I love the idea of seasonality. Although everything is changing, everything is also cyclical. Like an evolving 365-bar loop, the year repeats itself and is both the same and different each time.
It’s easy to ignore the seasons. During the summer we have air conditioning, during the winter we have heat. For a long time I was all but oblivious to the constant subtle changes of nature; sheltered by our technology, I thought I was completely separate from nature.
Through fishing, foraging, and my short stint as a hunter, I have tried to be more in tune with what happens outside the indoors. I know delicious ramps are only good for a fleeting moment in the early spring. I know there is only a short time in the summer when wild raspberries are at their peak. I know you’ve got to pick black cherries quickly before the birds and other critters pick the trees clean.
I enjoy the change of the seasons and try to do things seasonally. More than a hipster back-to-nature mantra, I want to be seasonal the same way squirrels and wild roses are seasonal. Do the appropriate thing for the appropriate time; Gorge on berries in the summer, store acorns in the fall, eat them in the winter. Bloom in spring, wilt in fall.
There is a certain harmony in following the seasons, pun intended.
Winter has become my Music Season. Of course there are still outdoor activities like snowshoeing and ice fishing (hopefully this season I’ll finally experience this) but admittedly it’s much more comfortable to be indoors.
Plus, that’s where my instruments are.
I’ve been making music. A lot of it. During the month of December music poured out of me, partially due to the turmoil of a sick dog, and partially due to the lack of other activities. Tough to go fishing when it’s 20°F out. (Listen to the “December” album here.)
I traded the woods for my basement, hiking boots for synthesizers, foraging for sound design. Vistas of trees and birds for computer screens and flashing electronic instruments.
During the warmer months I find my own food and interact with nature. During the cooler months I create my own sounds and record.
Sure, I still connect with nature. How can I not: It is always right there, just outside the door.
But much of my free time is spent in the studio, putting up sounds like canned tomatoes. Sustenance for later. I’m inspired by the harmonious chaos of nature. That may not come through my music, but it is there.
I love variety; I love new things. I can’t focus on any one activity for very long before moving onto the next. I figure while I have the irrepressible urge to make music, I’ll do that. When I grow tired of that, I’ll ferment something new. Once the world thaws, I’ll be back out there in the rivers and creeks, meadows and woods, doing what each season offers.