Hatfield House, Herts, Sunday 14 July 2019

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The Lost Words - Spell Songs

News on our latest folk collaboration, happening in 2019!

A musical companion piece to The Lost Words - A Spell Book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, with Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Kerry Andrew, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux.

Singing nature back to life through the power of music, poetry, art and magic.

Those already familiar with The Lost Words - A Spell Book by author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, will know it as a work full of wildness, beauty and power. It is a place where poems become spells or incantations, and where art makes magic. This bestselling and award-winning book has become, as the Guardian puts it, ‘a cultural phenomenon’, finding its way into the lives and dreams of hundreds of thousands of people around the world, inspiring hope, wonder and change. It is a remarkable book with enchantment and activism at its heart.

We are overjoyed to have commissioned Spell Songs, a musical project that will grow and flourish out of the original book. Within the book there are flowing and percussive rhythms conveyed through art and word, silent bird song and liquid colour that appear rich with melody and, along with the compelling, quieter contemplations of nature’s absences, this book quietly anticipates a musical response.

Spell Songs brings together eight remarkable musicians, whose music already engages deeply with landscape and nature, to respond to the creatures, art and language of The Lost Words - A Spell Book. Spell Songs will allow these acclaimed and diverse musicians to weave together elements of British folk music, Senegalese folk traditions, experimental and classical music, and create an inspiring new body of work.

We have organised a residency in Herefordshire in early 2019, where the musicians will come together and write the new works. These will immediately be recorded to create an album, to be released in late summer, following a tour in February and other special shows to be announced soon, including Folk by the Oak 2019! 

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