Prelude 2020: Viridian’s Prelude (Part 1 & 2)

Viridian Ensemble


Viridians Prelude

Viridian Ensemble respond to the events of 2020, inspired in part by Wordsworth’s epic poem The Prelude. Commissioned by The Quietus and Aerial.

In 2020 we have all been subject to fear and tentative hope in different ways. The isolation has forced us to be innovative in how we create music together, and out of that we have found joy in new ways of experimentation and improvisation.

We have used parts of Wordsworth’s Prelude text as cut up poetry lyrics, representing the 16mm film that is normally our starting point. The new poem is made from 250 words, celebrating Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary.

An improvised performance, recorded live in Bristol, August 2020, the vocals are accompanied by flute, double bass, waterphone and percussion.

Like most, we have missed the physical spaces in which we congregate, socialise, and play. We welcomed the chance to record in an active outdoor space: A large railway tunnel adjacent to Bristol Temple Meads station. At the beginning of lockdown, having felt the stasis and inertia of life and literal buffering/zooming, we see the possibility of stillness as an active space in which to cherish the importance of listening, reflection and evaluation.

Viridian Ensemble


Viridian Ensemble is an ethereal blend of image and noise, reimagining folklore and femininity. Improvised sound and image (digital and analogue) produce textural dialogue. Inspired by Expanded Film, and the free improvisation vanguard: Les Diaboliques/Feminist Improv Group. Performances evoke dissociative states, keening, and supernaturalism. Utterances and nonsensical languages entwine collective rhythm, tone, and resonance.

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