Caught by the River


18th October 2015

A selection of bits and bobs which have piqued our interest of late…

Wet, yellow elm leaves stick to a smooth, fallen elm tree in Dumfriesshire. (November, 2011) © Andy Goldsworthy/Abrams

Following the release of a new book of his works, artist Andy Goldsworthy is interviewed on NPR Books. Working with transient elements such as ice, snow, mud, wind and the rising tide, Goldsworthy says: “It’s not about art. It’s just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last.”

A favourite track from a record of sheer magic. Another musical highlight this month was watching John Grant play at the Brooklyn branch of Rough Trade with Budgie on drums. BUDGIE! Punk hero, still cool as. Top gig all round and The Queen of Denmark still packs a punch.

On the Guardian website, Nick Davies warns of Britain’s impending water crisis, already evident in and around the River Ouse: “We looked over its side in search of the babbling, bubbling stream, which for centuries has come to life here in the woods, and found ourselves peering down through the overhanging saplings at a stagnant puddle. There was no babble nor bubble. It just sat there like a sulky brat curled up in the shadow, sullen and dark and still. The only sign of life was a few tadpoles flicking around just beneath its oily surface. The stream had stopped running.”

Brian Lewis of Longbarrow Press retreats to a South Yorkshire hide: “Thin paths. Flat fields. No buildings, no machinery, no cover.”

Jon Savage’s forthcoming book 1966. Genius.

Commissioned by the National Trust, Nation’s Ode to the Coast, penned by Dr. John Cooper Clarke, was released for National Poetry Day. Over 11,500 public contributions were used as inspiration for the final poem.

Recorded at the Wellcome Collection‘s Henry Wellcome Auditorium, Caught by the River favourite Chris Watson uses his own field recordings in conjunction with commercially recorded music to demonstrate connections between the sounds of the natural world and human music-making. Listen here.

Speaking of human music-making, Piers Plowright and Louis Vause examine one of the great Blues performances of all time – New Orleans pianist James Booker’s interpretation of True at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival. Listen here.

Exxon’s climate lie: This didn’t really come as any great surprise but it still made our blood boil.

Finally, if you didn’t catch it, make sure you chase up the BBC’s Ted Hughes: Stronger Than Death, exploring how Hughes’ life influenced his work and vision.