As I mentioned yesterday, last night on 1st May 2018 I was on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, discussing with Verity Sharp various A Year In The Country related themes, inspirations etc, taking in a fair few hauntological and “otherly pastoral” sights along the way.
As part of that I chose and discussed several tracks:
1) The unsettled, swirling seasons of The Advisory Circle’s And The Cuckoo Comes from Mind How You Go, an early Ghost Box Records release.
2) The “dreaming strands of nightmare” and folk reimaginings of Trader Horne’s Morning Way, from their eponymous album, as also featured on the compilation Gather in the Mushrooms: The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974 (compiled by Bob Stanley).
3) Cat’s Eyes’ hazily dream like track The Duke of Burgundy, from the soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s film of the same name, which evokes a playful yet darkly hued European never-never hinterland.
The opening track for the show was sometimes A Year In The Country contributors and “now as ghosts” The Hare And The Moon’s track May Day and its somewhat foreboding, almost trancelike atmosphere and ended with Neil McSweeney’s paean to the mythical land of Cockaigne and its easing of burdens, which was a fine way to top and tail midnight.
(Cockaigne is a land of plenty in medieval myth, an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts and pleasures are always immediately at hand and where the harshness of medieval peasant life does not exist.)
If you should fancy a listen and a wander through related “spectral fields”, last night’s show is now archived and can be listened to for the next 30 days at the BBC’s website, their iPlayer Radio app etc.
My main section begins around 34 minutes in but he whole show is well worth a listen.
Visit the episode here.
If you should not know of Late Junction, it is a BBC Radio 3 programme with a wide-ranging and eclectic ear and remit.
Generally Radio 3 is classical music orientated but on Late Junction things wander widely across the musical landscape, both in its selection of tracks, guests and episode’s themes – previous shows have included mixtapes by Jim O’Rourke, Alasdair Roberts, Cornelius, Suzanne Ciani, James Cargill of Broadcast / Children of Alice and Jenny Hval, to mention just a few.
The show has a rotating set of presenters; Max Reinhardt, Fiona Talkington, Nick Luscombe and Verity Sharp and the tracks they play have included the likes of Japanese acid-folk, kalimba players in Zambia, multiphonic throat singing, the sounds of a cult French cartoon, a smoky fractured electronic torch song, a celebration of artist Penny Slinger, music new and ancient… (and sometimes tracks from the various A Year In The Country releases).
I think this quote from the BBC’s website describing one particular episode sums things up well:
“Verity Sharp goes on as many sonic adventures as possible within 90 minutes.”
Well worth a wander and explore; which is what the show is at heart – a musical exploration and wandering.
Which just leaves me to say thanks again to Verity Sharp for inviting me on the show and to Rebecca Gaskell for the dab hand production duties.
A Year In The Country / Stephen Prince at Late Junction, with Verity Sharp
The Advisory Circle’s And The Cuckoo Comes at Ghost Box Records
The reissue of Trader Horne’s Morning Way at Judy Dyble’s site
Cat’s Eyes The Duke of Burgundy: on CD at Milan records and on vinyl at Cat’s Eyes own site
The Hare And The Moon’s May Day, on their eponymous 2009 album, originally released on Reverb Worship
Neil McSweeney’s Land of Cockaigne from A Coat Worth Wearing
Verity Sharp at Twitter
Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
1) Day #3/365: Gather In The Mushrooms: something of a starting point via an accidental stumbling into the British acid folk underground (and I expect a fair few other places around these parts)
2) Day #52/365: The Advisory Circle and ornithological intrigueries…
3) Week #1/52: The Duke Of Burgundy and Mesmerisation…
4) A Whisper In The Woods by The Hare and The Moon, from The Forest / The Wald
5) Audio Visual Transmission Guide #23/52a: The Viewing Portals of Children Of Alice
6) Penny Slinger – Out of the Shadows and Life and Work Brought Back from the Edges of Things / Psychological Strategy Board: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 18/52
7) A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 – Part 1 – Tonight 1st May 2018
8) The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book
(Which seems to have turned into a fair few signposts to places around these parts and elsewhere…)