This week we’ll explore the third track from my 1990 demo, a song that also appears alongside “Memories of Summer” on Images of Autumn. Daylight hours growing shorter, skies dominated with turbulent shades of grey…these are just a few of the signs that the icy winds of winter will soon be sweeping across the land.
Year Composed: 1990
About the Song
This song originally appeared on 1988’s Images of Autumn and also served as the third track for my three song demo in 1988. I went into writing this one fully expecting there to be some kind of drum track or percussive elements, but quickly realized that they weren’t necessary. The acoustic guitar and bells provide enough rhythmic support to keep things moving along, and the bass adds a nice burst of energy during the verses, transitioning to a sustained, foundational role during the refrains. I did experiment (albeit very briefly) with adding some percussion, but found that it actually detracted from the decidedly icy temperament of the song.
This track is a great example of the moodier side of Images. I think that writing and recording during September and October of that year helped immensely when it came to really honing in on the character of the season. It’s a strange thing to work on seasonally-oriented music well before or after that season, but it’s often a necessity in order to have it ready to promote and release on schedule. Midnight Syndicate‘s Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering was completed during the summer of 2015, for example, so that we could release it in early September: well before the holiday buying season began in earnest. Laying down tracks for an album of holiday music when the temperature outside is in the 80s, the delightful aroma of freshly mown grass can be enjoyed on a weekly basis, and a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea is far more likely to be on one’s list of desired beverages than a cup of hot cocoa or egg nog, is, to say the least, entirely surreal. My point here is that I think it’s much easier – and more creatively empowering – to attune oneself to a particular place or time of year directly, rather than indirectly. Had I been writing songs like “Chill Winds” in the heart of spring, or in the balmy days of summer, I’m inclined to think that the result wouldn’t have been anywhere near as effective.