Plinth is one of the many aliases of Dorset-based composer Michael Tanner who treated many of you to an exclusive Winter Solstice Mix here on Folk Radio UK last month (listen again here). This week on 25th January he is releasing Wintersongs as a very limited edition, mastered and pressed to vinyl for the first time. This is real gem of a release which comes with linocut, hand-printed artwork by Sarah Tanat-Jones some of which are featured in this article. It is also available as a download which includes the previously unreleased track “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
there is real beauty here, and an instinctive facility with composition and tonality – Ptolemaic Terrascope
Although winter themed, this is not bleak music, instead it evokes hibernation and the sleep before renewal – Harvest Home
‘Wintersongs’ is a tremendous reissue reissue, deserving to be reissued again – Animal Psi
According to Jeanette Leech’s Seasons They Change: The Story Of Acid And Psychedelic Folk Wintersongs was the first thing that Michael did when he was just 18…“It was a soundtrack to The Children Of Green Knowe. It got me laughed at by all my friends, who were into grunge bands.” ¹
The following extract is from the accompanying liner notes:
wintersongs has been around now in one form or another since 1998. the idea came about after a chance re-reading of lucy boston’s yuletide classic ‘children of green knowe’ – steven and myself set out to soundtrack the book, but only made it as far as ‘ anniversary waltz’, before deciding to embrace the winter theme as a whole.
we had only a very rudimentary knowledge of instruments, the evidence of which can be heard on the first skeletal recordings. this inexperience forced us on a different path to add meat to the bones…the instruments were downed and we focused more on sound manipulation, particularly those that were metallic or sonorous…before long the callouses on our fingers had eased and we were at home among flashing lights.
these were our first attempts at making a record. and although i say it through squinted eyes, the naivety which used to make me run for cover is now kind of endearing.
Released initially as a handmade cassette in 1999, two sold out CDrs on Dorset Paeans in 2001 and an expanded CDr on rusted rail in 2006 (also sold out).
 Leech, Jeanette (2010-11-01). Seasons They Change: The Story Of Acid And Psychedelic Folk. Jawbone Press.