RIYL: creepy crawlies
Label: Folklore Tapes
Cue you. You’re traipsing about on a road that’s comprised of a charcoal black, soot covered grating instead of a combination of tar and asphalt. Many people are also walking alongside you. You hear things, and see things, beneath this gargantuan grating that is a road every single day on your way to work, and every single night on your way back from work. You just stare blankly and frown, because there’s not much else you can do. Everyone else walks along as if nothing is amiss in this dreary, yet commonplace, urban scenery. You’ll get a ticket straight to the happy hotel if you give someone a nudge and ask if they hear, or see, what you hear, or see. The thing you see doesn’t have a cry, but its diamond-like surface hits detritus in the sewer and its wicking of water makes its skin all the more blinding in the light of the sun.ย Megalithic Monuments is an ode to the mysterious stone circles that inhabit England, but you can’t help but think of something sinister when listening to the strings scratch and plonk along. Listen to a preview ofย Megalithic Monuments below via the EU buy link, or US buy link, and see what you think of it. Cheers!
Megalithic Monuments is the start of a new Folklore Tapes series. Produced by the label heads we hear spoken word & field recordings, pieces of library music & fragile scapes. As well the music as the extensive booklet are artistic research: Thy question a british stone circle: "England alone there are over 900 stone circles. Each one is a riddle, but stone circles in particular keep us guessing. Are these constructions the astrological temples of a lost religion? Ritual theatres of blood sport and sacrifice? Or perhaps no more than the markers of tribal prestige and power? The theories are manifold, while the one certainty appears to be that we shall never know all their secrets."
Our impact on the natural environment is often obvious โ plain to see in great sprawling cities, or the dreary greys of industry and infrastructure. Human hands have worked the landscape in subtler, more sympathetic ways too. Old field-systems, hedgerows and pathways often work with natural features rather than against them, and are all the more pleasing to the eye for doing so. Yet there are other built artefacts that, in their hoary and lichened age, have attained such a harmony with their surroundings one hardly thinks of them as manmade at all: the megalithic monuments.
Today, these prehistoric stone circles, menhirs and cists sit in perfect balance with their surroundings, settled into a deep natural sympathy by the passing millennia. Many are aligned with the celestial cycles of the sun and moon, so that this sympathy often extends skyward too, connecting terra firma and firmament as one. As such they are spots that encourage us to extend our gaze beyond the everyday, to dwell on mysteries ancient and new: earth and space, space and time, time and non-time.
Britain is particularly rich in these sites โ in England alone there are over 900 stone circles and around 1000 megalithic tombs. Each one is a riddle, but stone circles in particular keep us guessing. Are these constructions the astrological temples of a lost religion? Ritual theatres of blood sport and sacrifice? Or perhaps no more than the markers of tribal prestige and power? The theories are manifold, while the one certainty appears to be that we shall never know all their secrets.
Time doth consecrate, and whatever is grey with age becomes religion
We are not the first to stand and marvel at these portals into the past โ our ancestors, feeling a similarly numinous presence within their limits, often told tales about them. For them, a ring might be personified as the petrified forms of merry maidens, or a king and his retinue, while a solitary stone could be the discarded plaything of a hero, giant, or even the Devil. More recently, the Age of Aquarius has ushered in a host of new ideas concerning these sites, which, for some, have become energy pulse-spots โ stone batteries, of a kind, charged with the memories and ghosts of ages past.
Folklore Tapes have long been fascinated by these sites. Now, through artistic practice and research, the collective seek to unearth their hidden wonders, to peel back the lichen-layers, brush aside the creepy crawlies and peer deep into their ageless faces: to summon the sounds of the megalithic monuments
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