Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire – Thankful Villages #05

Unlike most of the villages Stoke Hammond has a huge sign as you enter saying ‘Stoke Hammond – A Thankful Village’

It is also one of the biggest villages I have visited, almost a town. I struggled to find somewhere I could hide away. I was drawn to the outskirts. At the end of a dusty lane I happened upon a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. Everything was still and the sun was slowly setting.

I tried to clear my mind and thought of the endless movement of a river or canal. I thought of a musical scale I sometimes taught beginner musicians, a simple scale in C, but going from F to F. I recorded it on the portable recorder I had. I recorded it again and again and again. The flies fluttered over the canal and the water rippled so gently it almost looked like glass.

I tried to make the music ripple and flutter too. This was the first piece in this project where it took me some months to come back and finish it. When I came back to the canal recordings I was filled with regret and wanted to be back there with the low sun. I had stones I wanted to bury beside the river.