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Archive for February, 2010

If the ice wouldn’t melt

Kentucky farmer and writer Wendell Berry has a poem called “Walking on the River Ice.”  Here goes:

A man could be a god

if the ice wouldn’t melt

and he could stand the cold

A couple of weekends ago, we here at The Sowing Season were faced with a situation.  We were snowed in, but the river wasn’t quite frozen enough for us to test Berry’s idea, as tempting as it was. But we couldn’t get the river out of our minds.  So, we decided to embrace it as much as we could from the warmth and relative safety of the indoors.

For us this meant making a live video of our cover of “The River” by Anathallo.  You can listen to the original at myspace.com/anathallo.  It’s an intricate, beautifully complex song.  The time signature changes back and forth at odd intervals, and lead singer Matt Joynt crams more than the recommended number of syllables into each measure.  Even the articulation and enunciation of words shows close attention to the sounds of the words themselves as art. Beyond sound alone, the lyrics are more akin to prose poetry than conventional lyrics, and their tone and imagery are reminiscent of Wendell Berry’s personal narrative, “The Rise.”

Admittedly, our cover is much simpler.  We don’t change meter.  We don’t have marching bass drums to drive home the last chorus or two.  And we don’t have the luxury of a horn section (though we are in the market).

What we do have is four friends on a frigid weekend, huddling for warmth around a song we love.  Also, a camera.

We suggest that you watch it on vimeo for the sound quality is higher.
Link is here –> http://www.vimeo.com/9312563

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The birth of a blog.

Greetings to the wonderful world of WordPress.  It’s really an honor for them to give us this blog for free.  They really didn’t have to do that. I suppose, since their good people developed the site, they could charge anything they wanted — an arm and a leg, even.  That wouldn’t work for me at the moment because I’ve only got one fully and properly functioning leg for the time being.

Since they apparently aren’t in it for the money, I feel like I should at least give them a tip.  I try to tip people who do things for me that I can’t do myself.  And I could not have ventured into the forest, cut down a tree, and whittled it into a web-log site all on my own.  But they have.  So, tip of the cap to our host.  And a tip (I left it on the table).

I just noticed that my pronoun usage was all over the place in that previous paragraph.  The thing is that we here at The Sowing Season often function as a single, well-engineered, tech-savvy machine.  Yet somehow we maintain a certain level of individuality and autonomy.  For future reference, first person plural pronouns tend to refer to the band, and singular pronouns refer to the writer.  Also for future reference, the writer may not be the same person from post to post.  It’s entirely possible, for instance, that by the next time I write I may be a completely different person.

And that’s something that we have noticed around here.  We’re changing.  We’re growing.  And the music we make is an expression of that growth.  And now, thanks to the generosity of the WordPress folks, this blog will likely express the ways that we change and grow over time.

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