Spring is here! With a new season coming I felt the desire; the urge to create a new concept for a new video. This time around the start of it all, the small hint for a new idea, sprouted from a sound which came to me while riding my bike one day. Which surprised me immensely. Sounds, music, songs were never really my starting point. I love music but I never felt the desire to make music myself. Maybe that slowly started to shift this past winter when I decided I wanted to make my own and learn how to play the ‘midwinterhorn’. This instrument is a traditional, wooden wind instrument and is played only around the winter solstice. I think my longing to get to know this instrument is what started it all.
In the book ‘Wijze vrouwen en godinnen’ (Wise women and goddesses) by Aat van Gilst (which I have also mentioned in my previous video called ‘WINTRY SHADES OF GREEN’) I read about natural water sources, wells, ponds and swamps and their folk belief. They were looked at as the channels/portals connected with the other world where babies come from. This really caught my attention. Part of it, I think, is because this Low Land where I live upon is so greatly shaped by water. Through this land run so many rivers, I mean this Low Land is dominated by water. It gave me a new perspective to how I can also look at all these bodies of water surrounding me. To look at them as birthing places where a new ‘anything’ can be birthed from. A birthing place for new ideas, inspiration, creations…
I think the most obvious, for me, was to look at river the IJssel first. This river runs along my hometown and is approx. 5 to 10 minutes away by foot from where I now live. As I was learning more about its history I learned that river the Berkel, which flows into the IJssel, is older than river the IJssel. Which surprised me. I just kind of always assumed it was the other way around due to their difference in size. River the Berkel ‘starts’ in Germany and makes its way into the Netherlands and flows into the IJssel near Zutphen. (Before railways the Berkel was an important shipping route for goods.) So the body of water in this short, three part series is river the Berkel.
So I had this sound stuck in my mind but I was not really sure yet what else I wanted to bring into my Spring video. As I was researching Spring and its symbolism, I stumbled across the oldest name for Spring in Dutch. In Old Dutch March was called ‘lentinmanoth’ which means Spring month. (In Dutch Spring = Lente and month = maand.) The name lentinmanoth dates back to around 1050 AD.
Funny enough these three videos were meant to be just one. My intention was to write one song/poem but while editing it just simply was not working. They kept jumping at me as three different love letters and/or odes to Spring and the Dutch water landscape and one of the most dominate lessons I am learning from these rivers is to follow the flow of whatever arises. So that is what I did.
If you feel called to I would love to invite you to watch the first video down below. The song is sung in Dutch but there are English subtitles available. I hope that these videos can show you the beauty of the direct nature around you. Either of this Low Land or any other place you may be. There continues to be so much beauty, so much wisdom and I feel especially in this crazy time right now that can provide us with some comfort, with some relief, with some joy.
I want to end this by thanking my sister for being so willing to give music to my words, for agreeing to sing my words. And to Tom who somehow always understands my musical vision of what I have in mind. Thank you both for the music and for helping me shoot my videos. And last but definitely not least a huge thank you to Anaís for shooting the drone scenes, they truly bring my videos to life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.