The Quietus & The Willowherb Review
WORDS AND SOUNDS
We partnered with The Quietus, Europe’s largest online culture magazine, and The Willowherb Review, a journal dedicated to diversity in nature writing, to commission five musicians and five writers to respond to the tumultuous events of 2020, inspired in part by Wordsworth’s epic poem The Prelude and his 250th anniversary celebrations.
2020 has been a year of tumultuous events and deep reflection. Wordsworth too lived through seismic events; he saw the 1790’s as a time of ‘dereliction and despair’, borne out of disillusionment at the course of the French Revolution and wrote about it extensively in The Prelude. Can the present also be seen as an age of despair? Wordsworth declares that if he retains a faith in humanity it is because of the benevolence of Nature.
We asked artists to consider if recent events have shaken, restored or fortified their faith in human nature, and if so, who or what has restored it?
If in this time
Of dereliction and dismay, I yet
Despair not of our nature; but retain
A more than Roman conﬁdence, a faith
That fails not, in all sorrow my support,
The blessing of my life, the gift is yours,
Ye mountains! thine, O Nature!
Extract from The Prelude, William Wordsworth
Aerial is a festival of contemporary music, literature & performance, taking place in the stunning landscape of the Lake District.
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