Hello and welcome to my Sunday Recommendation. Thanks for joining me. Every week I read great wildlife and nature books, stumble upon engrossing websites and hear wonderful new music. This is my chance to bring you carefully curated recommendations of all the best I’ve experienced – every Sunday. If it’s folk, or independent, or about wildlife, nature or Orkney, I may love it, and so may you.
Rewilding by Richard Durrant
I’ve enjoyed Richard Durrant’s guitar playing for several years. He’s played at my local venue in Devon and even stayed in my house, as I offer free bed and breakfast to visiting musicians. I’ve also been on an epic cross-country journey from Kent to Sussex to see him live, in an evening dash across the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in my friend’s work van.
His guitar playing is so accomplished it’s hard to know where to begin, so I’ll begin with his most recent work. Rewilding is inspired by Isabella Tree’s book Wilding. Isabella and her husband run the 1,400-hectare Knepp Castle Estate and have transformed it with a variety of nature-farming techniques.
The vinyl has an A-side which is above-ground, superterranean, and a B-side which is subterranean. It’s beautifully played, with Richard on classical, acoustic, tenor and electric guitars, ukuleles, mandolin cello, double and electric bass, bodhran, shruti box… you get the picture.
The album features environmental recordings of birds and sounds from the estate. The purring of Turtle Doves, breathy Cuckoos and a breathtaking Nightingale make an appearance. It’s a compelling piece and works wonderfully as two-sided vinyl with artwork you can appreciate. It’s not available on CD.
Richard’s album launch was streamed live from the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea. Here’s his performance, playing along to his own album:
The beauty of albums is the larger canvas for artwork and the album artwork for Rewilding has been painted by English artist Jon Everitt. It’s full of amusing detail, just like the exceptional music. It’s inspired, beautifully composed and exceptionally played. Add to that the crisp recording and engineering and you’ve got one of my favourite albums of 2020.
You can get the album on vinyl (it’s heavyweight 180g vinyl, with a gatefold sleeve, in a limited edition, signed and numbered by the artist) online and download high quality FLAC and ALAC audio files online – buy here from the artist. Perfect Sunday listening.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back with more recommendations of things you might adore next Sunday. In the meantime, I wish you a great week. Keep safe, everyone.