Friday, August 12, 2016

And know the place for the first time


East Anglian skyscapes have inspired composers including E.J. Moeran, William Alwyn, Elizabeth Maconchy, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst* and, of course, Benjamin Britten. That sunset was photographed by me recently while staying at Ling's Meadow eco campsite on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk. As we move deeper into Kali Yuga, international travel becomes less and less appealing. In response to this I have been experimenting with mini-retreats in my local region. As T.S. Eliot explains in Little Gidding (No. 4 of 'Four Quartets'):
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
* The Holst connection with East Anglia is less celebrated than that of other composers. Holst lived intermittently at Thaxted in Essex between 1914 and 1917, during which time the works he wrote included the Planets and The Hymn of Jesus, and the tune adapted for I Vow to Thee, My Country was named 'Thaxted' by the composer in recognition. It is also worth noting that Michael Tippett spent most of his childhood (1905-19) in Wetherden, Suffolk. There is no obvious connection between Tippett's music and the region. However, Peter Hall's celebrated 1974 film Akenfield, which used Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, is set in a fictional village whose name is conflated from two Suffolk villages located very close to where I took the photos. No comps used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

I came across that quote as an undergraduate and it's stuck with me ever since -vividly - it's somehow perfect in content and execution.