Growing up in Iowa made me extremely thankful for the promise of Spring. While we waited for a hint of green grass, my family hunkered down on winter break afternoons in down vests and heavy sweaters to stay warm in the house. My dad made every effort to keep the heating bill to a minimum by setting the thermometer to a balmy (?) 65 degrees.
Since the wind chill usually made it too cold to go anywhere, Mom would set out a 1,000-piece puzzle on a card table. After mixing some hot cocoa and marshmallows (of course!), we’d slowly sort and fit the pieces. There was never a rush to complete it as we enjoyed the company and the Vivaldi album blasting from the console.
I can’t recall the first time I heard the Winter movements but I’ve always felt they carry an energetic resolve to power through the bleak, gray sky, icy floor and frigid landscape of the season. The melody of the second movement —Largo—offers a glimmer of hope with its enchanting beauty. I immediately thought of this short movement when I saw my mom’s photos of frost she captured on her winter windows. The beauty that the unforgiving combination of cold and moisture can bring to a window pane is breath-taking. With a contemporary twist, my setting weaves the warmth of the hot cocoa and the puzzle table with snippets of cold winter winds on the other side of the frosted window pane.
A good portion of my inspiration to create is thanks to my mother, Joanne Alberda. She was a dynamic professor of art and art education for over 30 years at Dordt College in my home town of Sioux Center, Iowa. Since her retirement, she continues to explore her favorite mediums: textiles and photography. Before she secured her college position, she was a pianist, an organist, a 5th grade classroom teacher and a piano teacher. I did not fall far from the tree!
Borrowing from her vast collection of work for the “cover” of this digital download seems logical and suits my style. In my setting and in her photo you’ll see and hear that we both like to experiment with colors, magnify the wonders of nature, and discover an unexpected angle. Follow this link if you can’t see the video below of my performance.
Speaking of borrowing, you’ll notice that Vivaldi is quoted throughout this piano solo.
Mom says this:
“It’s not true that we are better if we are totally original. Standing on the shoulders of great artists is totally valid. They did the same thing! -Joanne Alberda
Winter Window Frost is on sale and available for purchase with a single user or studio license. Get your copy by clicking on the frosted window below.
Have you listened to Infant Holy, Infant Lowly? It’ a markedly different arrangement of this sacred lullaby for flute and piano that could work for violin as well. It’s on sale, too! While your there, check out my growing library of sheet music.
Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours in 2017!