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[liner notes] [booklet]

lyrics & quotes

1. What Child, Nowell
2. Star of Wonder
3. A Silent Night with You
4. Candle: Coventry Carol
5. Holly, Ivy and Rose
6. Harps of Gold
7. Snow Angel
8. Jeanette, Isabella
9. Pink and Glitter
10. Emmanuel
11. Winter's Carol
12. Our New Year

Bonus Tracks

Comfort and Joy
Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
Good King Winceslas

Tori's eleventh solo album, Midwinter Graces, was released on November 10, 2009 (US) by Universal Republic.

Tori talks about Midwinter Graces

If you really think about it, there's only one way to follow up an album called Abnormally Attracted to Sin, isn't there? Abnormally Attracted to Sin was about redefining what sin is. The greatest sin is that the early church fathers defined sin in such a way that it divided women from their bodies and chained them for hundreds of years. So I chose to make a record that doesn't denigrate the feminine. On Midwinter Graces, I acknowledge the great motherly energy and the fertility story that goes back to our pagan ancestors. So, I think it's important to say to you that there's beautiful, strong feminine energy on this record that honors the birth of the sun -- that's S-U-N, as well as the birth of the son -- S-O-N, which was personified in Jesus Christ to the Christians and Adonis to the ancient Persians. I think the birth of light means different things to different people, but the whole feminine perspective embodying the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional is the core of motherly energy and it comes through on this record.

I didn't want to do an exact cover of the carols for this album, because that would have defeated the purpose. The purpose was to be part of a tradition from the 15th Century onwards, in which people created variations. So, I had to put my classical hat on, because if you're gonna approach these ancient carols and then put your own perspective into them, you really have to understand their history and go into it with confidence.

I think this album is a really beautiful piece of work. It has an orchestra, a big band, harpsichords, concert bells, tubular bells, tympanis, and concert bass drums. I think what was really freeing about this project was knowing I didn't have to structure things for the contemporary side of the music business. I didn't have to appeal to that side. But what that meant was pulling out every composing chop I ever had from when I was studying different musics in my life. I had to make sure I was creating songs that could have arrangements that could be expanded on.

Lyrically, the album embraces the idea of the rebirth of life. With that, you get nostalgic and acknowledge that there are people who aren't with you anymore. There's a song that does that on the record called "Our New Year," that I wrote. There's also a song that talks about that stuff called "Candle: Coventry Carol." I wrote my own introduction to it. It was probably originally sung at court in the 1400s. I went back to the earliest version I could find of that. It tells the story of King Herod and his order to slay the young children. You might cock your head and say "That's not very Christmas-y." And it's not to people at this time. But see, what I'm trying to say is people have been celebrating this season and telling stories of this time for thousands and thousands of years. And I'm trying to include the different types of stories that might be told. For instance, the pagan belief depicts the birth of the Oak King, and then the death of the Holly King. So, that's what's important -- that our ancestors, depending on when they were living, would celebrate midwinter with their own rituals and stories. [Innerviews - November 19, 2009]

Midwinter Graces promo email
September 2009 - Universal Republic/

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