After the cancellation of the physical Aerial Festival — due to have taken place in March, and at which we had been primed to host an afternoon’s talks and music aboard a classic Windermere steamer — we’re very pleased to share the lineup for an online version of the event, which takes place next weekend.
On Caught by the River Eden, a mix of spoken word, music, and nature sounds inspired by the Lakes, BBC 6Music’s Stuart Maconie shares his experiences of climbing the mountains of the Lakes and pays tribute to mountaineer and journalist A. Harry Griffin; author Roy Wilkinson talks about growing up in Kendal and the start of his brothers’ group, British Sea Power, and the UK’s foremost field recording artist Chris Watson presents Lake District recordings from his archives. There’s also new, improvised music from the wonderful Jack Cooper (Modern Nature), and a reading from author Helen Mort.
In the first of two short films we’ve selected for the programme, Roy Wilkinson shares never previously seen Super 8 footage — rescued from the family loft — of the Lake District, shot by his brother Hamilton (better known as a member of the band British Sea Power). Filmed between 2001 and 2005, this silent film contains footage of Borrowdale, Buttermere and Matterdale, as well as of Short Tucano RAF training aircraft flying over the fells. Hamilton was born in Carlisle in Cumbria, and grew up in the South Lakeland area.
The second film, titled The Drift, is made by David Banning, and concerns the reverberations of an old bobbin mill at Caldbeck, and the limestone outcrop of Humphrey Head, near Allithwaite in Cumbria. The film is set to music from Richard Skelton’s 2019 album Border Ballads.
The final fixture of our lineup will be a short piece on Book Seven of A. Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells by frequent CBTR contributor Clare Wadd. Recently submitted to our Nature Book Reader, the piece will be published as a standalone especially for Aerial.
Our pieces, alongside newly commissioned work from the likes of Hayden Thorpe, The Quietus, Lone Taxidermist, The Dark Outside and The Willowherb Review, will go live on the Aerial website next Saturday, 26 September, and will be free to access.