Robert Browning, one of the foremost Victorian philosopher-poets.
With historical settings, his poems are known for their irony, dark humor, social commentary, and challenging vocabulary and syntax. He married Elizabeth Barrett, one of history’s most famous literary marriages.
A true Master said ‘Best be yourself, imperial, plain, and true’. What else can we say?
The Circuncelion project began with Igor Mesmer in the spring of 2004, as a side project to his band Addiction. This Basque artist wanted to distance himself from the more conventional musical lenguange in order to develop what he called ‘sound visions’. Eschara was the result, a conceptual work based on his own impression arising from a number of images and testimonies from the Spanish civil war, forming a work of 9 instrumental symphonic arrangements.
Circuncelion’s second album, Carved In Waters, was released in 2010 featuring not only Igor, but also artist and classical pianist Romina Perez. Begotten Forgotten, the third album of the band, is a true masterpiece. 46 minutes of enchanment, melancholy and haunting beauty. ‘To one dead’ is just one example of this, demonstrating that Circuncelion’s music is comparable to the compositions of many of the most prestigious darkwave and ethereal groups.