And Right Lines Limit and Close All Bodies
1. Lye not in fear
2. The soul subsisting
3. In an hydropicall body
4. Scaleby, x
5. Nitre of the earth
6. Necks was a proper figure
7. If the nearnesse of our last
8. Scaleby, xi
Notes: Bury. Obliterate. Rediscover. Telluric currents. Chthonic energy.
1. Scaleby, i
2. Scaleby, ii
3. Scaleby, iii
4. Scaleby, iv
5. Scaleby, v
6. Scaleby, vi
7. Scaleby, vii
8. Scaleby, viii
9. Scaleby, ix
Notes: Funerary landscapes of northern Britain. A Cumbrian ‘bog body’, found 1845, ‘wrapped in what appeared to be the skin of a deer’.
Pre-order the CD of And Right Lines here:
Both albums are released in April.
Sympathetic resonance: a vast stringed instrument made in honour of J.F. Glidden, tuned to esoteric frequencies. Fine thread-like fibres. A holy triad: Raven’s Crag. Fox Haw. Brock Barrow. Memorious Earth. Land-music. A poultice to remove proud flesh.
Belated Movements for an Unsanctioned Exhumation August 1st 1984
by The Inward Circles
Lindow Man, discovered August 1st 1984. The internal rot of bog bodies. Bones decalcified from within. The transgressive nature of their exhumation. An auditory petition for reinterment. Edaphology: decay and transform. The fox as psychopomp (cf. Unindex Volume One : Ferae Naturae). A descent: ‘Llwynog fyddi’n tywyswr i’r ddaear dan ddaear.’ (Fox be my guide to the earth beneath earth). An urgent summoning call to the bones of wolf, lynx and bear. Reclaim the archipelago with great violence.
Once a place becomes part of one’s inner landscape, the imagination – knowing no bounds or decorum – stitches it into its own patchwork of memory, dreams and reveries. It is subsumed into a greater fiction, and roads or trackways to other places, real or imagined, appear. Nimrod is an accretion of these imaginal processes – an auditory, textual and visual entanglement of the real and unreal, a blending of document and invention.
The excerpted texts that make up the accompanying book come from a range of sources, united by a hyper-sensitivity to nature itself; a desire to understand and come to terms with its ‘hidden state’. They are figures in the landscape, some of whom construct elaborate systems of classification and natural philosophy, others who seem wounded by their very affinities, and others still who seem lost, or are institutionalised. The tone of the work as a whole – which finds its analogue in the music – is aptly evoked in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poignant phrase:
‘nature in all her parcels and faculties gaped and fell apart’.
There is a sense of things on the verge of collapse, of despair and regret.The combination of music, text and image in Nimrod offer such a glimpse, that it can paint the picture of a wood through which slanting light dimly traces other forms.
NB: My thanks go to Julian Hyde, and Rob & Barbara at Fireside Books.
Here’s a brief document of the performance in Suffolk on the 21st of March. Many thanks to the Elysian Quartet, Paul Smith, and everyone at Aldeburgh Music for making it such a memorable event.
I wrote recently about the tidal surges on the Suffolk coast. The charcoal drawings that I made whilst on residency at Snape in retrospect seem to describe the same river-like form undergoing a series of contortions.
Over this week, the Elysian Quartet and I have used them as a series of score cards to guide an improvisation.
After my initial visit to Snape Maltings, Suffolk, I began, over the winter, to work on a number of ideas that could be realised in a musical performance. The first of these, ‘EA’ is a continuation of the riverine themes of ‘From Which the River Rises’ and ‘Limnology’, taking its inspiration – not from the narrow, quick rills and becks of upland Cumbria, but from Suffolk’s Alde, as it widens and slows in its estuarine stage, before unloading its burden into the sea.
As an attentiveness to local flora and fauna has become central to my work over the past few years, I also pursued this path again, making a list of species informed by my wanderings along the Alde, and books consulted thereafter, including W.M. Hind’s ‘The Flora of Suffolk’, which mentions plants growing at Snape, albeit from over a century ago.
Based on my memory of a supremely flat landscape, and one therefore in which the sky and earth seemed held in perfect balance, I narrowed the list to airborne species (ie: birds) and to rooted or rhizomatous species (ie: plants), and from these, chose five of each to work with. I then compiled a list of local and folk-names for each species, producing a text ‘score’ which can be realised simply by being read.
In order to realise this piece musically, I created a number of phrases printed on cards, to be interpreted by a group of players:
Over the past few days, the Elysian Quartet have been working with the score, creating a new piece from which the following is a brief sample: