Richard King ‘The Lark Ascending’ book tour
May 2, 2019 | by johng
The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s ‘pastoral romance for orchestra’, was premiered on 14 June 1921. Over the course of the twentieth century this piece of music, perhaps more than any other, worked its way into the collective consciousness to seemingly define a mythical concept of the English countryside: babbling brooks, skylarks, hayricks. But the birth and legacy of the composition are more complex than this simplified, idyllic vision suggests. The landscape we celebrate as unsullied and ripe with mystique is not an unaffected utopia, but a living, working and occasionally rancorous environment that forged a nation’s musical personality, and its dissenting traditions.
On a chronological journey that takes us from post-war poets and artists to the late twentieth century and the free party scene which emerged from acid house and travelling communities, Richard King explores how Britain’s history and identity have been shaped by the mysterious relationship between music and nature. From the far west of Wales to the Thames Estuary and the Suffolk shoreline, taking in Brian Eno, Kate Bush, Boards of Canada, Dylan Thomas, Gavin Bryars, Greenham Common and the Kinder Scout mass trespass, The Lark Ascending listens to the land and the music that emerged from it, to chart a new and surprising course through a familiar landscape.
Richard King’s The Lark Ascending published on 6th June 2019. You can find it in your local bookshop or order here.
See Richard speak about his new book on his tour this summer.
June 12, Friendly Records Bar, Bristol
June 15, Camp Elsewhere
June 20, London Review of Books Bookshop
July 4, Printed Matter, Hastings
July 11, Buxton Literary Festival
July 26, Port Eliot Festival, Caught by the River stage
August 18, Green Man Festival
August 30, End of the Road Festival
September 14, The Good Life Experience, Caught by the River stage.
Keep an eye out for more events to be added as they’re announced.