Autumn Lake

'Autumn Lake' is a 1976 instrumental song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song 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's 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 actually mixed at Trident Studios in London, shortly after Page's return to London, following singer Robert Plant's motor vehicle accident on the island of Rhodes and enforced lay-off. Page has had an interest in the hurdy-gurdy for a while, but has admitted in interviews he was not as proficient in its playing as he should be. It is an instrument which works by cranking a wheel against a set of strings. It has a keybox for playing specific notes as it is cranked, and there are also a smaller set of 'drone strings' for playing a droned pitch, much like the drone background notes of a bagpipe.

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 Led Zeppelin or Jimmy Page. When Page and Plant revived Led Zeppelin songs for their 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 tour.

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – hurdy-gurdy, producer, remastering

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer
  • Eddie Kramer - engineer, mixing

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