Orpheans of the fringes

STUART MILLSON celebrates Celtic composers We tend to think of British music, and the landscape of the British repertoire, as belonging to English composers such as Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten. But it is not just bucolic, visionary southern English landscapes that have inspired great music. The Welsh landscape is just as much a place…

From iconoclasm to ruins

All paintings by the author ALEXANDER ADAMS surveys the story of deliberate destruction We are familiar with the folly and – from the Baroque period onward – the purposefully constructed ruin used to enhance the pathos of a place, most especially a view of a country estate. This would be a view that could be…

Classical Kent

Peter Warlock STUART MILLSON searches for unjustly overlooked Kent composers A recent release on an innovative recording label – with the somewhat obscure title, Heracleitus – brings a mysterious figure from 20th century music in this country into view. The CD from the recording arm of the English Music Festival, an organisation dedicated to the…

Home learning

PETER KING says that houses are not machines, but ‘organisms’ animated by us I was lying in bed one morning, with no plans other than to roll over. It was too early to get out of bed, and I had nothing to get up early for. As planned, at 7.00am the heating system clicked into…

Deep mapping the imagination

DAVID UPTON looks to the future of psychogeography Artists, academics, eccentrics, the flippant, the deadly serious, those with a plan and those without one, cluster around psychogeography like politicians round a fake news story, anxious to use it for their own objectives, or just to have a good time. It was largely with the last…

Nature cure

HELEN C. NEAVE recalls how she swapped scalpels for spades Ten years ago, I put down my scalpel and took off my scrubs, hat and mask for the last time. After eight years as a consultant surgeon I was turning a corner I hadn’t really seen coming. Now at work, I’m more likely to be…

Something about Stonehenge

DEREK TURNER wanders in the West Country “Quite something, isn’t it?” the American woman asked, nodding towards Stonehenge. “However many pictures you see, it’s something to see it for real!” I didn’t disagree. As over-exposed as the Mona Lisa, emblazoned on a billion brochures, co-opted into countless works of counter-culture, and passed by an often…

All the world’s an empire

The plumb-pudding in danger, or, State Epicures taking un Petit Souper, by James Gillray, 1805 STUART MILLSON says imperialism is intrinsic Down from the gardens of Asia descending radiating, Adam and Eve appear, then their myriad progeny after them, Wandering, yearning, curious, with restless explorations... Walt Whitman (The Leaves of Grass) In the heart of…