After Winter Ends I Discover Midwinter by Jon Richards
One of the New Age albums that has been in my music rotation for the last week or so is Midwinter from Jon Richards. The album has been the soundtrack for a run As while as being played while I was reading and doing my morning yoga routine and it has been enjoyed in all those. Jon Richards is a New Age artist whose hometown is Minehead, Somerset in the United Kingdom. Time for a favorite digression of mine – finding out where towns are!! A quick googling of maps ended with this map showing the location of Minehead
And a trip to Wikipedia tells me that…..
Minehead is a coastal town and civil parish in Somerset, England. It lies on the south bank of the Bristol Channel, 21 miles (34 km) north-west of the county town of Taunton, 12 miles (19 km) from the border with the county of Devon and in proximity of the Exmoor National Park. The parish of Minehead has a population of approximately 11,981 making it the most populous town in the West Somerset local government district. This figure includes Alcombe, a suburban village which has been subsumed into Minehead.
My next question was where did the name Minehead come from…..again Wikipedia provides the answer…
The original name of the town was mynedd which means mountain in Welsh, which has also been written as Mynheafdon (1046), Maneheve (1086), Menehewed (1225) and Menedun (also 1225), which contain elements of Welsh and Old English words for hill.
In looking at the map I have to remind myself that even though the names of the towns like Cheltenham, Warminster, and Bristol are very familiar this is not a map of eastern Pennsylvania!! One last bit of information that I read about Minehead is that coming up next month is a May Day which is a time of traditional celebrations in Minehead.
At Minehead in Somerset there are three rival hobby horses, the Original Sailor’s Horse, the Traditional Sailor’s Horse and the Town Horse. They appear on May Eve (called “Show Night”), on May Day morning (when they salute the sunrise at a crossroads on the ouskirts of town), 2 May and 3 May (when a ceremony called “The Bootie” takes place in the evening at part of town called Cher) . Each horse is made of a boat-shaped wooden frame, pointed and built up at each end, which is carried on the dancer’s shoulders Read More
I think that the last time I celebrated May Day was in kindergarten and I do believe that I gave Chrissie Hoover the measles as a result of our dance around the May pole!!
But back to Midwinter and the music of Jon Richards. Richards music spans a broad range of genres his music his been compared in style of Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Deep Forest, Enigma, Alan Parsons, Medwyn Goodall, Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield. Among Jon’s early influences he lists: Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Tomita, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Rush, Barclay James Harvest and Jean-Michel Jarre.a pretty good genre-boundary crossing group, which is something that Richard’s likes to do. He says this about crossing genre boundaries….
“I like to keep things fresh, by providing subtle changes throughout the course of a piece”, he states, “it isn’t always the job of a New Age, or instrumental artist, to send people to sleep! There’s nothing in the rule book that says that we can’t be vibrant and stimulating as well.”e settings!!
So check out the varied but always beautiful Midwinter! As for me, I still have several of the albums of Jon’s to check out!!
Links to Further Exploration of the Music of Jon Richards
Here is the closing track – one of my favorite tracks from Midwinter – “Winterlight”