In 2011 Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton returned to northern England from the west coast of Ireland, and began revisiting the landscape around Devoke Water, in south-western Cumbria – the place that provided the focus for their first collaborative album, Wolf Notes. Eighteen months later their new recording is a follow-up in the most literal sense, extending and developing the themes that first appeared in Wolf Notes, beginning with the piece Succession, which takes the last recording on Wolf Notes as its starting point, and ending with the piece Relics, which casts the landscape in a very different light.
The new work is particularly informed by the work of ecologists and palynologists, who, by analysing the occurrence of pollen in sediment layers, are able to construct an incredibly rich and profoundly beautiful narrative of plant succession over millennia, detailing the plant genera that slowly repopulated the post-glacial wasteland, eventually forming vast expanses of woodland before the arrival of early human settlers.
The sense created by these ecological records is of an environment in constant flux, perpetually in transition from one state to another. They also act as a reminder that the present state of the landscape is an accretion of its own pasts, deposited in skin-like layers, each sloughed in the process of transformation. The landscape therefore appears, not as a singular entity, but a multiplicity of different incarnations, each successively overlaid on the last.
1. Succession (7.22)
2. Wolfhou (19.13)
3. Seed Memory (20.44)
4. Relics (12.48)
Succession is available as a Special Edition, accompanied by three new pamphlets, Wolfhou, Relics and A List of Probable Flora. In addition, a new digital album, Echoless, is also available, containing unabridged, 20-minute recordings of both Succession and Relics. All customers who buy the Special Edition of Succession will receive a download code for Echoless.
To order either edition, please visit:
Digital editions of both Succession and Echoless are available via Aeolian Editions: