Five Seasons

by Casimir Greenfield

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    ‘Five Seasons’ utilises archive recordings from my sessions collected over the past four decades. Treated piano, cello, violin, saxophone, harmonicas, guitars and voices, have been blended together to reflect the seasons and the elements in a series of cinematic sound collages.

    Each of the elements of the ‘Five Seasons’ suite are derived from my songs and compositions recorded in conventional fashion, deconstructed and reassembled as you hear. I felt the desire to create an assemblage of works unencumbered with words, a series of sound-scapes to allow the listener to create their own imagery. 


    Each season is associated with the elements: Spring with Wood, Summer with Fire, Late Summer with Earth, Autumn with Water, Winter with Metal. 
When in harmony the elements support each other in a creation cycle: Water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal, and metal produces water through condensation. But when the elements are out of balance, they have the capacity to damage each other. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes fire, wood separates earth, metal chops wood, fire melts metal, and earth absorbs water. 

And holding this all together is Cosmic Glue.
    

‘Five Seasons’ utilises archive recordings from my sessions collected over the past four decades. Treated piano, cello, violin, saxophone, harmonicas, field recordings, guitars and voices have been blended together to reflect the seasons and the elements in a series of cinematic sound collages.


    The results are a departure from my song-writing, but since owning my first reel to reel in the late 1950s, I have been obsessed with the power of sound to convey images often more vivid and engaging than image itself. I grew up in an age of radio, where the simplest audio device could convey the razing of a city to the ground by fiery inferno, or the other-worldly sounds of life on the edges of our universe. To create these works has been a liberating experience and one, I hope the listener will enjoy.
    




Within these twelve pieces I look for equilibrium, balance. 
Often I create dissonance, chaos.
    Firstly, the five seasons are broken down into six parts, followed by ‘Cosmic Glue’, the Great Universal that binds everything together. 
To veer from the confines of the accepted ‘four’ seasons I have delved into folklore where these five seasons link organically with five elements that create the circle of life. 


    SPRING – WOOD: Spring is by no means a benign season. There is turbulence at work beneath the soil, violence in the rising sap of the new shoots and the tight wound leaves. 
Spring is the time for us to reach outward, develop deeper roots and remain flexible in the wind. Spring is the season of ferocious activity, of re-birth, of new beginnings. 


    SUMMER – FIRE: Summer, 

Fire is about warmth, transformation and dynamic, sparkling movement. Summer brings fire through the heat of the sun, long days and energized bodies. “In the five elements cycle, the fire phase describes a stage of peak power,” writes Gail Reichstein in Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life (Kodansha, 1998). “Fire, then, is about peaking – reaching a maximal stage of activity.”
    
LATE SUMMER – EARTH: 

Earth is unique among the five elements in that it corresponds to two unusual time periods. First, it’s related to the short season called “Indian summer,” those last warm, light-filled days in September or October, just before the cool weather sets in. Second, earth is linked to times of change throughout the year: those few weeks between seasons in which autumn changes to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer. 
Earth is a stabilizing force during these times of transition. After all the activity of spring and summer, nature’s time to grow and bloom, earth can help us get centered and balanced in late summer as we organize ourselves for the autumn harvest and begin to prepare ourselves for winter, the season of rest. 

    AUTUMN – METAL: 

Autumn brings the harvest of crops, shorter days and preparation for winter. The metal element, from rough ore to sparkling gemstones, symbolizes the process of refinement and its resulting products. In this season, it’s time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated. 
The Chinese do not include the element of air in the five-element system as Western systems do. But metal has similar associations. Both air and metal energies concern mental and spiritual activities, including the workings of the mind, the intellect and communication. The inability to be open to new ideas or the rigid holding on to old thoughts and useful information could both point to an imbalance in metal.”
    
WINTER – WATER: 

Winter, the cold and dark season, is a time of inward reflection, rest and restoration. It is associated with water, the element of pooling, tranquility and flow. In the body, the water element is connected with circulation of the blood, perspiration, tears, the bladder and, most significantly, the kidney. 
Winter may be a time to conserve energy, but that does not mean inertia. Like the element of water that moves downhill, we can learn to find the path of least resistance and to practice fluid movement. Winter is associated with introspection and receptivity.
    When in harmony the elements support each other in a creation cycle: Water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal, and metal produces water through condensation. But when the elements are out of balance, they have the capacity to damage each other. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes fire, wood separates earth, metal chops wood, fire melts metal, and earth absorbs water.
    Casimir Greenfield 2015
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about

‘Five Seasons’ utilises archive recordings from my sessions collected over the past four decades. Treated piano, cello, violin, saxophone, harmonicas, guitars and voices, have been blended together to reflect the seasons and the elements in a series of cinematic sound collages.


Each of the elements of the ‘Five Seasons’ suite are derived from my songs and compositions recorded in conventional fashion, deconstructed and reassembled as you hear. I felt the desire to create an assemblage of works unencumbered with words, a series of sound-scapes to allow the listener to create their own imagery. 



Each season is associated with the elements: Spring with Wood, Summer with Fire, Late Summer with Earth, Autumn with Water, Winter with Metal. 
When in harmony the elements support each other in a creation cycle: Water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal, and metal produces water through condensation. But when the elements are out of balance, they have the capacity to damage each other. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes fire, wood separates earth, metal chops wood, fire melts metal, and earth absorbs water. 

And holding this all together is Cosmic Glue.



‘Five Seasons’ utilises archive recordings from my sessions collected over the past four decades. Treated piano, cello, violin, saxophone, harmonicas, field recordings, guitars and voices have been blended together to reflect the seasons and the elements in a series of cinematic sound collages.



The results are a departure from my song-writing, but since owning my first reel to reel in the late 1950s, I have been obsessed with the power of sound to convey images often more vivid and engaging than image itself. I grew up in an age of radio, where the simplest audio device could convey the razing of a city to the ground by fiery inferno, or the other-worldly sounds of life on the edges of our universe. To create these works has been a liberating experience and one, I hope the listener will enjoy.






Within these twelve pieces I look for equilibrium, balance. 
Often I create dissonance, chaos.

Firstly, the five seasons are broken down into six parts, followed by ‘Cosmic Glue’, the Great Universal that binds everything together. 
To veer from the confines of the accepted ‘four’ seasons I have delved into folklore where these five seasons link organically with five elements that create the circle of life. 



SPRING – WOOD: Spring is by no means a benign season. There is turbulence at work beneath the soil, violence in the rising sap of the new shoots and the tight wound leaves. 
Spring is the time for us to reach outward, develop deeper roots and remain flexible in the wind. Spring is the season of ferocious activity, of re-birth, of new beginnings. 




SUMMER – FIRE: Summer, 

Fire is about warmth, transformation and dynamic, sparkling movement. Summer brings fire through the heat of the sun, long days and energized bodies. “In the five elements cycle, the fire phase describes a stage of peak power,” writes Gail Reichstein in Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life (Kodansha, 1998). “Fire, then, is about peaking – reaching a maximal stage of activity.”


LATE SUMMER – EARTH: 

Earth is unique among the five elements in that it corresponds to two unusual time periods. First, it’s related to the short season called “Indian summer,” those last warm, light-filled days in September or October, just before the cool weather sets in. Second, earth is linked to times of change throughout the year: those few weeks between seasons in which autumn changes to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer. 
Earth is a stabilizing force during these times of transition. After all the activity of spring and summer, nature’s time to grow and bloom, earth can help us get centered and balanced in late summer as we organize ourselves for the autumn harvest and begin to prepare ourselves for winter, the season of rest. 


AUTUMN – METAL: 

Autumn brings the harvest of crops, shorter days and preparation for winter. The metal element, from rough ore to sparkling gemstones, symbolizes the process of refinement and its resulting products. In this season, it’s time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated. 
The Chinese do not include the element of air in the five-element system as Western systems do. But metal has similar associations. Both air and metal energies concern mental and spiritual activities, including the workings of the mind, the intellect and communication. The inability to be open to new ideas or the rigid holding on to old thoughts and useful information could both point to an imbalance in metal.”


WINTER – WATER: 

Winter, the cold and dark season, is a time of inward reflection, rest and restoration. It is associated with water, the element of pooling, tranquility and flow. In the body, the water element is connected with circulation of the blood, perspiration, tears, the bladder and, most significantly, the kidney. 
Winter may be a time to conserve energy, but that does not mean inertia. Like the element of water that moves downhill, we can learn to find the path of least resistance and to practice fluid movement. Winter is associated with introspection and receptivity.

When in harmony the elements support each other in a creation cycle: Water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal, and metal produces water through condensation. But when the elements are out of balance, they have the capacity to damage each other. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes fire, wood separates earth, metal chops wood, fire melts metal, and earth absorbs water.
Casimir Greenfield 2015

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released July 9, 2015

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Casimir Greenfield Stroud, UK

Casimir Greenfield is an author, musician and broadcaster.


A well-known figure on the Dutch music scene in the 70s and 80s, Cas worked with artists as diverse as B.B. KIng, Yes, Sparks, Sonja Kristina, Kayak, Leonie Janssen, Frans Ehlhart, Herman Van Veen, Boudewijn de Groot and many others. Cas has remained fresh and involved with current music. ... more

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