I’ve been looking for this for years – and now, perhaps somewhat naughtily but nonetheless delightfully, a fellow fan has taken the trouble of putting it up on YouTube.
This is ‘Listening to the River’ – a 30-minute ‘oral history’ of the River Medway in Kent, recorded and composed by one of my favourite folkies, Chris Wood. It was commissioned for Radio 3’s Late Junction a few years ago. I missed it at the time, but later caught Chris performing an excerpt at King’s Place in London.
The clip alone blew me away. As described here, the aim of the piece is to show how England’s indigenous music is intertwined with the rhythms and melodies of its people’s speech – dialects and all. And in a brilliant musical fusion of form and meaning, that’s exactly what it does.
I remember reading somewhere that Chris is working on a longer/revised version, for possible CD release in the future. If that’s still the case, then I look forward to the results with great anticipation.