Experimental Music - Shortlisted 2014
The inspiration behind the majority of Richard Skelton’s work comes from a sustained engagement with place, primarily the rural landscapes of northern England. His piece ‘Landings’, for instance, is the culmination of over half a decade spent exploring the landscape of Anglezarke – an area of moorland, reservoirs and ruined farmsteads in his native Lancashire.
His music is the result of immersion and direct contact with places of resonance. Using small string instruments, which are often modified to extend their tonal range and timbre, he has been known to sound them with natural found objects, to inter and disinter them in soil, or to leave them for extended periods of time in remote locations. The resulting sounds that he elicits from these instruments are then layered to create a form of musical collage whose many elements interact, falling in and out of correspondence, forming moments of beautiful alignment which he admits ‘I could never have forseen’.
His music has been released under a variety of pseudonyms, including A Broken Consort, Clouwbeck and Carousell, and many albums have received widespread acclaim, with ‘The Complete Landings’ being heralded as one of The Wire’s top 10 ‘Modern Compositions’ of 2011, and the following year's ‘Verse of Birds’ reaching No. 21 in their overall 'best of year' chart.