This is the title frame for Rambinactivist’s Video 2022_41.
“The North Wind do blow, and we shall have snow”
(click for the video with this music track)

‘The North Wind Comes...’

For me, having a day outdoors in the frost and cold is obligatory. Now the north wind is blowing, and it promises a lovely walk!
…the music was an unintended consequence.

‘Ramblinactivist’s Video’ 2022/41 Soundtrack: ‘The North Wind Comes...’

Download the soundtrack as an MP3 or an Ogg Vorbis file.

Click for keyboard instructions (or press hotkey ‘X’)

“The North Wind do blow, and we shall have snow”. That’s where it started. That old nursery rhyme, buried deep in my consciousness, began to play on a loop the day before, the moment the wind swung north and the temperature dropped. But the phrase itself has a rhythm which has always lent itself to musical illustration.

Illustration for ‘Ramblinactivist’s Video’ 2022/41: ‘The North Wind do blow, and we shall have snow’, 11th December 2022
Click here to view the walk blog

In my mind that phrase was in 5/4: That realisation was the start of the piece as it created the rhythmic frame to illustrate the experience – both the plod of my boots, and the unsteady, odd-beat of unsure feet walking on fresh snow laying on frozen ground.

When you’re out in the countryside in heavy snow there’s not a lot of noise; the snow deadens any sound carrying in the air. More importantly, all the animals with any sense are buried deep in the under-storey of the hedges, sheltering from the cold. In that deep silence with the faint hiss of the falling snow, what you are left with is the rhythm of your boots on the ground, and the beating of your heart, and the slight drum brush after-beat of the snow scattering as you walk through it.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get that rhythmic loop out of my head, and as it played in my head multiple layers developed; syncopating the feeling of the cold, frozen, silent landscape.

The piece was created in Hydrogen, using my own bespoke instrument rack made of recorded samples. The final version of the track was mixed and vocal added using Audacity.

In the end what I’ve created is a transcribed earworm, because it sums up the sensations of being out in the cold and snow so well. And, curiously, it fitted the visuals of the video so well that they are – practically and metaphorically – made for each other.

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