What St Cuthbert heard

I’ll try and limit myself to a brief post tonight, as I’m dipping my toes into the ocean of Geographical Information Systems (expect an explanatory post without such a weak metaphor at some point in the near future), but I thought I should share some weird and wonderful sounds I’ve had on in the background.

Chris Watson’s album In St Cuthbert’s Time was released earlier this year and, as with pretty much anything recorded ever, can be listened to via a Youtube playlist. I’ll warn those who might incline towards the idea of the album on account of their love of monastic plainsong (something which you share with my father) or of the band Lindisfarne that Watson’s work is not the most musical of music. I was going to write that it’s not the easiest listen, but in fact the complete opposite is true. The four tracks are deliciously immersive and evocative soundscapes, composite field recordings filled with birdsong, breezes and the occasional bell. Listening to them transported me from my stuffy attic room beside one of inner London’s main traffic arteries variously to brisk winter afternoons looking out over the mudflats of Chichester Harbour and summer holidays walking sections of the South West Coast Path in north Devon. In fact, it’s really got me itching to visit Lindisfarne properly, my first trip there having gone no further than the start of the causeway across to the island. (This would have to take place once the treasury of Durham Cathedral has reopened – the fact I couldn’t see any of the items St Cuthbert was buried with/in was the one disappointment of my otherwise thrilling visit last December.)

I first learned of the LP in a weekly mailshot from Boomkat, Manchester and the world’s greatest online music shop and recipient of a substantial slice of my student loan payments back in the day (my not-so-subtle hint being that it is where you should by a hard copy or high-quality audio file version of the record if you are moved to do so).

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About Robert J S Briggs

Back to being a part-time early medievalist; Surrey born, London based, been known to travel
This entry was posted in Anglo-Saxon, Causeways, internet, Music, Place, Religion, Sea and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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