HARP MUSIC FOR A LATE-AUTUMN MONDAY

The winter solstice creeps nearer each day.

An autumn sunset (Flickr/Josh Libatique)

Winter has not yet descended upon Northern California, but the wind bit at my cheeks as I walked along the ocean yesterday. I’m starting to dress in double layers and crave comfort foods like vegetable stew and fruit sauces flavored with allspice.

Acoustic string music kindles my late fall and wintertime memories of listening to folk music records, and watching the sun set through the bare branches of trees in the backyard.

“Up High in the Clouds,” a song from harpist Diana Rowan’s album the Bright Knowledge has always sounded both watery and wintery to me. On her website, Diana explains that this Romanian tune does have winter roots:

“[The song contains] variations on a holiday folk melody I found in the UC Berkeley music library, hidden away in a dusty book that hadn’t been opened in years. I was drawn to the melody’s combination of sweetness, strength and offbeat phrase lengths, much as I’m drawn to people.”

“Up High in the Clouds,” Diana Rowan

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