“In the Stillness of Winter” is a related work to Michael Neil’s 1999 album “Ikons” in that it again takes Walter Leslie Wilmshurst’s poem “Nox Nivosa” as a source of inspiration. Other inspiration came from canvases made by Michael’s partner Emily, painter of various winter scenes, one gracing the cover of this release. The track titles are actually taken from key phrases in the poem (except the title piece, which is not related), and if read in their order can act as a kind of summation of Wilmshurst’s text.
The 39-minute outcome is an ethereal, gracious affair of freeform textural beds and gentle piano (the piano here represents a snowflake, a metaphor for the soul) forming a soft glistening, gentle spiraling and warm-emotive aural canvas before the listener’s ear. Moreover it is lightness and tranquility filling the space gradually to introspective effect, culminating to shivering effect on “Melt to tears upon my face”.
All in all, this is nicely crafted stuff to celebrate the intrinsic splendor and beauty of wintertime and achieve a calm state of mind simultaneously.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Michael Neil artist page