What's On

The Lost Words: Spell Songs


Karine Polwart – Kerry Andrew – Julie Fowlis – Seckou Keita – Kris Drever – Rachel Newton – Beth Porter – Jim Molyneux

An opportunity to sing nature back to life through the power of music, poetry, art and magic.

The Lost Words, A Spell Book, created by author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris is the inspiration for a unique musical collaboration between eight leading folk musicians. Described by the Guardian as a ‘cultural phenomenon’ this book holds ‘spells of many kinds that might just, by the old strong magic of being spoken aloud, unfold dreams and songs, and summon lost words back into the mouth and the mind’s eye’. The Lost WordsSpell Songs will indeed be unfolding the ‘dreams and songs’ living within the pages of this astonishing book, with accompanying live illustrations by artist Jackie Morris.

The book began as a response to the removal of everyday nature words from a widely used children’s dictionary, but then grew to become a much broader protest at the loss of the natural world around us, as well as a celebration of the creatures and plants with which we share our lives, in all their characterful glory.

Within this book music can be heard. Percussive rhythms are conveyed through art and word, silent bird song and liquid colour appear rich with melody and, along with the compelling, quieter contemplations of nature’s absences; this book gently anticipates a musical response. Spell Songs is a chance to find the hidden harmonies in literature, art and nature itself.