To best describe the characteristics of winter beauty I use the Japanese word edaburi, which translated as near as may be, means the formative arrangement of bare branches on a tree in winter.
And there are many songs I think of as winter songs. These songs tend to be sparse, minimal and a more about space than mass, just like the tree in winter as opposed to the tree in late spring.
Winter comes as close to nothingness, to the void, as we can get. So then, it’s also the time of year I read Beckett. It helps to think of winter music in terms of Beckett’s style, or maybe International Modernist architecture. All the excess is cut away, and only the essential meaning is left.
Some choice winter tracks are after the jump.
In Samuel Beckett related news, there is an upcoming production of Krapp’s Last Tape at JHU starting February 16, and running for five performances.