The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields Book

  • A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields-book-Stephen Prince-front coverA Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields-book-Stephen Prince-back cover

    Journeys in Otherly Pastoralism, the Further Reaches of Folk and the Parallel Worlds of Hauntology…

    Book released 10th April 2018. Pre-order 1st March 2018.
    Price: £15.95. 340 pages.  Print and ebook editions.
    Author: Stephen Prince

    A Year In The Country is a set of year-long journeys through spectral fields; cyclical explorations of an otherly pastoralism, the outer reaches of folk culture and the spectres of hauntology. It is a wandering amongst subculture that draws from the undergrowth of the land.

    As a project, it has included a website featuring writing, artwork and music which stems from that otherly pastoral/spectral hauntological intertwining, alongside a growing catalogue of album releases.

    In keeping with the number of weeks in a year, the book is split into 52 chapters which draw together revised writings from the project alongside new journeyings. Connecting layered and, at times, semi-hidden cultural pathways and signposts, it journeys from acid folk to edgelands via electronic music innovators, folkloric film and photography, dreams of lost futures and misremembered televisual tales and transmissions.

    It includes considerations of the work of writers including Rob Young, John Wyndham, Richard Mabey and Mark Fisher, musicians and groups The Owl Service, Jane Weaver, Shirley Collins, Broadcast, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Virginia Astley and Kate Bush, the artists Edward Chell, Jeremy Deller and Barbara Jones and the record labels Trunk, Folk Police, Ghost Box and Finders Keepers.

    The book also explores television and film including Quatermass, The Moon and the Sledgehammer, Phase IV, Beyond the Black Rainbow, The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water, Bagpuss, Travelling for a Living, The Duke of Burgundy, Sapphire & Steel, General Orders No. 9, Gone to Earth, The Changes, Children of the Stones, Sleep Furiously and The Wicker Man.

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-introduction-page 11

    The printed book will be available to preorder on 1st March 2018 from the A Year In The Country Artifacts Shop and our Bandcamp page.

    The ebook version will be available to preorder from 1st March 2018 on Amazon’s various worldwide sites.

    The printed book will also be available to order from 10th April on Amazon’s various worldwide sites.

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-pages 12 and 13

    The book has been designed/typeset by Ian Lowey of Bopcap Book Services and edited by Suzy Prince, who are the co-authors of The Graphic Art of The Underground – A Counter-Cultural History.

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-pages 14 and 15

    You can view text extracts from the book and accompanying online images via this link.

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-Chapter 1 to 10 contents list copy

    Book Chapter List:

    1. Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music: Folk Vs Pop, Less Harvested Cultural Landscapes and Acts of 
Enclosure, Old and New

    2. Gather in the Mushrooms: Early Signposts and Underground Acid Folk Explorations

    3. Hauntology: Places Where Society Goes to Dream, the Defining and Deletion of Spectres and the Making of an Ungenre

    4. Cuckoos in the Same Nest: Hauntological and Otherly Folk Confluences and Intertwinings

    5. Ghost Box Records: Parallel Worlds, Conjuring Spectral Memories, Magic Old and New and Slipstream Trips to the
 Panda Pops Disco

    6. Folk Horror Roots: From But a Few Seedlings Did a Great Forest Grow

    7. 1973: A Time of Schism and a Dybbuk’s Dozen of Fractures

    8. Broadcast: Recalibration, Constellation and Exploratory Pop

    9. Tales From The Black Meadow, The Book of the Lost and The Equestrian Vortex: The Imagined Spaces of Imaginary Soundtracks

    10. The Wicker Man: Notes on a Cultural Behemoth

    11. Robin Redbreast, The Ash Tree, Sky, The Changes, Penda’s Fen Red Shift and The Owl Service: Wanderings Through Spectral Television Landscapes

    12. A Bear’s Ghosts: Soviet Dreams and Lost Futures

    13. From “Two Tribes” to War Games: The Ascendancy of Apocalyptic Popular Culture

    14. Christopher Priest’s A Dream of Wessex: Twentieth Century Slipstream Echoes

    15. Sapphire & Steel and Ghosts in the Machine: Nowhere, Forever and Lost Spaces within Cultural Circuitry

    16. Kill List, Puffball, In the Dark Half and Butter on the Latch: Folk Horror Descendants by Way of the Kitchen Sink

    17. The Quietened Bunker, Waiting For The End of the World, Subterranea Britannica, Bunker Archaeology and The Delaware Road: Ghosts, Havens and Curious Repurposings Beneath Our Feet

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-Chapter 11 to 37 contents list

    18. From The Unofficial Countryside to Soft Estate: Edgeland Documents, Memories and Explorations

    19. The Ballad of Shirley Collins and Pastoral Noir: Tales and Intertwinings from Hidden Furrows

    20. “Savage Party” and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased): Glimpses of Albion in the Overgrowth

    21. Uncommonly British Days Out and the Following of Ghosts: File under Psychogeographic/Hauntological Stocking Fillers

    22. Gone to Earth: Earlier Traces of an Otherly Albion

    23. Queens of Evil, Tam Lin and The Touchables: High Fashion Transitional Psych Folk Horror, Pastoral Fantasy and Dreamlike Isolation

    24. Luke Haines: Our Most Non-Hauntological Hauntologist

    25. Tim Hart, Maddy Prior and “The Dalesman’s Litany”: A Yearning for Imaginative Idylls and a Counterpart to Tales of Hellish Mills

    26. Katalina Varga, Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy : Arthouse Evolution and Crossing the Thresholds of the Hinterland Worlds of Peter Strickland

    27. General Orders No. 9 and By Our Selves: Cinematic Pastoral Experimentalism

    28. No Blade of Grass and Z.P.G.: A Curious Dystopian Mini-Genre

    29. The Midwich Cuckoos and The Day of the Triffids: John Wyndham, Dystopian Tales, Celluloid Cuckoos and the Village as Anything But Idyll

    30. Folk Archive and Unsophisticated Arts: Documenting the Overlooked and Unregulated

    31. Folkloric Photography: A Lineage of Wanderings, Documentings and Imaginings

    32. Poles and Pylons and The Telegraph Appreciation Society: A Continuum of Accidental Art

    33. Symptoms and Images: Hauntological Begetters, the Uneasy Landscape and Gothic Bucolia

    A Year In The Country-Wandering Through Spectral Fields book-Chapter 37 to 52 contents list

    34. The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water: Public Information Films and Lost Municipal Paternalisms

    35. Magpahi, Paper Dollhouse and The Eccentronic Research Council: Finders Keepers/Bird Records Nestings and Considerations of Modern Day Magic

    36. Vashti Bunyan: From Here to Before: Whispering Fairy Stories until They are Real

    37. The Owl Service, Anne Briggs, The Watersons, Lutine and Audrey Copard: Folk Revisiters, Revivalists and Reinterpreters

    38. The Seasons, Jonny Trunk, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Howlround: A Yearning for Library Music, Experiments in Educational Music and Tape Loop Tributes

    39. An Old Soul Returns: The Worlds and Interweavings of Kate Bush

    40. The Stone Tape, Quatermass, The Road and The Twilight Language of Nigel Kneale: Unearthing Tales from Buried Ancient Pasts

    41 Folklore Tapes and the Wyrd Britannia Festival: Journeying to Hidden Corners of the Land/the Ferrous Reels and Explorations of an Arcane Research Project

    42. Skeletons: Pastoral Preternatural Fiction and a World, Time and Place of its Own Imagining

    43. Field Trip-England: Jean Ritchie, George Pickow and Recordings from the End of an Era

    44. Noah’s Castle: A Slightly Overlooked Artifact and Teatime Dystopias

    45. Jane Weaver Septième Soeur and The Fallen by Watch Bird: Non-Populist Pop and Cosmic Aquatic Folklore

    46. Detectorists, Bagpuss, The Wombles and The Good Life: Views from a Gentler Landscape

    47. Weirdlore, Folk Police Recordings, Sproatly Smith and Seasons They Change: Notes From the Folk Underground, Legendary Lost Focal Points and Privately Pressed Folk

    48. The Moon and The Sledgehammer and Sleep Furiously: Visions of Parallel and Fading Lives

    49. From Gardens Where We Feel Secure, Wintersongs, Pilgrim Chants & Pastoral Trails: Lullabies for the Land and Gently Darkened Undercurrents

    50. Strawberry Fields and Wreckers: The Countryside and Coastal Hinterland as Emotional Edgeland

    51. Zardoz, Phase IV and Beyond the Black Rainbow: Seeking the Future in Secret Rooms from the Past and Psychedelic Cinematic Corners

    52. Winstanley, A Field in England and The English Civil War Part II: Reflections on Turning Points and Moments When Anything Could Happen

     

    A Year In The Country book-visual accompaniment-collage-Ghost Box Records-Broadcast-The Wicker Man-The Children of The Stones-The Changes

    An Online Visual Accompaniment

    Below is an online “cut out and keep” set of visual accompaniments to the chapters of the book, which will build to include all the chapters throughout 2018.

     

    Chapter 1: Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music: Folk Vs Pop, Less Harvested Cultural Landscapes and Acts of Enclosure, Old and New

    Rob Young-Electric Eden-book covers-1st edition-2nd edition-US edition

    Left to right: the first and second British editions and the American edition of Rob Young’s Electric Eden book (2010-2011).

    Forest-Full Circle

    The gatefold cover and vinyl of Forest’s album Full Circle (1970).

    Kate Bush-Lionheart-vinyl-A Year In The Country

    The cover and vinyl of Kate Bush’s second album Lionheart (1978).

    The Wicker Man-construction-production photograph

    Construction scaffolding for statue in The Wicker Man film (1973).

    Ghost Box Records logo

    Ghost Box Records logo/artwork.

    Steeleye Span-All Around My Hat-single-1975-The Wombles

    The cover of one of the editions of Steeleye Span’s All Around My Hat single (1975) and characters from The Womble’s television series (1973-1975).

    Acts of Inclosure map-A Year In The Country

    A period map showing enclosure/inclosure of the land.

    Text extracts from Chapter 1 can be viewed here.

     

     

    Chapter 2: Gather in the Mushrooms – Early Signposts and Underground Acid Folk Explorations

    Gather In The Mushrooms-Bob Stanley-The British Acid Folk Underground-album-A Year In The CountryGather-In-The-Mushrooms-Bob-Stanley-The-British-Acid-Folk-Underground-album-inner sleeve artwork copy0001-A Year In The Country-Gather In The Mushrooms-back

    Artwork from the Gather in the Mushrooms: The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974 compilation album. Released in 2004 and curated by Bob Stanley.

    Gather In The Mushrooms album-folk-Bob Stanley-Vashti Bunyan sleevenotes image

    Once upon a time lost-lady-of-folk Vashti Bunyan as featured in the sleeve notes to Gather in the Mushrooms.

    Morning Way-Trader Horne-Judy Dyble-A Year In The Country-2

    CD insert cover for Trader Horne’s Morning Way album from 1970, featuring former Fairport Convention member Judy Dyble and Jackie McAuley.

    The Pentangle-Basket of Light-album coverThe Sallyangie-Children Of The Sun-Love In Ice Crystals-cover

    Left to right: Cover art for The Pentangle’s Basket of Light album, featuring their version of Lyke Wake Dirge and The Sallyangie’s Children of the the Sun, featuring a young Mike Oldfield and his sister.

    Forest-Full Circle-psych folk-acid folk-A Year In The Country

    Gatefold photograph from Forest’s 1969 self-titled debut album.

    Early Morning Hush-Folk Underground-Bob Stanley-album-A Year In The CountryEarly Morning Hush-Notes from the UK Folk Underground-album-inner sleeve artworkEarly Morning Hush-Notes from the UK Folk Underground-album-tracklisting

    Artwork from the Early Morning Hush: Notes from the UK Folk Underground 1969-1976 compilation album from 2006, also curated by Bob Stanley.

    Text extracts from Chapter 2 can be viewed here.

     

     

    Chapter 3: Hauntology – Places Where Society Goes to Dream, the Defining and Deletion of Spectres and the Making of an Ungenre

    Day 162-Hauntology-A Year In The Country

    Text from the debate around whether or not to delete hauntology as a music genre on Wikipedia. Bottom left – artwork by Demdike Stare, bottom right Ghost Box Records artwork.

    The Owl Service TV program-A Year In The Country 2Children Of The Stones-TV series-A Year In The CountryThe Changes-1975-BBC-A Year In The Country-8

    Left-right: stills from the intro sequence for The Owl Service, Children of the Stones and The Changes television series.

    Daphne Oram-Radiophonic WorkshopBruton Music Flexi-Steens Dilemma-via James CargillSeasons-David Cain-Jonny Trunk-BBC-A Year In The Country

    Left-right: Daphne Oram and others working at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, flexidisc of an advert for Bruton Music library music company, the cover art for The Season album by David Cain and Ronald Duncan.

    Day 162-Hauntology-A Year In The Country faded 2

    Pye Corner Audio-Sleep Games-Ghost Box Records-album artworkPye Corner Audio-Stasis-Ghost Box Records-album artwork

    Left-right: cover art for the Ghost Box Records released Sleep Games and Stasis, both by Pye Corner Audio.

    Beyond The Black Rainbow-still-1

    A still from Panos Cosmatos’ film Beyond The Black Rainbow.

    Text extracts from Chapter 3 can be viewed here.

     

     

    Chapter 4: Cuckoos in the Same Nest – Hauntological and Otherly Folk Confluences and Intertwinings

    The Owl Service-TV series and band-The Wicker Man-Radiophonic Workshop-Broadcast-Focus Group-Children of the Stones-Ghost Box Records-3

    Left-right first row: The TV tie-in publication of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service novel, islanders in masks from The Wicker Man film and Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

    Left-right second row: cover art for the Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Withcults of the Radio Age album, cover art for The Owl Service’s The View From a Hill album, a still from the intro sequence for the Children of the Stones series and a Ghost Box Records logo.

    The Owl Service-The View From A Hill-albumBroadcast and the Focus Group investigate witchcults of the radio age-album cover-warp records-Ghost Box recordsGather In The Mushrooms-Bob Stanley-The British Acid Folk Underground-album-A Year In The Country

    Left-right: cover art for The Owl Service’s The View From a Hill album – designed by Dom Cooper of The Owl Service/The Straw Bear Band/Bare Bones, cover art for the Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Withcults of the Radio Age album – designed by Julian House of The Focus Group/Ghost Box Records and released by Warp Records and cover artwork from the Gather in the Mushrooms: The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974 compilation album – released in 2004 and curated by Bob Stanley.

    The Changes-DVD cover-BFI-BBCAlan Garner's The Owl Service-DVD cover-NetworkChildren of the Stones-DVD cover-Network

    Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape DVD cover-BFIThe Wicker Man-The Directors Cut-DVD cover-strokeDoctor Who-The Stones of Blood-DVD cover-Tom BakerDoctor Who-The Daemons-DVD cover-BBC-John Pertwee

    Left-right first row: DVD cover art: the BFI’s release of The Changes television series, Network’s releases of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service and the Children of the Stones television series.

    Left-right second row: DVD cover art: the BFI’s release of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape, the Director’s cut release of The Wicker Man, Doctor Who stories The Stones of Blood featuring Tom Baker and The Daemons featuring Jon Pertwee.

    The-BBC-Radiophonic-Workshop-Delia Derbyshire

    Members of the BBC Radiphonic Workshop.

    Text extracts from Chapter 4 can be viewed here.

     

     

    Chapter 5: Ghost Box Records – Parallel Worlds, Conjuring Spectral Memories, Magic Old and New and Slipstream Trips to the Panda Pops Disco

    Ghost Box Records-logo-hands

    Ghost Box Records logo and artwork.

    THE_BBC_RADIOPHONIC_WORKSHOP-album-BBC records and tapesSeasons-David Cain-Jonny Trunk-BBC-A Year In The Country

    Left-right: The Radiophonic Workshop album by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and The Seasons album – poems by Ronald Duncan, Radiophonic music by David Cain (the Trunk Records reissue cover art).

    Belbury Tales-Belbury Poly-Ghost Box-A Year In The CountryBelbury Poly-Belbury Tales-Rob Young-Julian House-Ghost Box Records-A Year In The Country 3

    Left-right: a poster that accompanied the Ghost Box-released Belbury Poly’s Belbury Tales album and the CD front cover.

    The Advisory Circle-Mind How You Go-Ghost Box Records-Jon Brooks-vinyl-A Year In The Country

    The sleeves and artwork for the vinyl version of the The Advisory Circle’s Mind How You Go album (revised edition).

    The Belbury Poly-New Ways Out-Ghost Box Records-Jim Jupp-A Year In The CountryThe Belbury Poly-New Ways Out-Ghost Box Records-Jim Jupp-inner-A Year In The Country

    The CD sleeve for The Belbury Poly’s New Ways Out album – design by Julian House, circle illustration by Jim Jupp.

    The Soundcarriers-The House Of Julian-Julian House-Ghost Box Records-2

    Artwork for The Soundcarriers Entropicalia album and accompanying poster, plus various Ghost Box related artwork.

    Ghost Box Records-Julian House-See They Await Us-A Year In The CountryGhost Box Records-Sketches and Spells-The Focus Group-Julian House-Rouges Foam-A Year In The CountryGood Press Gallery-Julian House-A Year In The Country

    Left-right: poster artwork by Julian House, the cover to Sketches and Spells by The Focus Group, exhibition poster by Julian House.

    Julian House-The House Of Julian-Ghost Box Records

    Ghost Box related artwork by Julian House.

    Ghost Box Records-Julian House-Summer Wavelengths-Retrospective and Q&A-Broadcast-Bob Stanley-A Year In The CountryThe Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards-Ghost Box Records-Julian House design

    Left-right: mandala like Ghost Box related artwork by Julian House and the album cover art for The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards.

    Broadcast and The Focus Group video still-A Year In The Country 2Broadcast and The Focus Group video still-A Year In The Country 1Broadcast And The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age-video-Julian House-1

    Video stills from #1: Witch Cults – collaborative work between Broadcast and Julian House to accompany the album Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witchcults of the Radio Age.

    Text extracts from Chapter 5 can be viewed here.

     

     

    Chapter 6 Book Images: Folk Horror Roots – From But a Few Seedlings Did a Great Forest Grow

    The Wicker Man-Witchfinder General-folk horror films

    Left-right: stills from Witchfinder General, Blood on Satan’s Claw and The Wicker Man.

    The Wicker Man-1973-film still-villagers

    Still of islanders in folkloric animal masks from The Wicker Man.

    The-Wicker-Man-poster-1973-Anthony Shaffer-Peter Snell-Robin Hardy

    The Wicker Man poster.

    Barbara Steele-Curse Of The Crimson Altar-A Year In The Country 19

    Curse of the Crimson Altar still: Barbara Steele in as Lavina Morley, Black Witch of Greymarsh, who is dressed in striking, opulent and almost surreal folkloric garb, including a behorned headdress.

    Curse of The Crimson Altar-for one night only

    A collage of images from Curse of the Crimson Altar.

    Black Sunday-film-Mario Bava-Barbara Steele

    Poster for Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, featuring an illustration of Barbara Steel as Katia Vajda / Princess Asa Vajda.

    Miss-Jessell-Clytie-Jessop-manifests-by-the-lake-The Innocents 1961-A Year In The CountryThe Innocents-O Willow Waly-George Auric-Isla Cameron-Finders Keepers 7 inch vinyl-Finders Kreepers-A Year In The Country 5

    Stills from The Innocents.

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-Il Sangue e la Rosa posterEt Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-6

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-4

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-5

    Stills and posters for Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses, aka Et Mourir de Plaisir and Il Sangue e la Rosa.

    The Stone Tape-1972-logo credits-Nigel KnealeBeasts-TV series-Nigel KnealeThe-Owl-Service-TV-program-A-Year-In-The-Country-3b

    Left-right: introduction sequence images and text for Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape and Beasts and Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

    The Owl Service-TV series titles-Alan Garner-A Year In The Country-1200

    Introduction sequence images for Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

    The Children Of The Stones series-intro 3Whistle and I'll Come To You-tv drama

    Left-right: introduction sequence images and text from Children of the Stones and M.R. James’ Whistle and I’ll Come To You.

    The Ash Tree-David Rudkin-MR James-A Ghost Story For Christmas-The BBC-A Year In The CountryRobin Redbreast-A Year In The Country-BFI DVD-1970-2

    Left-right: image from David Rudkin’s adaptation of M.R. James’ The Ash Tree and Play For Today drama Robin Redbreast.

    Pendas Fen-David Rudkin-A Year In The Country

    Image from David Rudkin and Alan Clarke’s Penda’s Fen.

    Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders seven inch-Finders Keepers Records-Record Store Day 2017-2Queens of Evil-1970-Le Regine-A Year In The Country 4

    Left-right: soundtrack artwork for Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and Queens of Evil aka Le Regine or Il Delitto del Diavolo.

    Folk-Horror-Review-larger logo

    Masthead for Folk Horror Review site.

    Folk Horror Revival-logo

    Masthead for Folk Horror Revival site.

    The Alchemical Landscape-Yvonne Salmon-A Year In The CountryA Fiend In The Furrows-Folk horror conference-Queens University belfast

    Left-right: photograph of an The Alchemical Landscape event and poster for A Fiend in the Furrows.

    Ghost Box Records-In A MomentThe Book of the Lost-Emily Jones-The Rowand Amber Mill-CD albumTales From The Black Meadow-A Year In The Country

    Left-right: cover art for Ghost Box Records’ In a moment… compilation album, Emily Jones’ and The Rowan Amber Mill’s The Book of the Lost and The Soulless Party’s Tales from the Black Meadow.

    She Rocola-Burn The Witch-all versions-revisiting-A Year In The CountryShe-Rocola-Ellen-Terry-beetlewing-dress-Zoe-Lloyd-Mrs-Nettleship-A-Year-In-The-Country-1px stroke

    Artwork and photograph from She Rocola’s Burn The Witch/Molly Leigh of the Mother Town, released by A Year In The Country.

    Edgelands-Marshlight software-Hoofus-3b

    Image from Marshlight Software’s “psychogeographical folk tale” computer game Edgelands.

    1-The-Wicker-Man-Witchfinder-General-folk-horror-films

    A collage created from a selection of the above Chapter 6 accompanying images.

    Text extracts from Chapter 6 can be viewed here.

     

    To be continued throughout 2018…