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Welbury, Yorkshire – Thankful Villages #12

Welbury is the first village I stayed in overnight. I wanted to capture the villages at every time of the year, in all weather and at different times of the day.

I was also starting to think about my interaction with the villages and the villagers themselves. Sometimes, like with Aisholt and Stocklinch I want to be welcomed in; I want to sit and talk, listen and learn.

With Welbury I wanted to move about like a ghost, silent and unseen. For a few years now I’ve been interested in the idea of wordless music describing a sense of place. This idea is at the heart of the Thankful Villages project, that the location should inform the music in some way.

I wandered through the village in the dead of night. Interior lights glowed red and orange through thick curtains. A few houses had modest Christmas lights wrapped around trees even though it was October. I thought about the idea of ‘home’ and ‘warmth’. I remembered my first job as a paperboy and doing the same thing, staring at the house lights and being jealous of those on the inside.

I imagined how different all those living rooms would be to each other but all representing safety and security to someone. I went back to my room and set up a small studio with a Moog synthesiser and a nylon-strung guitar. These machines make me feel at home. I tried to make comforting music. I wanted repeated refrains that were all similar, yet slightly different.

I recorded the phrase over and over at incrementally slowly speeds so the melodies gently collide and overlap.
In Welbury I was on the outside, dreaming of the inside.