Richard Skelton's Landings sequence is one of the most sustained musical and literary projects of the last two decades. Critically lauded as an heir of Gorecki and Eno, Skelton began the sequence as a musical investigation of history and landscape, but it has developed into a succession of sound art pieces, performances, books, and pamphlets concerned with the mapping of rural spaces in England and Ireland. This paper critically elaborates the sequence's textual work, situating Skelton's music within his writing and within the historical and archival concerns that repeatedly emerge through his work. These concerns include the nature of biography and of the human within the landscape, the tenuous nature of sound, the question of historical naming, and the relationship of the land to the dead. Landings raises significant questions about archival practice and the relationships between material locations and art. This paper asks whether Skelton's work delineates something specific about archives and human identity, and whether these identities and the archives of history can be located materially.
|Early online date||2 Jun 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2015|