Strings, Piano, Woodwind, and Brass.


·  Winter's Beauty  ·


A day can seem a season in itself.

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I live in a climate of change.

Depending on the dynamics of temperature and pressure, water can exist below its normal freezing point. Depending on the dynamics and pressures of my life, I can persist without the normal comforts I enjoy.

When the air is full with water vapour, and the temperature changes rapidly, the air becomes supersaturated and exceeds 100% humidity. If the temperature falls, liquid dew begins to form on plants close to the ground. Below zero centigrade, this dew can become supercooled like the water vapour in high cloud. By minus 5°C it turns to ice and is known as white frost. This can coincide as particles of fine mist come into contact with the tips of exposed surfaces and forms ice crystals known as hoarfrost. If there is a large volume of water vapour in the air and the conditions are favourable, a thick layer of hoarfrost will cover every surface of the landscape, natural and otherwise, as if a thin and even delicate layer of powdery white snow has fallen.

Where I live I am fortunate if I see hoarfrost once each year. As the air clears by morning and the early sun rises, the pale blue northern sky blooms radiant against a jewelled white landscape. Often, after only a few hours as the temperature rises just a little, this extraordinary natural spectacle passes. For the landscape where I live it is not only its beauty, but rarity that ensures the intensity of my experience of hoarfrost.

The music Hoarfrost begins gently with bowed strings and a solo piano. The tune has a calm and proud folk-like centre which returns after daybreak, signified by strings rising in pitch and intensity. Here the experience is at its most beautiful. The piece ends with a single high, piercing note, as if the last ice crystal turns to water once again.

The art Hoarfrost shows thin trunks of silver birch reaching high into a white canopy. Muted reds and blues speak of the subtle forces of warmth and cold that act upon the day. It is as the spirit of hoarfrost when all is changed by the white of its touch.

An extract from the full size artwork follows.