Since so many of us find ourselves buried beneath the season's first big blizzard today, I thought I would share my winter inspirations a little ahead of the solstice. This season's solstice playlist is called "Winterreise" or "Winter Journey," after Schubert's song cycle for piano and voice of the same name. You won't find any festive holiday tunes here- For personal reasons, "the holidays" have always been a very painful time for me, so I celebrate the changing of the seasons and the beauty of nature instead. The playlist evokes the starkness of the winter landscape, the quiet of snowfall, and Persephone's journey to the underworld, with lots of heavy nods to winter memories of mine: Cozy snow days spent curled up in bed watching Legend, getting to know the discographies of Kate Bush and Tori Amos during treks to my winter internships when I was at college, childhood winters watching The Snowman and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, grasping onto Bowie's Berlin trilogy for dear life the winter he left us, and one particularly dour January when Mark Lanegan kept my heart safe from the cold. Lots from film and TV this time, but you're only getting ONE song from Edward Scissorhands: Somber though these songs may be, I'm not actually trying to make anyone cry!
The Secret Garden, 1993.
The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan, 1984.
Søndermarken Park in Winter, Vilhelm Hammershøi, 1896.
A page from the Huld Manuscript of ancient Icelandic magick, compiled in 1847.
My winter fashion concept is Sansa, when she returned to Winterfell with her shit together.
The December page from Calendrier Magique, created by Austin de Croze with illustrations by Manuel Orazi, 1895.
Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton's last good movie, 1999.
Barbara Kellerman as Jadis, The White Witch, in the BBC's 1988 production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's hokey as hell, but I adored it when I was growing up.
Silence, Henri Martin, 1894-7.
Persephone, Kate MacDowell, 2008.
Orlando, Sally Potter, 1992.
Legend, Ridley Scott, 1985.
Antique-style sign by Heidi Howard.
Winter fashion concept part deux: Orlando, Sally Potter, 1992.
From Trina Schart Hyman's Snow White, 1974.
Femme à l'ours, Emilio Sommariva, 1920–1929.
Winter Landscape by Caspar David Friedrich, c. 1881.
Ancestral Flow by Miles Van Rensselaer
East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Kay Nielsen, 1922.
19th century carved ivory brooch. Black Forest motifs carved in ivory always remind me of snowy landscapes. Source unknown.
800 year old stave church in Borgun, Norway.
"Winter Wonderland" enamel brooch by René Lalique, sold for $216,000 at Christie's in 2006.