Richard King is the author of How Soon is Now?, Sunday Times Music Book of the Year 2012 and Original Rockers, which was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize (2015). His next book The Lark Ascending is due for publication by Faber & Faber in June 2019.
The Lark Ascending is a history of the British countryside told through the relationship between music and landscape; a lyrical exploration of how Britain’s identity was shaped throughout the Twentieth Century by the urge to reimagine the country’s wild places.
Through a series of ‘headphone walks’ and reflective interviews with musicians, filmmakers, ruralists and witnesses Richard King listens closely to Britain’s rural landscapes and the compositions inspired by their beauty and drama. His journey takes him from the west coast of Wales to the Lothian Hills, from the Thames Estuary to the Suffolk shoreline – and from Vaughan Williams to Brian Eno, from Penguin Cafe Orchestra to the Raincoats, from Kate Bush to Boards of Canada, ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’ to Greenham Common.
His unique and intimate history of a nation celebrates the British countryside as a living, working, and occasionally rancorous environment – rather than an unaffected idyll – that forged a nation’s musical personality and provided a space in which life could be experienced on its own terms and its fullest, under open skies, far away from the gaze of authority.
Richard will be discussing The Lark Ascending with writer, journalist and broadcaster Emma Warren.