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Folklore Tapes' "Calendar Customs" boxed set

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Image of Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs Box Set (Pre-Order 1st December)

The high-days and holidays of the agrarian year mean little to many of us today. Estranged from the natural world and its solar cycle, we too often encounter such dates only as decorative names in the lifeless pages of pocket diaries and year-planners. Yet these occasions were deeply significant to our long-dead forefathers, who daubed each with a variety of vividly coloured customs, rites and rituals. The Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs series explores this heady world of seasonal symbolism creatively, through research and artistic reinterpretation.

The Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs boxed set recounts the adventure so far, taking its listener on an arcane journey reeling around the four corners of the ritual year. With Merry May, we encounter the dances, games and fertility ceremonies that once greeted spring and the returning bounty of the soil. Pulling on our Crown of Light, we join the fires, feasts and fairies of Midsummer, with a full-swelled sun casting its enchanted energies around us. At the borderline festival of Samhain we bestride the threshold among the wandering spirits and tricksters that stepped this night Fore Hallowe’en. Our voyage spins to a close at the year’s end with Midwinter Rites and Revelries, where, clothed in evergreens, we forecast the sun's rebirth beside ceremonial flames.

For these compilation albums, each contributing artist researched a specific seasonal custom and, informed by their findings, conjured a sonic movement in response. The pieces are a magnetic assortment of sound collage and foley work, composed music and augmented field-recording. The release documents the Folklore Tapes group as it has evolved to be: a variegated host of musicians, storytellers, sound designers, academics and performance artists united by their desire to get off-the beaten-track in the eerie hinterlands of folk memory. These are playful retellings of long-forgotten observances; library sounds, carried forth on a wisp of smoke from the bonfires of ages past.

The works are presented here on vinyl for the first time in remastered audio (each was originally released – and soon sold out – as a cassette album between 2014 and 2016). Accompanying the records is a horde of precious items: a photogram print, a set of four postcards featuring the original cassette release artwork, and a detailed booklet comprising illustrations, research notes and an in-depth seasonal customs essay. These treasures are housed in a hand-numbered and stamped litho-print box, published in a limited edition of 250.

More information can be found at Folklore Tapes.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:31  


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