Produced, mixed, and engineered by Dale Owen
Cover artwork by Etz Rasch
Track 1 written by M. Rasch; tracks 2-5 written by D. Owen, M. Rasch, C. Ferrier, B. Winkler, D. Bluhm, L. Jordan. Recorded on Black Friday, 2015.
In Eastern Orthodox tradition: The Mass of St. Lyle over Jordan
In Europe: Feast of Meat-sticks
A holiday observed on 30 November, 1st December annually in most Western countries. In Canada, Chile, Slovakia, Latvia, Herzegovina, the Baikal region of Russia, and North Korea it is celebrated somewhere between November 28 and December 3, lending some confusion to the actual timing of the holiday.
The following is an excerpt describing the holiday, from Sir Thomas Wellington’s A Middaughmas Celebrant, published 1832:
The children all gather their down bedding on Middaughmas Eve, and their parents tuck them in outdoors in the sleigh, where they slumber together under the early winter moon. As the sun rises on the next morn, father comes out and hitches a team; the children awaken to the fleet bounding of the sleigh thru the fresh snow! It is most sensational if the horses are let to take the sleigh without a driver ! Or, as is custom in areas of high terrain, a wily patriarch may simply set the sleigh over the edge of a steep precipice and wait to hear the young ones squeal with delight as they open their eyes to find themselves hurling down the mountain, tendrils of fresh powder tantalizing their senses !
When the sleigh-bound menagerie has come to rest, the mass of exhilarated children then muster for breakfast of cookies, while warming their chilled little hands and feet around a fire of burning paper. All the paper of the previous year's household commerce… all old receipts, bank statements and insurance declarations… a celebration of abandon to loose the bonds of adult enterprise and financial record-keeping !
As the holiday goes on, young and old alike enjoy traditional snacks of holiday cakes and meat sticks. While it is customary to part ways with the morning's festive throng, and to take lunch alone, in the afternoon loved ones reconvene and are regaled with specific gifts of rarefied value, such as memory foam pillows. Young men and women say prayers of fertility, as they contemplate the ills of a frightened world where their reproductive success is threatened by war or economic ruin. Maidens of virtuous repute may feel at liberty on this day to tarry at their favourite batchelor's door, and it is then sanctioned on this day, that if he should find her suitable, he shall gladly accept her upstairs into his flat, for delicate conversation or other dalliance.
As the sun begins to decline, revelers replenish themselves once again with more cakes and meat sticks. While darkness falls, mother & father set the home aglow with the safe and convenient light of fake candles. Heirloom collections of postage are displayed. The children enjoy an enchanting parade of glow sticks as they wind their way through the dimly lit house. In some homes, mother gives haircuts, in others, families gather around a single microphone to record their memoir of the holiday, for release on a vinyl disc of 7-inch 45 rpm or similar variety. But the final treat for the children is to make drawings of the day's fun using fruit-scented markers. For this last span of the evening, father brings in the water rat, in a small wooden cage, to inspire and comfort the young ones. Such an adorable rodent !
The day closes for the adults with a luxuriant bubble bath, ceremoniously contemplated, following which is the enjoyment of jazz music emanating from the portable phonograph or hi-fi.