Litanies for the Furness Fells

from by Colin Riley

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    Professionally duplicated CD in gatefold card case, with exclusive 12-page booklet anthology of the new poems by all the writers of the project.

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about

Devoke Water is a small lake hidden from the view of a lonely, high road that connects two valleys between the Irish Sea and Scafell in the Lake District. In this landscape are the barely-visible remains of the ancient settlement of Barnscar. A remote place of eeriness, it is today often windswept and barren, but centuries ago would have been wooden and the home to wolves. Richard and Autumn have spent years immersed in this landscape of crags, scars, heather, bracken and bogs, experiencing deeply the processes of succession within a landscape, the ebb and flow of life, the cycles of decay and renewal, wakefulness and forgetting.

The list of place names dominates this song and it can be seen as one long, unravelling spell. The voices of the co-authors begin in a fugue and denote the duration of the sing, ending as they collide on the last place name ‘Yode Castle’. Is almost as if we are being taken on a journey of the details of everything; literally beating the bounds of this desolate and remote landscape. The song emerges from the pace names themselves, taking the ‘spoken’ into the ‘sung’. Each instrument weaves its own pathway around the voice, like the compressed layers of the ground itself, gradually opening out the vista as if reaching a mountain summit. There are implied footsteps throughout with the bass drum adding to the bass guitars pathway in the second half of the song. The idea of an English eerie has been the stimulus for many writers, and artists; ‘The skull beneath the English landscape’ as Macfarlane describes it (‘Glimpses and Tremors 2015). It seems all the more pertinent in these times of uncertainty and fear.

credits

from In Place, released May 1, 2018
Words by Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson

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Squeaky Kate Music London, UK

Squeaky Kate Music was set up in 2006 to record and promote the music of composer Colin Riley and associated groups. The label relaunches in 2015 with a release by sound artist Phil Maguire.

For more information about Colin Riley visit: www.colinriley.co.uk
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