Contributions - Laura Cannell – These Feral Lands V1

Laura Cannell – Violin & Voice is joined by Stewart Lee – Writer & Comedian, the Contemporary Irish Cellist Kate Ellis, the Writer & Broadcaster – Jennifer Lucy Allan and Musician& Writer Polly Wright.

“Wherever we lay our heads, in cities, villages, marshes or borderlands, in this century or the next, we will have the melding of clay, the walking in marshlands, the equinox and the old stories. This is our personal and collective folklore”

Laura Cannell August 2020

These Feral Lands Volume 1 melds together words and music inspired by feral animal sounds, ancient stories and personal folklore. The ten tracks were built upon a set of unreleased violin improvisations by Cannell titled Buzzard A-H. They were recorded at the beginning of 2020 while watching and being watched by a buzzard sitting on a pole in the farmyard opposite her house. The Buzzard recordings may not always be audible but they are always there, like the Buzzard itself.

Cannell then invited Stewart Lee to create and record stories inspired by landscape, leaving him free to bring his own meaning and the results are some of the most personal he has written. Recent discoveries about parts of his family geography had come to light, in the area close to where Cannell is from on the Norfolk/Suffolk borders, and also in the Welsh borderlands.

“In 2019 the composer/curator Alex Groves approached me with a commission to compose a new piece for his SOLO series for the cellist Kate Ellis, one of Irelands leading contemporary classical musicians. I immediately said yes, knowing her reputation. In dreaming up a piece for Kate I had been listening to the deers barking at dusk in the churchyard next to my cottage, stark animal cries with disrupted repetition, I stayed for a while imagining what wild animals were in Kate’s homeland Ireland.
I transcribed early recordings of wolves howling, a wild thrashing and lonesome being emerged. INHABITED: The Last Wild Wolf in Ireland’ was born.

Ongoing conversations with friends and collaborators Jennifer Lucy Allan – writer and broadcaster and Polly Wright – musician and writer led us down new exploratory paths so I invited them to create new works.” LC.

All parts were recorded individually in the performers homes during the early summer of 2020.

Mixed and produced by Laura Cannell.

These Feral Lands are about our time, our space and pulling together the ragged threads of our real and imagined landscapes.