“I am walking through the woods at dusk, as the light of day edges closer to descent.”
What began as a walk in the woods at dusk in the hills in Berkeley, California, became a musical exploration of darkness. The reverence I experienced in the woods, as twilight turned to night, guided the inception of the full-length album, I’ll Show You the Night, scheduled for release in the winter of 2023.
“As I walk this familiar trail, a blush of shadow. Twilight fades in.”
The music was written using open guitar tunings, searching out dusky timbres and low-light musical explorations in the vein of Buffy Sainte-Marie and Joni Mitchell “chords of inquiry.”
“I am walking with eyes nearly closed, footfalls finding trust. I realize the weariness of sight. The screens and the harsh artificial light worry my brow, burdening my eyes to compass my days.”
After reading The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light (2013) by Paul Bogard, stories took shape. I felt inspired by the call within the pages of this book for the protection of darkness as a cherished resource– for the health of our circadian rhythms, for the long journeys of birds, and for our sense of belonging to the turnings of night and day.
“As other senses become keen, I am walking through a plurality of wonder – scent of gray willow, presence of tree body, touch of soft leaf. As the breath of night air settles, I am utterly consoled by the scent of cool damp earth, my nose dowsing the direction of water. The appearance of darkness is complete, and I am alive in it.”
Brightdarkdawn is a project of songwriter/composer Anne Carol Mitchell, a queer woman living in Sebastopol, California, cultivating food and community with her partner and ornery orange tuxedo tabby.
With intricate guitar and nature-based lyrics, the music of Brightdarkdawn brings listeners more beautifully into stories of the Earth’s deep time. The music illuminates the storied existence of the natural world in all its beauty, vulnerability, strength, and ferocity. The guitar work is reminiscent of folk traditions using sounds and stylings in the vein of Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Radiant arrangements of strings and ambient electronics surround the songs, with poignant vocals at the center. The lyricism of the music is in constant dialogue with nature as a call to reconnect, during a time when caring for the planet is more important than ever.