In 2011 Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton returned to northern England from the west coast of Ireland, and began revisiting the landscape around Devoke Water, in south-western Cumbria – the place that provided the focus for their first collaborative album, Wolf Notes. Eighteen months later their new recording is a follow-up in the most literal sense, extending and developing the themes that first appeared in Wolf Notes, beginning with the piece Succession, which takes the last recording on Wolf Notes as its starting point, and ending with the piece Relics, which casts the landscape in a very different light.
The first 100 customers to pre-order Succession will also receive a free download code for the digital album Echoless, which contains unabridged, 20-minute recordings of both Succession and Relics.
The recording is accompanied by two new publications, Wolfhou and Relics, which are available separately, or with the music, as part of a Special Edition.
Wolfhou is a new collection of text fragments drawn from the original Wolf Notes poetry pamphlet:
ice wolves. fells felled. filament rain.
seed memory. brythonic mosses.
where are the birch gatherings?
the fell oak expanses?
The pamphlet also contains new research into the etymological history of the landscape, extending the place-name narratives for ‘Ulpha’ and ‘Devoke Water’ that were originally published in 2011.
Relics is a series of textual ‘tree-diagrams’ exploring the pre-history of the landscape around Devoke Water, evoking the ghost presences of trees that once populated the now largely deforested fells. Traces of these tree genera are found in the pollen record, which provides a fascinating narrative of plant succession from the last Ice Age. Relics presents the earliest linguistic forms for these trees and their accumulated ‘growth rings’, culminating in their modern English common names.
The special edition also contains the otherwise unavailable List of Probable Flora – a fold-out A3 poster sewn into a letterpressed pamphlet which expands upon the List of Probable Grasses first published in the original Wolf Notes pamphlet.
All customers who pre-order the special edition of Succession will also receive a free download code for the digital album Echoless. Furthermore, the first ten customers who pre-order the special edition will also receive a 5ml glass phial of hand-blended incense.