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Everyone has their favorite holiday music memories. I grew up with my parent’s collection of ‘60s holiday albums which we would stack on the turntable and play over and over from Thanksgiving to the end of the year. Famous voices, choirs, organs, pianos, and bells. Music that immediately brings back those remembrances of family reunions, decorations, and food when I listen to it now.
Since that time, few holiday recordings have affected me in the same way, except for a now out-of-print holiday themed CD by the pioneering digital label Second Hearing featuring recordings of a Regina Music Box, English handbells, choirs, organs, and pianos, and certain ones by Vince Guaraldi or Mannheim Steamroller. Those albums best represent my own family's holiday soundtrack now.
Many folks have suggested certain pieces of mine fit into a holiday vibe and I should do a collection that could be easily added to holiday music playlists. Electronic realizations of traditional holiday music are not part of my repertoire, but some of that "holiday sound" has subtly crept into the music of Sensitive Chaos and has been evident on my CDs over the years, though disguised and downplayed. However, during the holiday season, all the stops come out and I comfortably dive headlong into making modern, electronic holiday music. I keep the inspiring sounds music of the season is known for and explore new melodies and sonorities.
Remembering Chestnuts, Icy Cold, and Bells is a sampling of the best of Sensitive Chaos holiday recordings, improvised as ambient mood-setting pieces at festive gatherings, with the intent of provoking some of the same memories for you that my favorite holiday music brings to me. I hope the tunes and sounds ring true!