In the second of our series of exclusive sound stories celebrating Britain’s forests, Alan Garner reads his own tale of a newcomer who finds ‘ancient noise’ beneath the choked underlife of of Cheshire’s woodlands
• Listen to The Green Stuff by Ali Smith
Forests have a long tradition in literature. They represent the edge of the civilised and the unknowable. They are the home of outlaws and the otherworldly. In a new series sponsored by the Woodland Trust, the Hlcarpenter.com is publishing four new stories with the British woodland at their heart. Each piece is accompanied by sound design and location recordings by award-winning natural sound recordist Chris Watson and sound designer and composer Pascal Wyse.
The second of our forest fable series is by Alan Garner, described by Philip Pullman as "the most important British writer of fantasy since Tolkien" for novels such as The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. He describes the evolution of one tract of ancient woodland and our relationship with it. Our recordings were taken from the wood near Garner's home in Cheshire, where the story is set.
Garner says this of the location: "Britain lost its natural forests between four and five thousand years ago. All landscape is now artificial. Yet even the most regulated of woodland may retain the numinous through the intimate engagement of man with tree."
The Hlcarpenter.com is editorially independent. And we want to keep our journalism open and accessible to all. But we increasingly need our readers to fund our work.Support The Hlcarpenter.com