Lore of the Wild - a musical walk through the woods

by @edent | , ,

Into the woods, it's time to go, I hate to leave, I have to go. Into the woods, it's time, and so I must begin my journey.

I live near the ancient Abbey Woods. Site of the derelict Lesnes Abbey, full of flowers, trees, and eternal mysteries. A tattered parchment map fluttered into my hand promising adventure and enlightenment deep in the heart of the woods.

A hand drawn map with the locations of squirrels and crows carefully marked.

This is Lore of the Wild an immersive art installation as part of the Estuary 2021 festival.

And so, shortly before sunset, a dozen of us gathered at the entrance and began our traipse through the mulch to see what we would find.

people walking through the woods.

It was magical. There's no other word to describe it. Each of us had headphones and listened to specially commissioned music and poetry designed to harmonise with the surroundings.

We went on an artist guided tour, but you can download the audio tracks and take a wander at your own pace.

I recommend using open-ear headphones which allow you to hear the screaming of the birds. Are all the noises you hear diegetic? Are the whispers in your ears still there when the music pauses?

Halfway through our journey, we wandered into the Old Chalk Pit, where we found Nick Hart waiting for us.

People sat around a fire in an abandoned chalk pit. A man stands and plays guitar.

Old English folk songs sung in an old English pit, the tang of fresh smoke and the scent of wild-flowers. Accompanied by the cacophony of crows and parrots waging their regular evening warfare.

It reminded me of the London SubtleMod I attended a decade ago. A group of strangers wandering through a landscape listening to - and becoming - art.

If you can get to the woods - and CrossRail will opening soon! - I recommend bringing a pair of headphones and following the guided trail. It's a gentle walk - although not suitable for wheelchair users - and a wonderful way to experience the environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *