Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Cold Song...

Ice-covered Cow Parsley in the snow...
The snow has actually gone now, but I wanted to put the photos onto this virtual scrapbook before they disappear into the mass of pictures on my computer, and I myself get buried under work to do, or that is supposedly being done... Hmmm!


A walk in the woods was quite magical this time because the snow lay and successfully covered over the carefully laid-out tracks that make these country areas a bit too 'civilized' for me.


 The woods are devoted to the hunting of game and the recovery of timber so the terrain is criss-crossed by extensive 4x4-friendly paths. It's not unusual to see the hunters driving trucks laden-down with their trophies - very impressive, but equally very dead wild boar.

Iced Cow Parsley...
  Luckily it is possible, but rather unusual, to see the live version in the area too - though fortunately at a far distance because I would not relish a close encounter with an adult wild pig, especially one protecting its young!
Old-Man's Beard under a heavy sky - it was glowering by this time!
Anyway, this snowy day lent itself more to wilderness and rambling, rather than obediently following all these straight lines. The Old-Man's Beard had also been clothed in ice, and was almost brittle...

Bracken emerging...
Meanwhile the plants nearer ground-level, namely the bracken, were simply snow-covered.
Frosted fungus on timber...
Or seemed to be sprinkled with frost and ice, so that they seem sugar-coated...

Old-Man's Beard...
The snow and, more precisely, the freezing temperatures reminded me of a song I used to listen to years ago - The Cold Song.


It's a haunting aria from Purcell's opera, King Arthur. It may have originally been 17th century Baroque music, but when it was sung by the undefinable genius Klaus Nomi, it took on a whole new dimension whilst still honouring the solemnity of Purcell's music. The words, as you can imagine, are pretty grim, so despite their beauty, I won't transcribe them here. They're just too sad, and are even more so because Klaus Nomi died of Aids in the early 1980's... Here's another of his songs that I love...


I'll leave you to discover the wide variety of his magical sounds. He was such an original, giving a unique quality and ironic twist to the most ordinary popular songs of which he did cover versions.
Chamery
The journey back to the city takes you through the local champagne-producing communities... These looked quite pitturesque in the snow, with all the wintery vineyards tracing back to the heart of the village from the slopes of the hills.
A lacy Lantern...

Back to civilisation, there was even beauty in the strangest of places - frosted Chinese Lanterns and red berries on a building site...


Okay, couldn't resist - here's another great one... The ultra-straight French audience probably never even knew what hit them... However, he was a great success there, and it was in France that I discovered Klaus Nomi...


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