Observations: Writers to re-trace JB Priestley's steps
Friday 08 January 2010
JB Priestley's 1934 tome English Journey is a classic of the travelogue genre, but how far does its subject resemble today's landscape? The author-cum-psychogeographer Iain Sinclair and the graphic novelist Alan Moore (he of Watchmen fame) are set to find out as they undertake a similar journey. Their project begins this month at Aldeburgh, as part of the Suffolk town's ongoing programme devoted to experimental music, Faster Than Sound.
Joining them are the traditional-song collector Shirley Collins, as well as the composers Susan Stenger, who made her name in cult indie outfit Band of Susans, and FM Einheit, a founder member of sonic terrorists Einstürzende Neubauten. Their collaboration promises to mix folk music with cinematic soundscapes, vocal contributions with electronic graffiti.
It is a fitting time to retrace the Yorkshire writer's steps, as his Journey was no whimsical Olde England reverie, but a look at a nation still suffering from the Great Depression. As Priestley wrote, "I am here, in a time of stress, to look at the face of England, however blank or bleak that face may chance to appear, and to report truthfully what I see there."
Not that Sinclair and Moore are exactly following in his footsteps, the producer Paul Smith explains. "English Journey was an inspiration but will really only be a jumping-off point for their own contemporary view of Britain." So, what can we expect? "The Straw Bear Festival's paganist roots, 'mad' poet John Clare, the lost town of Dunwich – and the Vincent Price film Witchfinder General as an 'English Western'," says Smith.
English Journey: Revisited at the Hoffmann Building, Snape Maltings (01728 687110; Aldeburgh.co.uk) 30 January
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off embroiled in Baked Alaska 'sabotage' scandal
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >