Laura Cannell and Kate Ellis’s penultimate EP embraces the quiet darkness of the winter months.
It is the penultimate EP of the year, and it feels like a deep dive into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the winter months; tracing the fading light and welcoming in the darkness in. We were joined by one of Kate’s longtime collaborators, fiddle player Adrian Hart, whose haunting fiddle sounds draw on Scandinavian and old-time fiddle styles.
It feels strange to be heading towards the end of this project. At times it has felt like it could go on indefinitely, the open road stretched out with infinite possibilities. Now as we move closer to the end of the year, it has made me think about the music we have made together. The idea of making this music was to unshackle ourselves from our own expectations. To have the freedom to explore. I have used it as an opportunity to use my voice more, and to write words alongside composing, improvising and playing. To dig into the fragmented words, poems and folklore of East Anglia and of ancient Greece. To let the words run freely. Words and music are so completely intwined with our lives that it is impossible to have one without the other, even if the words stand alone, or the music is wordless. I might not know what kind of singer I am, but sometimes I feel a song is there and if I write something which means something to me, then I hope it will mean something to you too.
EP Track List:
1. THROUGH FROST AND THUNDER
I would touch the sky with these two arms
I would invite you for a while
As long as we may see
The gold arms of the sun
Through frost and thunder
I would touch the sky
With these two arms
To reach, to reach the golden strands
I stretch to reach the golden shards, the golden shards
Of the sun, of the sun.
( L. Cannell)
2. RUNNING WITH THE MOUNTAIN HARE
We recorded simultaneously in three places and responded to each other’s musical thoughts.
Passing short melodies through the ether. Running through the mountains alongside the majestic snow-coloured hare through brambly terrain, damp woodland and glittering water until we came upon a clearing to catch our breath.
3. THE DARKEST HOUR IS NEAREST DAWN
An old proverb from The Norfolk Garland: A Collection of the Superstitious Beliefs and Practices, Proverbs, Curious Customs, Ballads and Songs of the People of Norfolk (printed in 1872).
4. ARCTIC DRONE
You can almost pick up handfuls of the grainy air between the church pipe organ and cello.
Heavy and rich, the rasping wind is pushed through 12 ft tubes of steel, unyielding yet unpredictable in its oscillations. A journey that comes from deep down, below the ground, below the sea and being breathed in and out through the heaving bellows.
This months film was created to accompany ARCTIC DRONE and was created by JAMESPLUMB (aka James Russell & Hannah Plumb). They said they wanted to respond seasonally, and were completely struck by the intensity and potency of autumn colours, “Strong enough that although familiar it feels like we are seeing them for the first time this year”.
Find the EP here.
“When you close your eyes and stare at the sun
and there are no edges
no beginning or end
a blurring blending infinite warmth”
These Feral Lands – A Year Documented in Sound and Art is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.