Around the A4074

Here is the tracklist for Around the A4074, which will be available to hear on the iplayer for one week.

Soundwalk stationery, created for World Listening Day, (July 18th) and designed to draw attention to the sounds around the A4074 especially around Dorchester, Warborough and Shillingford

Joe Moran speaking about his book, On Roads and the idea of being “in Road Country”

Folks I met over the Summer speaking about the A4074 road including Kelly Carter from Brazier’s Park, Ben Smith who runs The Acoustic Ballroom, and a man I interviewed at the Warborough and Shillingford festival who’s been using the road for many years

Black Box Recorder – The English Motorway System, from the album The Facts of Life

Stephen Watts (who I interviewed at Brazier’s park) talking about the idea of “an indiginous perspective” on the land

Ed from A Walk Around Britain talking about “travel without journey.” I travelled to Faversham to meet Ed and Will in Ed’s family home, to show them how to knit good walking socks and to learn more about what we can find on foot

Views near Brazier’s Park, Ipsden

Snippets of audio from my very first walk around the entire length of the A4074

The barn owl sounds from my first overnight walk around the A4074

Dawn chorus recordings made around Ipsden at first light

Sunrise in the fields around the A4074 in Ipsden

John – one of the Brazier’s Park trustees – briefly giving an overview of Brazier’s Park. Stephen Watts talking about wild food, learning directly from the landscape, and the agricultural history of the Chilterns

Oats and Beans and Barley O sung by Ed, Will and Ginger and taken from their album Songs

Ed and Will talking about walking and welcoming all to this land in an echoey valley in Faversham, Kent, where we walked and talked for many hours about journeying, travelling and the difficult politics of cars

Spenser the Rover sung by Ed, Will and Ginger and also taken from their album Songs

Sounds recorded from the abandoned stretch of the A4074 road. Lying parallel to the stretch of the A4074 now called Portway, The Old Reading Road is now a derelict, potholed stretch of road being slowly reclaimed by brambles, creatures and trees

Andy Letcher – lead singer of Telling the Bees – talking about The Language of Birds, one of the songs on the album An English Arcanum

Telling the Bees playing The Language of Birds in a field in Sandford, near the A4074

Telling the Bees playing in the field in Sandford, near the A4074

Rose Fisher’s street organ, recorded at the Woodcote Steam Rally, in a field beside the A4074

Andy Crockett – publicist for The Woodcote Steam Rally – talking about the history of the rally, mixed with recordings of vintage tractors, traction engines and historic, agricultural machinery on display there. Also, interviews with Edward Snowdon talking about his B2 tasker tractor, and Rose Fisher, who brings her collection of mechanical instruments to the rally every year and plays them to the public to raise funds for the air ambulance

Rose Fisher’s music boxes

Joe Moran talking about the history of UK Motorway signage and the role that RAF Benson played in the decision to use Jock Kinneir’s Transport typeface on all our UK motorway signs

Ed’s beautiful late-night guitar noodling in the background, while David Beasley shares his stories concerning the history of the A4074 road

Ben Smith talking about The Acoustic Ballroom and Eve from The Keeling Curve talking about how The Acoustic Ballroom helped the band when they first started out

Warborough and Shillingford Festival feature including Des Baxter, Emily Rae, Banjocat and The Keeling Curve. Also, recordings of children talking about their enjoyment of the sandpit, and the camels who were racing at the festival this year

Racing Camelids at the Warborough and Shillingford Festival, 2010

Band of Hope singing Baby you’re a mess on the bridge that spans the A4074 between Berinsfield and Dorchester

Interviews with bikers at the H Cafe, beside the Berinsfield roundabout on the A4074

Charlie Chester talking about his experience of riding a bike on the A4074

Interviews about the 13 bends of death on the A4074

Joe Moran talking about the road as a shared, political space

Will from A Walk Around Britain talking about the speed that the soul flies at; 27MPH

Discussion with Scott about how my explorations around the A4074 have changed my relationship to the road

Andrew Milloy talking about the inspiration for the song Somebody’s Child

Thanks to all of you who helped me with the show; to all who contributed words or songs or stories, and to all the places themselves which I visited.

One of the hardest things has been trying to fit the whole adventure into an hour, especially since many sounds were gathered in the long, slow quiet of walking, and at a pace which is not concurrent with broadcast regulations and schedules. Each walk around the road took 13 hours or more, and many of my recorded ramblings would have made for something more ambient and reflective than is perhaps to everyone’s taste.

However, I have put a slightly longer edit of my first forrays around the A4074 up here, where you can hear in a bit more detail the quiet environment around the road and my first attempts to capture them for radio; there will be more sounds – and more interview material – released here in coming weeks.

Merry Xmas one and all.

4 Responses to Around the A4074

  1. colleen says:

    Thanks so much for this generous collection. I’ll be dipping in over the holiday. Very much enjoyed the programme – I miraculously woke up at exactly 6pm yesterday having pre-programmed by brain to listen in- though may have to listen the first few minutes again as my brain was still a little fuzzy. Imagine the soul only travelling at 27mph…

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Around the A4074 Radio Show now available

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  4. Pingback: A Sense of Place · Getting from place to place – Part 1

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