Autumn Lake

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Autumn Lake
Published by Flames of Albion Music
Registration ASCAP 498094765
Release date 20 October 1976
Recorded October 1973 at
Plumpton Manor, East Sussex, England.
Mixed at Trident Studios, London, in August 1975.
Genre Folk
Language English
Length 4 minutes 55 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page
Label Swan Song Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Eddie Kramer

'Autumn Lake' is a 1976 instrumental song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The title was composed by Jimmy Page, and recorded on location at Plumpton Manor, East Sussex, in October 1973, and mixed at Trident Studios, London, England in August 1975. It appeared as a track in Led Zeppelin motion picture The Song Remains the Same, released on 20 October 1976. 'Autumn Lake' is a hurdy-gurdy driven short instrumental written and performed by guitarist Jimmy Page, on the lawns of Plumpton Manor, in the opening rural scenes of the film dubbed 'country life'.

Overview

'Autumn Lake' was originally an improvised solo, never intended to be a complete musical recording. The only known version is on the theatrical release of the film, and was performed and recorded at Page's residence, by a lake next to his 18th century manor at Plumpton, East Sussex. The song itself was mixed at Trident Studios in London shortly after Page's return to London, following singer Robert Plant's motor vehicle accident on the Greek island of Rhodes and enforced lay-off in late 1975. Page had an interest in the hurdy-gurdy for many years, but has admitted in later interviews he was not as proficient in its playing as he should be.[1] The hurdy-gurdy is a musical instrument which works by manually cranking a rosined wheel against a combination of strings. It possesses a keybox for striking specific tuned notes on a series of melody strings ('chanter strings') as it is cranked, and there are also a smaller set of 'drone strings' for creating a constant pitch, similar to the droning sound of a bagpipe.[2]

While appearing in the motion picture, the song is absent from the double soundtrack album of the film, The Song Remains the Same.

Live performances

'Autumn Lake' was never performed live by either Led Zeppelin or Jimmy Page. When Page and Plant revived Led Zeppelin songs for their 1994 MTV UnLedded project, and although 'Autumn Lake' was never performed, a hurdy-gurdy player Nigel Eaton was recruited to add the instrument to the duos version of 'Gallows Pole', and his own solo spot on the subsequent tour.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – hurdy-gurdy, producer, remastering
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Eddie Kramer – engineer, mixing

References

  1. Snow, Mat (December 2007). "The Secret Life of a Superstar". Mojo (169): 81. Retrieved on 8 December 2013.
  2. Ling, Jan (1997). “The Hurdy-Gurdy”, A History of European Folk Music. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 148. ISBN 9781878822772. OCLC 470064111.