Darren Hayman is back, with a second volume of songs resulting from his Thankful Villages project. The thirteenth village is Nether Kellet, Lancashire.
I saw Rob St. John do a talk on underwater sound recording and his beautiful album Surface Tension.
I invited him to come with me to Nether Kellet in Lancashire. The rain was pouring down. We meet at the edge of the large green triangle in the village’s centre. A peace stone in the middle of the green marks the end of the Second World War.
Rob records with binaural microphones. They sit in his ears. As he records he looks like he is concentrating very hard. It continues to rain hard, but Rob likes the sound.
We climb muddy banks and stone walls. We record amongst farm machinery and and wind turbines. Rob is drawn to water. He records drains and gutters.
The clouds part and the sun comes out. We heard the sound of the village change: birds twittered, cattle moaned, doors opened and people came out. We recorded the twang of barbed wire fences and the outflow pipe at a nearby quarry. Then we went for soup.
I went off to Arkholme but returned to Nether Kellet that night. The Limeburners Arms was open. It was a small, antiquated pub and amongst the pictures on the wall was a photo of the women’s football team during the war. I drank and listened to the locals talking and laughing.
Me and Rob batted the recordings between Lancashire and London. We arranged the sounds of a village waking up.