According to Celtic harpist and singer AINE MINOGUE, in pagan and Celtic history, a carol was originally a dance or song of praise and joy to honor the changing of any season. In time, carols came to be used only in winter. Beginning as vernacular songs in common languages, it took centuries for them to be sung in church and associated with the end of the year holy days.
Winter festivals celebrating the rebirth of the sun occurred in many historic cultures after preparations for the winter months were complete. In the north, these came around the time of the winter solstice — the shortest day of the year and the turning point in the sun's cycle — and symbolized the victory of light over the forces of darkness. The stones of ancient monuments like Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland were aligned with the sunrise or sunset on the solstices.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we celebrate the seasonal festivals of light, with a program of winter carols and ambient hymns called RADIANCE. Music is by JOHN DOAN, PETER KATER, AINE MINOGUE, TIM STORY, LUDOVICO EINAUDI, SILVER, WOOD & IVORY, ANGELE DUBEAU, BRUNO SANFILIPPO, RAY CARL DAYE, DARSHAN AMBIENT, BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD, and SIGUR ROS.