Telling of the Bees - Advance Track Chapter II
THE UNQUIET GRAVE
I recorded the vocal for this traditional song at Berwick Church, with kind permission from Revd Peter Blee. I initially intended an unaccompanied version but couldn't resist a musical dress.
It is difficult to tie songs to a particular area, but the reason for this choice is that it does have a Sussex history. The earliest reference I've found is in Charlotte Latham's West Sussex Superstitions, 1868, and she says I wrote down the song from the lips of a girl who repeated it to me, and, as it has not appeared in print, to my knowledge, it would be well to record it here.
Nan Tuck is a story of fear of outsiders in the community; in this case the witch legend of a woman living in Buxted in the 1600s. She continues to be a focus of fear as the ghost of Tuck Wood and there are reports of sightings of her running down Tuck Lane. There are different versions of her story; one that she was a young woman with mental health issues pursued for being a witch.
Bonfire parades have a long tradition in Sussex, pre-dating the gunpowder plot, and this track features field recordings collected from various parades to represent what must have been a terrifying crowd. In addition, woodland field recordings have been used in their entirety.
TELL ME WHO
Taking inspiration from the breathtaking chalk cliffs at Beachy Head.
The seagulls were recorded at the site. It probably doesn't matter to others, but for me the site specific field recording is an important element.
Listen on the open-top pleasure bus from Eastbourne pier to Birling Gap in any weather.
FOR A SUNBEAM
Sunbeam is rooted in the Sussex mud, with a backdrop of bonfire crowds. It also includes a clip of the RX Shantymen, a field recording from one of their wonderful weekly sessions at The Jenny Lind in the Old Town, Hastings. It takes me back to my childhood, wood panelled rooms and beryl ware.