Somerset Folklore Tapes Vol.I – The Lost Village of Clicket is now available to preorder.
Deep in a Somerset valley, beneath a canopy of trees and swathed in verdant undergrowth, lie the crumbling remnants of a long-forgotten village. No road leads to it and few maps plot its location. Birds gossip over its fallen walls. Nettles rise up from its tumbledown cottages. This is The Lost Village of Clicket – a place of wild tranquillity, which fell to ruin one hundred years ago.
Enchantment hangs heavy in the air. The lonely thoroughfares seem to shimmer with the presence of the lumbermen, quarrymen and millers who once scratched out an existence here. This is a ghost-village in each sense of the word – few from the land of the living ever find their way to its comely decay.
For a short period in spring 2015 three breathing forms were to be seen stalking the hillsides – a Folklore Tapes ensemble comprising Sam McLoughlin, David Chatton Barker and Ian Humberstone. This ragtag band of sound and visual artists spent two days and nights among the empty cottages conducting a self-directed residency, which aimed to summon the guardian spirits of this solitary, beautiful place.
The seven-inch flexi-disc, sixteen-page pamphlet and nine-minute film that encompass The Lost Village of Clicket are the lasting documents of that charmed expedition. The release holds the sounds and sights of water harps voiced by the Chernet River; spectre-loops wrapped around trees and buildings, spat out from broken tape-players; nightly gyroscopic light-shows atop the old Clicket Mill; and the animal-shrieks of amplified vines.
The project audio was recorded entirely on-site at Clicket, and later edited by Sam McLoughlin. The documentary film contained on the DVD was shot and edited by Billy Bolton and Joe Wilson, who shadowed the group as they wended their way around Clicket’s ethereal avenues. The pamphlet contains a history of Clicket, as well as personal anecdotes from the artists who, for a short time, beat its bounds. Listen to an excerpt below.